The idyllic town of Renowned as Michigan’s Little Bavaria, Frankenmuth is a quaint town rich in natural beauty, untouched greenery, and a variety of recreational activities.
While the town itself is worth exploring, it also offers easy access to a number of state parks for a quick getaway.
From the picturesque Belle Isle Park to the old-growth forest-rich Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, here are the 5 best state parks located near Frankenmuth, MI, that you absolutely cannot miss!
Map of State Parks Near Frankenmuth, MI
Here is a map of the state parks in Michigan covered by this post:
List of State Parks Near Frankenmuth
This collection of parks is a great starting point for those looking to experience Michigan’s beauty. And the best part is that they are all within easy striking distance from Frankenmuth.
1. Belle Isle Park
Location: 99 Pleasure Dr, Detroit, MI 48207
This 982-acre island state park located on the Detroit River is steeped in history and rich in natural beauty, with over a third of the island consisting of protected woodlands and lakes.
It offers plenty of activities including biking, cross-country skiing, geocaching, hiking, and snowshoeing. Visitors can also bring their own boats or hire jet skis, canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards from the park. If you have a fishing license, you can also fish from the fishing pier.
The park provides visitors with an impressive range of both recreational and educational opportunities — from visiting the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, featuring an impressive collection of exotic plants, to viewing 118 fish species at the Belle Isle Aquarium, to visiting the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, built on the last commercial ship on the Great Lakes, and golfing at the 9-acre golf course.
There’s also a playground and a picnic area, along with off-road electric track chairs to assist those with mobility issues. These track chairs are free and available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
2. Grand Haven State Park
Location: 1001 S Harbor Dr, Grand Haven, MI 49417
Grand Haven State Park is a small park, encompassing only 48 acres, but the breathtaking views it offers of the Grand Haven Pier and two lighthouses are unparalleled.
The park also offers access to various recreational activities, amenities, and more. The park provides fishing options and is popular with anglers. There are even metal detecting activities available throughout the park.
There is also a designated swim area with an ADA-accessible walkway to the water’s edge where visitors can relax and unwind. Beach chairs and electronic track chairs are also available, ensuring more convenience to explore the park for individuals with mobility issues.
Visitors can park their RVs in modern campgrounds — some of which have 50 amp service — and stay at the overnight rental lodge for a relaxing weekend in the midst of nature. A beach house with modern facilities, a picnic area, an ADA-accessible playground, a sanitation station, access to potable water, and other amenities are available here.
3. Keith J. Charters Traverse City State Park
Location: 1132 US-31, Traverse City, MI 49686
This 75-acre state park is located on the east arm of Grand Traverse Bay. The Keith J. Charters Traverse City State Park has a quarter-mile sandy beach as well as paved bike trails ranging from the 10.5-mile Tart Trail, running parallel to the park to the 17-mile Leelanau Trail that runs between Traverse City and Suttons Bay.
The park also offers year-round fishing at Mitchell Creek’s mouth, paddlesports, and metal-detection activities. There’s a picnic spot at the park’s day-use area as well as a designated swimming area where guests can enjoy a refreshing swim.
The park has a beach house with restrooms and a changing area. You can access their modern campground with plenty of parking, cabins, and a fully equipped lodge as well as a day-use area. There are also ADA-accessible modern restrooms, a playground, and water access, as well as a sanitation station with potable water to make your weekend getaway comfortable.
Pets are allowed in designated walk areas as long as they are on a leash no shorter than 6 feet.
4. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
Location: 33303 Headquarters Rd, Ontonagon, MI 49953
The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, spread across 60,000 acres, is Michigan’s largest state park.
It boasts 35,000 acres of old-growth forests, 90 miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, miles upon miles of rivers and streams, and an 18-hole disc golf course, all offering plenty of natural attractions.
Visitors can take in spectacular views of the Lake of the Clouds (from a viewing area) and the Presque Isle River Corridor.
The park also has 42 km of groomed cross-country ski trails and rents bikes, canoes, kayaks, and boats. Nearly 200 acres of land is reserved for downhill skiing, an accessible fishing pier, hunting opportunities, and metal detector activities on the property. During winter, visitors can enjoy activities such as snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and winter camping.
The park also has a modern as well as rustic campgrounds, cabins and lodges, access to WiFi, a gift shop, boat launch areas, modern restrooms, picnic areas and a picnic shelter, an ADA-accessible playground, sanitation station, vault toilet, and water access to make your backcountry camping experience a delight.
5. Warren Dunes State Park
Location: 12032 Red Arrow Hwy, Sawyer, MI 49125
The Warren Dunes State Park spans over 2,000 acres and features the Lake Michigan coastline, rugged dune formations (the state’s second-highest) that provide breathtaking views, and 6 miles of hiking trails.
The park is home to a lot of bird diversity and is a popular spot for birdwatchers. It also offers boat, paddleboard, kayak, and canoe rentals for a great boating experience, and allows hunting and metal detecting. Visitors can also enjoy cross-country skiing and paddlesports.
Pets are allowed on the beach, which has 2.5 miles of shoreline, as long as they are supervised and on a 6-foot leash. There’s a designated swimming area with three ADA-accessible walkways leading from the day-use sidewalk to the lake, as well as two beach wheelchairs that you can borrow.
The park also offers two campgrounds, cabins and lodges, a group-use area, ADA-accessible modern restrooms, and a picnic shelter with amenities such as a sanitation station and water access.
These Michigan state parks allow you access to abundant natural resources and activities, as well as outstanding amenities and facilities.
If you plan on visiting multiple state parks, we recommend purchasing an annual Recreation passport, which grants you entry to all Michigan state parks and recreation locations. It’s the perfect way to relax and rejuvenate amidst nature!