Michigan's Best State and National Parks Surrounding Liv Communities
No doubt about it — some of the most gorgeous national and state parks in America are located right here in Michigan, especially near Traverse City and Ludington. These parks boast incredible wildlife, rich history, and mesmerizing lakes. But which ones should you visit first? To make things easier for you, Liv MultiFamily has created a list of five must-see state and national parks in Michigan.
The Best State and National Parks in Michigan
Michigan is not only known for The Great Lakes but also for its beautiful forests, sandy beaches, and historical attractions. Each state and national park on this list has something to offer everyone, from distinct vistas to unique activities.
Isle Royale National Park is one of the United States least-visited parks, with roughly 25,000 visitors in 2021. With so few visitors compared to Yellow Stone's 4 million, you may wonder why Isle Royale National Park makes this list. But while it's a trek to get to the archipelago (it takes hours by ferry), it's renowned for its remarkable wildlife. Wolves and moose roam free in the isolated region, surrounded by a stunning landscape. There are lots to do here too, between hiking, paddling, camping, or going on a boat tour of the region. Keep in mind that the terrain is more rugged here than it is in other national parks. As a result, it's a fantastic location for more seasoned trekkers, but families may enjoy a fun junior ranger program instead.
What Makes It Unique:
Peacefulness: Because cars are not allowed, Isle Royale National Park is much quieter than most other parks in the United States. This makes it feel more isolated and mysterious.
Predator-Prey Studies: Isle Royale National Park was studied by predator-prey researchers since the 1950s, and it is fascinating to note that they have been conducting research on the island since then. Researchers and visitors alike are intrigued by the link between moose and wolves on the islands, as well as how their interaction affects the local environment.
2. Keweenaw National Historical Park
Do you want to visit 7,000 years into the past? Fortunately, you can accomplish this at Keweenaw National Historical Park. This national park is noteworthy for its history of copper mining and is one of the most historic sites in Michigan. The first people who lived here mined copper and produced a wide range of tools from it. The area still has a huge lava flow that gives 97% pure native copper. At the visitor center, you can find out all about the region's fascinating history through video presentations and displays. In addition to learning about the past, you can also go hiking on one of the many trails or take an underground mine tour. There are also countless museums and heritage sites to visit.
What Makes It Unique:
A Virtual World: The Keweenaw NHP Minecraft Project is an exciting opportunity for lovers of Minecraft to virtually build Keweenaw National Historical Park together from all over the world and recreate its history.
Geocaching: If you're the type that likes a mix of both virtual and physical worlds, then geocaching is perfect for you! Hunt through the park to find different geocaches hidden in various locations.
3. River Raisin National Battlefield Park
You won't want to pass up River Raisin National Battlefield Park if you're a history buff. The park remembers the engagements that took place here in January of 1813 when it was a pivotal position during the War of 1812. Every year, people come to visit the site to commemorate the soldiers who died here and learn more about the conflicts and their aftermath in the region. The visitor center is packed with fascinating relics, orientation maps, and engaging exhibits. You may go on a journey of self-discovery while learning more about your war history at this park's beautiful walking and cycling paths along the River Raisin Heritage Trail after you've filled up your war information.
What Makes It Unique:
Historical Re-Enactments: The park offers Living History events for those who want to get an idea of what battles were like here two hundred years ago. Local historians and battle enthusiasts shoot muskets and cannons, as well as re-enact battle drills.
Flag Waving: If you're looking for a heart-wrenching but an ultimately gratifying event, look no further than the Field of Remembrance Memorial Flag display in the park. Once annually, over 500 flags are flown to honor soldiers who died in battle.
4. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
The beaches at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore are a sight to behold. There's plenty of activity to keep everyone occupied, from surfing to kayaking, as well as a host of natural attractions. The Dune Climb is the most popular destination for many visitors. If you want to do the full dune trek to Lake Michigan in one day, it will take you three to four hours. However, if you only wish to sample the experience, climb up the dunes as high as you wish and run back down using gravity's assistance. If you're unsure how much time you'll have, The National Service has activity ideas for you to pick from, demonstrating how much there is to do in the park.
What Makes It unique:
Bark Ranger Program: Have a dog? The Bark Ranger Program at the lakeshore is perfect for dog lovers. You and your furry friend will get to volunteer your time by patrolling the park's beaches and making sure visitors are following pet rules. This is a fun way to enjoy the beach while also giving back to your community.
Scenic Drives: The Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive is one of the most beautiful scenic drives in the country. The entire drive takes around two hours, but you may take in forests, beaches, and several picnic spots along the way.
5. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Lastly, we have the National Parks Service's Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The cliffs here get their colors from iron, copper, manganese, and limonite mineral deposits which paint a picturesque background. To get the full scope of these remarkable rock formations and waterfalls within the park; go on a kayak adventure around it! Of course, the cliffs alone aren't enough to make this lakeshore so popular. There are also beaches, woods, and those famous dunes to enjoy. Explore the area on foot, by bicycle, in the water, or on a boat and fall in love with the sights.
What Makes It Unique:
Maritime Sites: Among the maritime sites at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, you'll find the Au Sable Light Station, Munising U.S. Coast Guard Station, and Munising Rear Range Light—to name just a few. Here, you can get all the information you need on the U.S. Lighthouse Services and The United States Coast Guard.
Winter Activities: This lakeshore is one of the few national sites in the U.S. that remain open during wintertime. Why not take advantage of snowshoeing, ice climbing, or snowmobiling? If you'd prefer a less-intense winter activity, simply park and view the area's stunning ice curtains from your car.
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Here are the greatest national and state parks in Michigan. Aside from these fascinating locations, Michigan is also a fantastic place to live as a family or single resident. Liv MultiFamily provides charming apartments that embrace community, inclusivity, and sheer comfort. Take a look at some of the reasons why Liv MultiFamily should be on your radar in Michigan now.