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Michigan State Parks

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USA Parks
Northwest Region
Wilderness State Park
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Wilderness State Park © Julie Christiansen
Wilderness State Park © Julie Christiansen
Wilderness State Park © Julie Christiansen
Wilderness State Park Ski Trail © Doug Smith
One of the many beautiful trails in the woods perfect for skiing.
Wilderness State Park © Julie Christiansen
Wilderness State Park © Doug Smith
Wilderness State Park © Doug Holland
Wilderness State Park © Julie Christiansen
Wilderness State Park Candle light cabin © Doug Smith
Peaceful times at Waugoshance
Wilderness State Park Camp Buddies © Doug Smith
The ski buddies sitting around the table at the primitive Waugoshance Cabin
Wilderness State Park © Julie Christiansen
Wilderness State Park On the Lake1 © Doug Smith
The Guys taking a break on a bright winters day skiing and snow shoeing.
Wilderness State Park Lake Michigan Shoreline © Doug Smith
Drifting snow on Lake Michigan
Wilderness State Park Cabin from the Frozen Lake © Doug Smith
Wilderness State Park Ghost of Waugoshance © Doug Smith
A Ghostly Visitor
Wilderness State Park Brother Den on the Ice © Doug Smith
My brother den taking in the sites of Lake Michigan near Waugoshance Point.
Wilderness State Park © Julie Christiansen
Wilderness State Park Winters Trees © Doug Smith
The beauty of the Pines
Availability Search
903 Wilderness Park Drive
Carp Lake, Michigan   49718

Phone: 231-436-5381
Reservations: 800-447-2757
Wilderness State Park offers visitors a variety of year-round recreational activities within its 8,000 acres. Wilderness areas and a beautiful shoreline provide great places to observe naure from the nurmerous trails throughout the park. The park's 250 modern campsites are divided into two units, the Lakeshore and the Pines. Six rustic cabins and three rustic bunkhouses are additional options for accommodations withint the park.

The terrain is a mixture of dense coniferous forest to mature hardwood forest, with some pockets of open, wet, meadows mixed in. There are an abundance of small ponds mixed in with coniferous wetlands. It is easy to get lost and everyone going into the forest is advised to carry a map and compass.
The Recreation Passport is required for vehicle entry into state parks and recreation areas, state boat launches, state forest campgrounds and state trail parking lots. Details and information on how to obtain your Michigan Recreation Passport can be found by visiting the MICHIGAN RECREATION PASSPORT web page.
1. Wilderness State Park offers a variety of swimming options across its 26 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline.
2. The park's main beach area is located near the campground, providing easy access for campers and day visitors alike.
3. There are no lifeguards on duty at any beaches within the park; swimmers should exercise caution when in water.
4. Swimming conditions can vary greatly depending upon weather patterns and lake currents, so always check before entering water.
5. For those preferring seclusion, there are numerous smaller beaches scattered along the coastline offering privacy from larger crowds.

6. The clear waters make it ideal for snorkeling or free diving but be aware that equipment isn't provided by the park.

7. Water shoes may be beneficial as some areas have rocky bottoms while others feature soft sand underfoot.

8. Pets aren't allowed to swim at designated human bathing spots but they're permitted elsewhere if kept on leash.

9. Swimming after sunset is not recommended due to lack of visibility and potential safety risks involved with night-time swimming activities.
The park offers a variety of boating options for visitors. There is a boat launch available, providing easy access to the water for those with their own vessels. Canoeing and kayaking are popular activities in this area due to its calm waters and beautiful surroundings. Fishing boats can also be seen frequently as fishing is quite common here, especially trout fishing which attracts many enthusiasts each year.
This park boasts excellent deer and snowshoe hare hunting, while hunting opportunities exist for grouse, duck, goose, and squirrel as well. Bear hunting is available with the appropriate license. There are a few bobcats. The park is also open to trapping. There is an abundant population of beaver, which receive moderate trapping pressure. Coyote numbers are also high, but they receive little hunting or trapping attention. The park also supports mink, muskrat, and otter.

