Michigan State Parks

State Park campgrounds reopening Monday

Jun 19, 2020
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Michigan State Park campgrounds are reopening Monday.

That means campsites in addition to most bathrooms, visitor centers, showers, playgrounds, fishing piers, viewing platforms, sports areas and picnic tables will be accessible.  The only exception is drinking fountains, which will remain closed until further notice.

But if you plan on camping this summer, you should probably start planning, said Joshua Drage, the lead ranger at Leelanau State Park.

Today on Stateside, how the state parks system is coping with the tidal wave of people desperate to get out of the house. Plus, restaurants and bars all around Michigan can restart dine-in service next week. We check in with a small business owner in Grand Rapids about reopening during COVID and protests over police brutality.

(Subscribe to Stateside on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or with this RSS link)

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.

Michigan DNR

 

Overnight camping at Michigan state parks won’t be allowed until late June, the state Department of Natural Resources says.

State forest campgrounds and harbors run by the DNR will open on June 10, while overnight camping and shelters at state parks are set to open on June 22.

Most state-maintained parks, trails and dock sites are currently open to the public.

The parks have canceled reservations before June 22, including the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the DNR says. 

 


Today on Stateside, a public policy and economics professor at Hillsdale College weighs in on the free college tuition proposals that are bound to arise in this week's Democratic debates. Plus, some species of native freshwater mussels are under threat and we look at how their decline could change the Great Lakes.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.  

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The state of Michigan is buying part of a controversial sand mine near Ludington. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will buy 100 acres of sand dunes, wetlands and forests for $17 million from Sargent Sand, a sand mining company.

"This purchase will permanently protect a beautiful tract of critical sand dunes, conserving a unique landform and its plants and animals for public enjoyment," DNR Director Keith Creagh says in a press release.

In some parts of Michigan, there are forests that can take you back in time. Old-growth forests of towering trees offer a rare glimpse at what Michigan looked like before the logging boom of the late 1800's.

Donald Dickmann, a professor in Michigan State University's Department of Forestry, told Stateside where visitors can see stands of old-growth trees in Michigan.

Kids across Michigan got packed off to school today, which marks the end of the summer tourism season.

As we start to say goodbye to summer, we wondered how Michigan's travel industry fared this year.

The story behind Michigan's newest state park

Jun 21, 2016

We officially have 103 state parks in Michigan now.

The new park is called Watkins Lake State Park and County Preserve. It’s 1,122 acres in Jackson and Washtenaw counties.  

The state just closed on its part of the land last week (717 acres). The Michigan Department of Natural Resources used $2.9 million from the Natural Resources Trust Fund to buy the property. Washtenaw County bought the rest of the land, and the park will be managed by both the DNR and the county.

Just about five years ago, Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation scrapped the long-time window sticker entry system in favor of an annual license plate pass.

Today, that “recreation passport” costs $11, and it grants you access to Michigan’s 98 state parks, recreation areas, and boat launches.

Our need for energy could be colliding with our desire to preserve Michigan’s natural beauty.

Case in point: around 9,700 acres of Hartwick Pines State Park near Grayling could be included in an MDNR auction October 29 for a lease of mineral rights.

Ron French reported on this story for Bridge Magazine. He said it’s not unusual for the state to lease ground underneath state parks.

Twice a year the Michigan Department of Natural Resources holds an auction where they lease oil and gas rights to anyone who wants to explore. Companies or individuals can nominate any state property for exploration for oil and gas. One Michigan oil company nominated Hartwick Pines.

Hartwick Pines State Park holds a 49 acre parcel that is the largest, and possibly the last, virgin forest of white pines in the Lower Peninsula.

“These are pine that are up to 400 years old, they’re up to 12 feet in circumference, they are up to 165 feet tall, this is what Michigan looked like before logging,” French said.

French points out that a lease is not a right to drill on the property.

“What are the chances of something going on near Hartwick Pines? They are small, but they are greater than they would be if this lease hadn’t occurred,” French said.