Did you know there are 3 National Parks, and a National Scenic Trail in the state of Michigan? Not only do we have amazing lakeshore, hundreds of State Parks, and thousands of acres to explore, but Michigan is home to these amazing National Park areas:
Isle Royale National Park
Isle Royale is the most remote National park, it is an island surrounded by Lake Superior accessible by ferry. This National Park has limited options for lodging, and endless opportunities for camping! Check out the link above for more information on getting there and staying in this National Park.
*Photo courtesy of the nps
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Munising, Grand Marais, MI
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is one of our favorite and most frequented places to visit in the UP. The park participates in the Junior Ranger program, and is very accessible for those with kids. The North Country Trail goes through this park, but there are short hiking options as well, giving beautiful views of the rock formations. This is a must stop for anyone that has never been here! There are several rustic camping options within the park, as well as some other (not as rustic) campgrounds, and hotels in Munising, MI. We really liked Otter Lake Campground.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Sleeping Bear Dunes have been ranked time and time again on numerous lists of the USA’s most beautiful places. The landscape here is really breathtaking. Sleeping Bear Dunes offers numerous hiking options from easy to advanced, Kayaking, Swimming, Camping, and more. You’ll find many lovely little shops in the nearby towns of Empire and Glen Arbor. We’ve had great success in Empire using airb&b for cute cabins for rent, but there are also many camping options in the area.
North Country National Scenic Trail
The North Country Scenic Trail stretches seven states to include: MI, MN, ND, NY, OH, PA, WI
This trail can be hiked short distances, or for days, weeks, or months! The options are endless. The trail goes through some really beautiful places in Michigan including the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and one of our other favorite little places in the UP- Tahquamenon Falls State Park.
There are also a couple of additional parks run by the NPS which include:
Keweenaw National Historical Park
Motor Cities National Heritage Area
River Raisin National Battlefield Park
National Park Week is April 16-24, 2016. National Park Week is a great time to get out and explore all that our National Parks have to offer- Admittance is free! If you have a 4th Grader, your child and family can get into the park for free all year! Also, if there is a veteran in your family, you can get into the parks for free each year as well!
Some National Parks include Junior Ranger programs. We took the boys to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore last summer and they were able to become rangers for the day. They got to explore, talk to real rangers, get a stamp in their park passport, and earn a badge. Learn more about the Junior Ranger Program Here.
No matter where you venture this year, take time to explore the options available in our Nation’s National Parks! Happy Adventuring!