Michigan Forests

Michigan's state recreation areas, parks and forests provide many opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities or simply rest and relax in our state's outdoor splendor. Don't miss your opportunity to learn more about the unique features of all Michigan's parks and forests.

Michigan main page

Harbor Island National Wildlife Refuge-Harbor Island National Wildlife Refuge is located just off the northwest shore of Drummond Island, in Potagannissing Bay, on Lake Huron. The horseshoe-shaped island contains a variety of habitats that include a marsh-lined harbor in the center, sandy beaches, and mature stands of balsam fir, white cedar, paper birch, sugar maple, and red oak. The undeveloped habitats of the island support a diverse population of wildlife. The island is open for public use with fishing and hunting the primary uses.The refuge is managed by staff at Seney National Wildlife Refuge, in Seney, Michigan.
Hiawatha National Forest-Located between three of the Great Lakes, within the central and eastern portion of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, lies the Hiawatha National Forest. Rolling hills forested with northern hardwoods, white pine and hemlock, flatland covered by red pine, jack pine and aspen, and large open and tree covered wetlands form the 879,000 acres of the Hiawatha National Forest.
Huron-Manistee National Forests- Located in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan, lies the Huron-Manistee National Forests. The forests contain approximately 964,413 acres, including 5,786 acres of wetlands. Huron-Manistee National Forests are actually two forests combined in 1945 for administration purposes.
Keweenaw Waterway- At the upper and lower entrances of the Keweenaw Waterway Project on the Portage River in the Keweenaw Peninsula, Houghton County, Michigan, are two harbors of refuge. This waterway entrance for Great Lakes shipping is used as a shortcut and refuge from storms on Lake Superior. Recreational areas managed by State and local agencies at the upper entrance include boating, swimming, and picnic facilities. The lower entrance, Portage Entry, has a restroom facility and a boat launch.
Ottawa National Forest- The almost one million acres of the Ottawa National Forest are located in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It extends from the south shore of Lake Superior down to Wisconsin and the Nicolet National Forest. The area is rich in wildlife viewing opportunies; topography in the northern portion is the most dramatic with breathtaking views of rolling hills dotted with lakes, rivers and spectacular waterfalls.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore- Multicolored sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, inland lakes, wildlife and the forest of the Lake Superior shoreline beckon visitors to explore this 73,000+ acre park. Attractions include a lighthouse and former Coast Guard life-saving stations along with old farmsteads and former logging trails. The park is a four season recreational destination where hiking, camping, hunting, nature study, and winter activities abound. At its widest point the Lakeshore is only five miles and hugs the Superior shoreline for more than 40 miles. This was the first National Lakeshore and was authorized in 1966
Seney National Wildlife Refuge-Seney National Wildlife Refuge protects 95,212 acres of diverse wetland and upland habitats that support a wide variety of wildlife. The refuge consists of marshes, fens, and bogs; coniferous and northern hardwood forests; upland barrens and meadows; and a 25,000-acre Wilderness Area. Approximately 65% of the refuge is wetland. The refuge supports an array of both wetland and upland wildlife species such as bald eagles, ospreys, loons, otters, beavers, black bears,white-tailed deer, and wolves. More than 6,400 acres of open water are managed in 21 major pools.
Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge - Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge is located in central lower Michigan, approximately 25 miles south of Saginaw Bay. It was established in 1953 to provide habitat for migratory waterfowl. Known locally as the "Shiawassee Flats," the refuge lies in the Saginaw Bay watershed, historically one of the largest and most productive wetland ecosystems in Michigan. Refuge habitat consists of riparian, floodplain/bottomland hardwood forests and emergent marshes, as well as moist soil management units and croplands. Four rivers converge on the refuge - the Tittabawassee, Flint, Cass, and Shiawassee.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore encompasses a 60 km (35 mi.) stretch of Lake Michigan's eastern coastline, as well as North and South Manitou Islands. The park was established primarily for its outstanding natural features, including forests, beaches, dune formations, and ancient glacial phenomena. The Lakeshore also contains many cultural features including a 1871 lighthouse, three former Life-Saving Service/Coast Guard Stations and an extensive rural historic farm district. Authorized: October 21, 1970. Acreage: 56,993 federal, 14,194 non-federal.

Everything that makes Michigan special is embodied in the 97 state parks and six state forests!
Recreational staples such as hiking, camping, fishing, hunting and picnicking are just the beginning of all the adventures available to park and forest visitors.
Boating, biking, sightseeing, wildlife watching, ice fishing, water skiing, horseback riding, off-roading in your vehicle, nature study, skating, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, sailboarding or just lounging around and relaxing with family and friends are all available. No matter where you go, there's a state park or forest that offers what you want to do.
In Michigan, state parks and state forests are dedicated to the visitor's enjoyment. Fill out a Customer Comment card at a state park or recreation area so the DNR knows how you feel about your most recent experience.
A Michigan state park motor vehicle permit, available at each park entrance gate, is required at all state parks.