This 303-acre park on Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay is just minutes from downtown Petoskey and Harbor Springs. Dive in to discover trails, campsites and beaches at Petoskey State Park, one of Northern Michigan’s hidden gems.

This article was featured in the 2021 Traverse Magazine Vacation Guide. Download your free digital issue today to experience the full guide for yourself.

A visit to Petoskey State Park, with its mile of shoreline dappled with wildly beautiful dunes and bordered by crystalline bay water, is a must for beach and nature lovers. Although situated between Petoskey and Harbor Springs, the park’s dune-backed beaches on Little Traverse Bay feel miles from anywhere.

Pick your own quiet spot in the sun or stroll the shoreline looking for Petoskey stones (fossilized coral etched with a honeycomb design that this region is famous for). Take an easy stroll on the forested hiking trails—Portage Trail is two miles round-trip and Old Baldy is just a half-mile round trip. Once you’ve made it to Old Baldy, climb the stairs to take in the view of the bay.

Beyond dunes, forest and water, find sand volleyball courts and 180 modern campsites—tailor-made for Lake Michigan sunsets and s’mores.

Campgrounds at Petoskey State Park

Ready to take your Petoskey State Park trip to the next level? Consider staying at one of the meticulously maintained and family-friendly campsites around the area. Explore four of the campsites at Petoskey State Park below or visit the DNR website for more information.

Petoskey State Park Dunes Modern Campground
Dunes Modern Campground Website | 800.447.2757 | $33 per night
Family-friendly campground featuring small sites for tents, vans or compact campers. Lots are mostly shaded and the surrounding trail provides beautiful Lake Michigan views. There is a free trolly that runs between the state park and downtown Petoskey, check for the schedule on-site.

Petoskey State Park Group Use Area
Group Use Area Website | 231.347.2311 | Contact the park for pricing
Rustic campsites for groups of up to 24 people. Each site accommodates six campers and comes with a picnic table, fire pit and access to a pavilion where a charcoal grill and hand pump for water is housed.

Mini Cabins at Petoskey State Park
Mini Cabins Website | 800.447.2757 | $52 a night
Located in Tannery Creek Campground, these two mini cabins, Trillium and Orchid, sleep four people. You must bring your own linens, but it comes with electricity, a picnic table, fire-pit, grill, mini-refrigerator and an electric wall heater. Additionally, it is located in the Tannery Creek Campground (more information below).

Petoskey State Park Tannery Creek Modern Campground
Tannery Creek Website | 800.447.2757 | Up to $37 a night
Just steps away from Little Traverse Bay, this modern campground features gorgeous views and up to 50-amp service. Each site has a paved pad and comes with full amenities.

Explore the Trails at Petoskey State Park

There are three trails on-site at Petsokey State Park. Consider heading out for a hike before spending the rest of your day relaxing on the beach and retreating to your campsite in the evening.

Campground Trail at Petoskey State Park
Campground Trail Website | 0.5-Mile Trail 
This decently flat, short trail takes you between two campgrounds where you can view both Lake Michigan and the surrounding sand dunes.

Petoskey State Park Old Baldy Trail
Old Baldy Trail Website | 0.5-Mile Trail
This half-mile loop takes you through a wooded dune area and is most popular for its scenic views of Lake Michigan. 

Portage Trail at Petoskey State Park
Portage Trail Website | 1-Mile Trail
View sand dunes and Little Traverse Bay from this 1-mile wooded trail. The terrain is easy and perfect for all family members. 


Find this article and more in the 2021 issue of the Traverse Magazine Vacation Guide. If you’re not subscribed to Traverse Magazine, you can download the Vacation Guide for free.

Photo(s) by Tess Crowley