Iron Belle hiking trail

Michigan State Parks Celebrate 100 Years of Memories, Recreation

If you live in Michigan, you’re never more than 30 minutes away from a state park, state forest campground or state trail system.

Our fair state boasts more than 300,000 acres of state park land, featuring 103 state parks, 138 campgrounds and more than 1,000 miles of trails.

Historical image of Babe Ruth fishing at Island Lake State Park.

Babe Ruth fishing at Island Lake State Park.

This impressive collection of natural spaces gives Michiganders and visitors opportunities for recreation, relaxation and wonderment. And it all started 100 years ago when the Michigan Legislature established the Michigan State Park Commission on May 12, 1919, paving the way for the state parks system that exists today.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is celebrating 100 years of state parks throughout 2019. Fall is a great time of year to visit and enjoy state parks and trails. Here are a few ways to get involved:

  • Centennial Geotour: If you’re an experienced geocacher or if you’re looking for a fun, active hobby to pick up, this interactive experience is for you. Find and log all 100 caches and you’ll receive a digital souvenir from Learn more about how to participate here.
  • Share your favorite memories:  Upload pictures and stories to an interactive map showcasing the magic of 100 years of Michigan state parks.
  • Find harvests and haunts: More than 30 state parks will host fall harvest festivals featuring hay rides, pumpkin carving, nature programs and more. Find an event near you here.

Join the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for a Twitter chat celebrating the DNR’s 100 Years of Michigan Parks on Thursday, Sept. 26 from 11 a.m. to noon. Use #MiStateParks100 and follow @MichiganDNR, @HealthierMI and @MiStateParks for a fun chat about how special Michigan state parks are during the fall and winter seasons. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has been proud to partner with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and mParks (Michigan Recreation & Park Association) on MI Big Green Gym, an initiative encouraging Michiganders to take advantage of the abundant recreational opportunities that await them in some of the country’s best parks, trails and other outdoor recreation facilities.  

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Photos courtesy of Michigan Department of Natural Resources

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