Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

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.

Charles Dawley

Communities near the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore are doing their best to deal with a surge of tourists.

Attendance at the park has been rising for five years. Last year, the number of visitors jumped by 37 percent - to more than 720,000 people. That’s caused issues with parking, and a lack of restrooms and hotel rooms.

Munising Mayor Rod DesJardins says the popularity of the park is changing his town.

“We used to be somewhat of a sleepy, backwater town with a modest summer tourist economy," says DesJardins. "Now we are a premier destination in the Midwest.”

Courtney Kotewa

A snapshot of Pictured Rocks Lakeshore in northern Michigan will be featured on the 2015 National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. The annual passes are sold nationwide and for use at any national park. Courtney Kotewa of southern Michigan took the photo during a family outing. The image selected as the winning photo of the National Park Foundation's photo contest. 

Nearly 20,000 photos were submitted to the 2013 Share the Experience contest. Share the Experience is the official photo contest of America's national parks and federal recreation lands. 

Kotewa said the photo almost didn’t happen as she was not sure she would take her phone with her on the kayak trip for fear of dropping it in the choppy waters of Lake Superior. Although she grew up in southern Michigan, this trip was Kotewa’s first time to Pictured Rocks. The grand-prize winner said visiting was on her mom’s bucket list.