National & State Parks

Need a place to slow down from your hectic life? You’ll find it in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula at a remote national park, historical national lakeshore and 22 state parks and recreation areas. Breathtaking scenery, acres of wilderness, refreshing solitude and exhilarating adventure make each one a memorable destination. Plan to hike, paddle, fish, swim, mountain bike, boat, ORV/ATV, horseback ride or go birding, snowmobiling, snowboarding, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. See historic lighthouses, waterfalls, shipwrecks and wildlife, too! Or just sit back and relax. 

Did you know? The U.P. is home to:

  • Michigan’s only national park — Isle Royale National Park. One of the least visited national parks in the country, it is also one of the most revisited and among National Geographic’s “Best of the World” list for 2021. Isle Royale and its rugged archipelago wilderness in Lake Superior has 450 islands, 160+ miles of wilderness trails, four lighthouses, sunken shipwrecks and no cars. 
  • America’s first national lakeshore, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Along the 42-mile lakeshore between Munising and Grand Marais, approximately 15 miles of mineral-stained, sandstone cliffs tower over Lake Superior. These ancient cliffs and the landscape they create were established as a national lakeshore in 1966. It is one of only four national lakeshores in the country. 
  • Michigan’s oldest state park, Mackinac Island State Park. More than 80% of the island is state park property and most of this land remains in its natural state. Access to the park is by foot, bike, rented horse or buggy, sightseeing carriages or horse-drawn taxis. No motorized vehicles or camping are allowed.
  • Michigan’s largest state park in landmass, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. Its 60,000 acres is one of the few large wilderness areas remaining in the Midwest. Miles of wild rivers and streams, secluded lakes (including a mountain view of Lake of the Clouds), virgin timber, wildlife and waterfalls make this an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Roads are closed Dec. 1 ‘til late spring.
  • Michigan’s most remote state park, Craig Lake State Park. It’s an adventure just getting to this incredible spot on our planet!  You’ll want to take a vehicle with high-ground clearance to reach this park’s six lakes, numerous ponds and high granite bluffs. The payback for making the effort is a chance to see loons, deer, black bear, beaver and part of Michigan’s moose herd.
  • Michigan’s only brewery within a state park, Tahquamenon Falls Brewing Company in Tahquamenon Falls State Park. This park is the land of Longfellow’s Hiawatha. The brewery is just one of  this park’s amenities. Its hallmarks are two magnificent waterfalls along the Tahquamenon River, the Upper Falls (one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River) and Lower Falls.

Spend the night beneath a dome of stars

Choose from thousands of campsites or rustic cabins, camper cabins, lodges, yurts and teepee rentals. The U.P. strives to share its beauty with everyone and many of its state parks offer ADA-accessible camping options. Like to explore the outdoors, but prefer overnighting with the indoor amenities and comforts of a hotel or bed and breakfast inn? Most U.P. state parks are located within minutes of nearby lodgings.

Many of the U.P.’s state and national parks are open year-round. Most fill their monthly calendars with family activities and special events for day visitors and campers. Lucky for you, when one visit ends, there is always another to plan! Just be sure to get a Michigan recreation passport or day pass before entering. Make a bucket list goal to see as many parks as possible in every season.

Below, we’ve listed and linked to every park in our peninsula by region. Get planning so you can go outside and play!

Western Upper Peninsula

Central Upper Peninsula

Eastern Upper Peninsula