1. Wilderness State Park offers numerous picnic areas with tables and grills.
2. Picnic shelters are available for larger groups or events.
3. Enjoy a beachside picnic at one of the park's many lakeshore spots.
4. Some sites offer stunning views over Lake Michigan, perfect for sunset picnics.
5. Pack your own food as there aren't any restaurants within the park boundaries.

More than 16 miles stretch across the East Boundary, South Boundary, Nebo, Sturgeon Bay, Swamp Line and Big Stone trails. These trails are shared with all bicycles, including mountain bikes. The North Country Trail includes 10 miles within the state park, including the Red Pine Trail. This national scenic trail hiking route from North Dakota to New York includes more than 1,500 miles in Michigan.

Trails in the park:

Wilderness-Big Stone - 0.75 (Miles), Hiking, Mountain Biking, Cross Country Ski

Wilderness-East Boundary - 2 mi, Hiking, Mountain Biking, Cross Country Ski

Wilderness-East Ridge - 1 (Miles), Hiking, Mountain Biking, Cross Country Ski

Wilderness-Hemlock - 0.75 (Miles), Hiking, Cross Country Ski

Wilderness-Nebo - 2 (Miles), Hiking, Mountain Biking, Cross Country Ski

Wilderness-North Country - 5.5 mi, Hiking, Mountain Biking, Cross Country Ski

Wilderness-Park Road - 3.5 (Miles), Hiking, Mountain Biking, Cross Country Ski

Wilderness-Pondside - 0.25 (Miles), Hiking, Cross Country Ski

Wilderness-Red Pine - 1.25 (Miles), Hiking, Cross Country Ski

Wilderness-South Boundary - 1.5 mi, Hiking, Mountain Biking, Cross Country Ski

Wilderness-Sturgeon Bay - 2.25 mi, Hiking, Mountain Biking, Cross Country Ski

Wilderness-Swamp Line - 2 (Miles), Hiking, Mountain Biking, Cross Country Ski
Explore the park's 26 miles of biking trails, but be prepared for a challenging ride due to uneven terrain.

The Nebo Trail offers an intermediate level route with beautiful forest views.

For advanced riders, there is Sturgeon Bay trail which has sandy and rocky sections that require skillful navigation.

Biking on campgrounds or picnic areas isn't allowed; stick to designated paths only.

Remember: safety first! Always wear helmets and use lights if riding after dark.

Check weather conditions before setting out as some trails can become slippery when wet.

Be aware that certain parts are shared by hikers so always maintain proper etiquette while cycling.

Lastly, respect wildlife habitats - do not venture off marked routes into sensitive ecological zones.
The park offers a variety of birding opportunities with over 260 species recorded. It's home to rare Kirtland's warblers and piping plovers. Birdwatchers can explore diverse habitats including forests, wetlands, dunes, and beaches. The Nebo Trail is particularly popular for spotting birds like the red-eyed vireo or black-throated green warbler.
Area Attractions
Metal Detecting Areas:

Metal detecting is recognized as a legitimate recreation activity when it is conducted in ways that do not damage the natural and cultural resources in Michigan State Parks nor violate applicable state statues. Any items found must be reviewed by park staff and may be retained for further investigation.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
August 19 Very full Still awesome by Bwoz
park review stars; one to five We are on our way home from Wilderness State Park as I type. We loved every minute of our 4 days there Every part of the place was full and you still felt alone. Beautiful park WE WILL BE BACK
October 7 Potholes by Disappointed
park review stars; one to five The campground loop we stayed in had deep potholes every few feet and the sites were small even for my 23 Ft. camper.
March 2 so pristine and beautiful
park review stars; one to five Had lots of fun camping with an Aunt and Cousin from CA last summer 2012 in June! The weather was PERFECT! So close to all the local things to do and see!
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Area Campgrounds
Mackinaw City, Mackinaw Island KOA
566 Trailsend Road
Mackinaw City, MI
Mackinaw Mill Creek Camping
9730 US 23
Mackinaw City, MI
Lakeshore Park
W 1234 Point LaBarbe Road
St. Ignace, MI
Nearby Hotels

11 miles W. of Mackinaw City on Wilderness Park Drive.

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Michigan State Parks