You can always count on a state park to provide a natural setting for just about any type of outdoor activity. In the Traverse City area there are four options for visitors who want to wander the parks’ grounds, pitch a tent or set up a camper, or stop for a mid-day picnic.
On the east side of the city, The Traverse City State Park is the most popular. There is a campground, public beach and exciting playground for little kids. North of town, at the tip of the peninsula sits the Leelanau State Park. Lighthouse lovers flock to this destination for the perfect photo of the Grand Traverse Lighthouse and views of Lake Michigan. There are also several miles of hiking trails to explore. And for additional lighthouse views, there’s the Old Mission State Park at the tip of the Old Mission Peninsula. Take the stairs to the top of the lighthouse and get a bird’s-eye view of the bay. Hiking trails, waterfront and an interpretive historic log cabin are also onsite.
South of Traverse City is the Interlochen State Park, it’s a prime location for easy camping and fishing on the nearby lakes. It’s also close to Interlochen Center for the Arts, a well-known venue for concerts and performance arts.