15 Incredible Lake Michigan State Parks to Explore This Year

If you enjoy sandy beaches, towering dunes, and refreshing waters, you’ll love exploring these Lake Michigan State Parks in Michigan. Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of 15 amazing Michigan State Parks along Lake Michigan’s beautiful shoreline.

Lake Michigan State Parks

15 Incredible Lake Michigan State Parks (in Michigan)

  • Warren Dunes State Park
  • Grand Mere State Park
  • Saugatuck Dunes State Park
  • Holland State Park
  • Grand Haven State Park
  • Muskegon State Park
  • Duck Lake State Park
  • Silver Lake State Park
  • Ludington State Park
  • Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
  • Leelanau State Park
  • Fisherman’s Island State Park
  • Petoskey State Park
  • Wilderness State Park
  • Fayette Historic State Park

Lake Michigan State Parks: Southwest Michigan

Warren Dunes State Park – Sawyer, MI

Length of Lake Michigan shoreline: 3 miles
Park Facilities: Modern restrooms, picnic area, concessions, beach access
Campground: 182 modern campsites, 37 semi-modern campsites, 3 mini cabins
Interesting Feature: Towering dune formations rising 260 feet above Lake Michigan

If you enjoy hiking dune trails, Warren Dunes State Park has miles of trails waiting for you with fantastic views of the lake. Plus, you can swim and play along 3 miles of sandy Lake Michigan shoreline. No wonder Warren Dunes is a favorite for visitors from Chicago and Indiana as well as locals.

Grand Mere State Park – Stevensville, MI

Length of Lake Michigan shoreline: Half mile
Facilities: Vault toilet, picnic shelter, beach access
Campground: None 
Interesting Feature: Three inland lakes behind the dunes with hiking trails and a boat launch

For a rustic, off-the-beaten path experience, check out Grand Mere State Park. With plenty of undeveloped natural areas, this spot is perfect for hikers and nature lovers. Walk through the woods and hike over sandy dunes to make your way to the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Lake Michigan State Parks: West Michigan

Saugatuck Dunes State Park – Holland, MI

Length of Lake Michigan shoreline: 2.5 miles
Park Facilities: Vault toilets, beach access
Campground: None
Interesting Feature: 4 different hiking trails with varying difficulty that lead to Lake Michigan

Another haven for hikers, Saugatuck Dunes State Park offers 4 different trails to journey through sandy back dune forests on your way to the beach. Right next to the state park, the Sandy Acres Township Park features a disc golf course and the Felt Estate offers tours of its historic mansion.

Holland State Park – Holland, MI

Length of Lake Michigan shoreline: 1/2 mile
Park Facilities: Modern restrooms, picnic area, playground, concessions, beach access
Campground: 309 modern campsites, 2 camper cabins
Interesting Feature: The picturesque Big Red Lighthouse

As one of the most popular state parks in Michigan, Holland State Park provides a classic beach experience. With easy beach access, a large bath house, concessions, and lighthouse views, it’s a beautiful space for spending a day on Lake Michigan.

Grand Haven State Park – Grand Haven, MI

Length of Lake Michigan shoreline: 1/2 mile
Park Facilities: Modern restrooms, picnic area, playground, beach access
Campground: 174 modern paved campsites along the beach, 1 lodge
Interesting Feature: 1.5 mile boardwalk connecting the state park to downtown Grand Haven

Walkability is a highlight at Grand Haven State Park. From the iconic lighthouse pier walk within the park, the Grand Haven Boardwalk extends for 1.5 miles along the Grand River into the downtown area. Enjoy a stroll by the water and then treat yourself to some shopping and dining in downtown Grand Haven.

Muskegon State Park – Muskegon, MI

Length of Lake Michigan shoreline: 2 miles
Park Facilities: Modern restrooms, picnic area, concessions, boat launch, beach access
Campground: 245 modern campsites, 2 mini cabins, 1 yurt
Interesting Feature: The year-round Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park

In additional to a popular campground and scenic hiking trails, Muskegon State Park’s most unique feature is its adventure park. During the winter months, choose between an Olympian-designed luge track, cross country skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing or zip lining. In the warmer months, experience archery, a wheel luge, zip lines, or a Trail Quest treasure hunting adventure.

Duck Lake State Park – Whitehall, MI

Length of Lake Michigan shoreline: 1/2 mile
Park Facilities: Modern restrooms, picnic area, boat launch, beach access
Campground: None
Interesting Feature: Duck Lake channel that connects Duck Lake to Lake Michigan

Duck Lake State Park’s main draw is its kid-friendly beach. The Duck Lake channel provides a calm, shallow place to play in the water while still enjoying Lake Michigan’s splendor. In addition to the beach, there are several hiking trails including a paved half mile path. It’s a great spot to explore especially with younger kids in tow.

