Around the State

State park camping, lodging filling up for holiday weekend

LANSING, MI – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources today reported an increase over 2014 in all occupancy projected at state parks for the July 4 holiday weekend.State Forrest

“There are some campsites remaining, but the word is out. Michigan’s state parks are a great place to enjoy the holiday weekend,” said Ron Olson, DNR Parks and Recreation Division chief.

State parks offer a variety of lodging options including campsites, rustic cabins, yurts, teepees and modern lodges. Weekend occupancy for all types of lodging was projected at 92.7 percent for the holiday weekend as of June 30, compared to 88.6 percent at the same time in 2014.

Camp nights remain available at several state parks in all regions of the state, while others have already filled up. Visit or call 1-800-44PARKS (1-800-447-2757) to check availability and make a reservation.

“This year seems to be an extremely good year for camping,” said Jeremy Spell, unit manager at Aloha State Park on Mullett Lake in Cheboygan County. “We typically don’t book to capacity this fast for the holiday weekend.”

In all, Michigan has 102 state parks.

At Van Riper State Park in Marquette County, staff said lodging typically fills up on July 4 each year. The park, with its popular swimming beach on Lake Michigamme, is a favorite of campers over most holiday weekends.

“Visitation has been up this year 4 percent,” said Doug Barry, unit supervisor at Van Riper State Park. “So, we’re expecting a good year, which is surprising given the weather. The start of this year has been cool and wet.”

In addition to state parks, the DNR offers camping at state forest campgrounds. These sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

In Michigan, you’re never more than a half-hour away from a state park, state forest campground or state trail system.

To find details on state parks and state forest campgrounds, visit

A Recreation Passport grants vehicle access to any Michigan state park, boat launch, state forest campground or nonmotorized state trailhead parking. Residents can purchase the Passport for just $11 ($5 for motorcycles) at the time of Michigan license plate renewal through Secretary of State. Forgot to check “YES” during renewal? Residents and nonresidents can purchase a Recreation Passport window sticker during regular business hours at state parks. Learn more about how the Recreation Passport supports state parks, local outdoor recreation opportunities, historic and cultural sites at

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