Want to enjoy the last days of winter? Here are our remaining list of parks around Lake Huron where you can spend a last hurrah for this season before spring greets us all:
Located on the shores of Saginaw Bay, Bay City State Park is home to Tobico Marsh, one of the largest remaining coastal freshwater wetlands on the Great Lakes. The park measures 2,389 acres and features a mile of sandy beach and hectares of wetland trees, meadows, oak savannah prairies, and cattail marshes. A well-known haven for wetland wildlife and migratory birds, the park has boardwalks, viewing platforms, and three observation towers to help visitors get up close with wildlife. The Saginaw Bay Visitor Center is also located here.
Bay City State Park is also host to a variety of family-friendly activities during winter. Michigan’s annual Winter Free Fishing Weekend, in particular, is held here usually in the middle of February during the Winter Festival. Everyone, residents and visitors alike, can fish in the park’s waters without a license. The family ice fishing derby is the highlight of the event, where prizes are awarded for the best catch. Other exciting activities are ice fishing clinics, wildlife watching programs, and snowshoe hikes, which are free of charge.
Bay City State Park
3582 State Park Dr., Bay City, MI 48706
(989) 686-3020; (800) 447-2757
Midland City Forest Park is a 520-acre property which is owned and operated by the City of Midland Parks and Recreation Department. Open all-year round, the park is renowned as a premier destination during winter. Midland City Forest Park features Michigan’s only hand-packed toboggan runs and maintains 7.5 miles of groomed trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. In front of the park’s chalet, a large rink is open for ice skaters of all levels. There are also 13 miles of biking trails that are open year-round. Visitors can bring their own sleds, skates, and skis, though rental ski packages are also available. Entrance to the park is free of charge.
Midland City Forest Park
2840 E. Monroe Rd., Midland, MI 48640
Hoyt Park is a historic site in Saginaw City that has been a popular venue for sporting events. Located near Saginaw Children’s Zoo and the Japanese Cultural Center, the park features six softball fields and stretches of greenery. Hoyt Park used to offer only sledding and snowboarding hills during the winter season, until an outdoor ice skating rink was completed in 2013. The Friends of Hoyt Park runs the site and is one of the organizers of Bringing Back the Ice, an annual skating event to help generate funds for the park. Skate rentals can be availed at the warming house.
S Washington Ave., Saginaw, MI 48601
Lakeport State Park is a public recreation area in St. Clair County, along the shores of the majestic Lake Huron. The park has two distinct units separated by the village of Lakeport; two campgrounds, a beachfront, and a camp store are on the north side, while a picnic area and another beachfront are on the south side. A total of 250 sites are divided between the two campgrounds, each equipped with electricity, picnic table, fire circle, and modern toilet/shower buildings, along with several pull-through sites and camp pads for the convenience of leveling campers. For ice fishing enthusiasts, campers can head to Lexington, which is only 10 miles north of the park. Hikers, on the other hand, can drive to the Port Huron State Game Area, is only 15 minutes away from the park.
Lakeport State Park
7605 Lakeshore Rd., Lakeport, MI 48059
Hoeft State Park is a 300-acre public recreation area in Presque Isle County. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009, this heavily wooded park boasts of a mile of Lake Huron shoreline and is one of the first 14 Michigan State Parks. A paved non-motorized trail connects the park to Huron Sunrise Trail, an all-asphalt trail and one of the state’s most beautiful. The park’s campground consists of 143 campsites, a mini-cabin, and a Sears Roebuck Lodge. Its 4 ½ miles of hiking trails are groomed for skiing during the winter season.
Hoeft State Park
5001 US-23 North, Rogers City, MI 49779
(989) 734-2543; (800) 447-2757