Lake Michigan State Parks: Northwest Michigan

Silver Lake State Park – Mears, MI

Lake Michigan State Parks - Silver Lake State Park

Length of Lake Michigan shoreline: 3 miles
Park Facilities: Modern restrooms, picnic area, boat launch, Little Sable lighthouse, playground, beach access
Campground: 200 modern campsites
Interesting Feature: Unique sand dune recreation activities including dune tours and an ORV area

While Silver Lake provides a quaint beach for the campground area, the real star of the show is the massive dune landscape. The dunes at Silver Lake State Park allow for unique recreation activities including dune tours with Mac Woods Dune Rides and an ORV (Off Road Vehicle) scramble area. For a more natural experience, you can also hike the dunes along the pedestrian pathways for incredible views.

Ludington State Park – Ludington, MI

Length of Lake Michigan shoreline: 7 miles
Park Facilities: Modern restrooms, boat launch, concessions, picnic area, playground, Big Sable Lighthouse
Campground: 352 modern campsites, 10 rustic campsites, 3 mini cabins
Interesting Feature: The 1 mile stretch of the Big Sable River perfect for tubing, paddling and fishing

Ludington State Park has something for everyone, including 21 miles of hiking trails, a fishing pier, a meandering river, a sandy beach, and playground. Two must do activities on a summer visit: an afternoon floating down the Big Sable River and the challenging but rewarding 1.8 mile (one way) hike out to Big Sable Lighthouse.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – Empire, MI

Length of Lake Michigan shoreline: 35 miles
Park Facilities: Modern restrooms, vault toilets, picnic areas
Campground: Platte River Campground & D.H. Day Campground
Interesting Feature: Dramatic 450-foot dune bluffs for epic views and hiking

Technically not a state park, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is too iconic to skip. The massive dunes provide unforgettable hiking trails and scenic outlooks. Beyond the epic dunes, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore also boasts miles of wooded trails, an 1871 lighthouse, and a historic farm district.

Leelanau State Park – Northport, MI

Length of Lake Michigan shoreline: Unlisted
Park Facilities: Vault toilets, picnic area, playground, concessions, lighthouse museum
Campground: 51 rustic campsites, 3 mini cabins
Interesting Feature: The historic Grand Traverse Lighthouse

Lots of natural beauty abounds on the northern most point of the Leelanau Peninsula. Here you’ll find over 8 miles of hiking trails, endless rocky shoreline views, and an iconic Lake Michigan lighthouse you can tour. There’s even a newer playground for the kids to enjoy as well.

Fisherman’s Island State Park – Charlevoix, MI

Length of Lake Michigan shoreline: 6 miles
Park Facilities: Vault toilets, picnic area, beach access
Campground: 80 rustic campsites
Interesting Feature: The namesake Fisherman’s Island, which changes from a peninsula to an island depending on the water level

For a quieter state park experience with miles of beautiful shoreline, Fisherman’s Island is calling your name. With no electricity and no running water, you can completely unplug in the rustic campground or enjoy a day exploring hiking and rock hunting in the day-use area.

Petoskey State Park – Petoskey, MI

Length of Lake Michigan shoreline: 1 mile
Park Facilities: Modern restrooms, picnic area, beach access, concessions, playground
Campground: 180 modern campsites, 2 mini cabins
Interesting Feature: Classic location for Petoskey stone hunting

Nestled along the Little Traverse Bay, the Petoskey State Park offers an opportunity for slightly warmer swimming in the typically chilly Lake Michigan. Plus, it’s an classic shore to hunt for Michigan’s unique state stone, the Petoskey stone. For a bird’s eye view of the bay, hike to the top of the scenic Old Baldy Trail.

Wilderness State Park – Carp Lake, MI

Length of Lake Michigan shoreline: 26 miles
Park Facilities: Modern restrooms, vault toilets, picnic area, boat launch, beach access
Campground: Modern and rustic campsites (some under construction in 2022)
Interesting Feature: Designated dark sky preserve

The largest state park in the lower peninsula, Wilderness State Park earns its name with its expansive untamed beauty. As a designated dark sky preserve, Wilderness State Park makes an ideal spot for stargazing.

Lake Michigan State Parks: Upper Peninsula

Fayette Historic State Park – Garden, MI

Length of Lake Michigan shoreline: Unlisted
Park Facilities: Modern restrooms, picnic area, beach access, playground, boat launch, visitor center, gift shop
Campground: 61 modern campsites and 1 lodge
Interesting Feature: The Fayette Historic Townsite with 20 historic buildings from the 19th century

If you enjoy the combination of history and nature, Fayette Historic State Park is the place for you. In addition to hiking and camping, you can take a self-guided tour of the Fayette Historic Townsite. Explore to learn what life was like in the 1800s in this iron-smelting community.

State Park Entry Fees

All Michigan State Parks require entry fees. For Michigan residents, add the recreation passport to your vehicle registration for $12. Definitely worth it for a year’s worth of park access!

For out of state visitors, purchase a daily pass for $10 or a yearly pass for $36 at the state park entry booth.

Lake Michigan State Parks

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Happy Exploring!

How many of these beautiful Lake Michigan State Parks you have explored? Which ones will you venture to this year? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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