As the Michigan State Park Commission celebrates its centennial in 2019, we pay homage to the memories made—and those yet to come. These stories and photos were shared on the DNR’s Centennial Memory Map. Post your own.

A park officer at Keith J. Charters Traverse City State Park shows off a visitor citation.

The lumber wagon on Hartwick Pines State Park. Photo courtesy of @Pullmandave.

Love Those State Park Vibes

learn to fish • find the Big Dipper • build a fire • skip stones • see the Northern Lights • get engaged • make friends • watch freighters • bike ride • roast hot dogs • play cornhole • grill burgers • dip toes in the lake • read in a hammock • snuggle with grandparents • see waterfalls • canoe • spot fireflies • find the perfect marshmallow stick • watch thunderstorms • eat s’mores • walk through a pitch-black campground • sleep outside • watch fireworks • wear sweatshirts over swimsuits • win euchre games • play flashlight tag • hear frogs croaking • raccoons clanging • skunks skulking • catch the Tigers game on the radio • order double-scoop cones • listen for loons • go two-tracking • slap mosquitoes • sing campfire songs • what’s next?

Lodge, tent, cabin, teepee—visitors have their choice of lodging at Cheboygan State Park.

“Our visit to Fayette was just a spontaneous detour—a way to drag our feet before heading back south across the Mighty Mac. However, the stunning vistas of Lake Michigan and Big Bay de Noc became one of the highlights of our U.P. trip. And better yet, we practically had the place to ourselves. It was truly a hidden gem!” —A happy road-tripper at Fayette Historic State Park

“We hauled all the camp gear in our boat and pulled it with a big old station wagon. Ludington State Park (pictured) was a favorite.” -Dave Snodgrass // They don’t call Ludington State Park the Queen of Michigan’s state parks for nothing. These are all the reasons you should visit. 

“Gram and Papa loved to travel. Often, they took my sister, Fawn, and I along on their adventures. We visited a lot of state parks like Silver Lake, Palms Book, Tahquamenon Falls and more. Here we are at the falls circa 1985(ish).” —A happy granddaughter at Tahquamenon Falls State Park

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park—at 60,000 acres—is Michigan’s largest state park, and a place to immerse in true wilderness: old-growth forest, epic waterfalls, rivers and streams and more than 90 miles of trails.

“Our little guy has always been a homebody and he never wants to go ANYWHERE. But get him out on the trails, or near a waterfall with rocks to climb around on, and he’s an explorer through and through!” –Amanda Pitts

This winter, try yurt camping in the Porkies. 

“This is my favorite memory for our family. We camped in the Porkies for five days with three families in the summer of 2018. This photo is the first big hike all nine kids could do themselves (no carrying included). The highlight was having lunch at this beautiful waterfall. The kids even took a dip in the cold water. If you want to check it out, the hike starts at Government Peak Trail.” — Ami Van Antwerp

Big Sable Point Lighthouse at Ludington State Park. Walk up the spiral staircase—all 130 steps— to soak up an unrivaled view of the shore and dunes.

Even from 400 feet in the air you can see the bottom of the big spring, Kitch-iti-kipi, at Palms Book State Park.

ShopPeninsulas.com is the official Michigan State Parks Merchandise provider for the Lower Peninsula. In addition to the park permit stickers, they also have a poster featuring every sticker ever products. Visit their site—you’ll fall in love. 

Donate to Michigan State Parks, share your family’ stories on a special memory map and find a full list of Centennial events at Michigan.gov/DNR.

Photo(s) by Tyler Leipprandt, Michigan Sky Media

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