Looking for a vacation destination that combines great fishing, beautiful scenery, and affordability? Many of Michigan’s state parks and forest campgrounds are located on or near high-quality trout waters.
Michigan boasts more than 130 state parks and state forest campgrounds that are within one mile of a trout lake or stream.
The Department of Natural Resources’ Forest Management Division and Fisheries Division have teamed up with the Michigan Chapter of Trout Unlimited to collate and catalog these opportunities. Maps of campground locations and corresponding fishing opportunities are available online at www.michigan.gov/dnrrecreationcamping.
Campgrounds near trout fishing are located throughout the state. In southern lower Michigan, state parks provide the camping experience. In the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula, there are camping opportunities in both state parks and state forest campgrounds. All offer a unique experience.
“State forest campgrounds provide an opportunity for anglers to enjoy great fishing in a rustic setting,” says Lynne Boyd, chief of the DNR Forest Management Division.
The state parks offer many fishing opportunities for everyone from the first-timer to experienced anglers, said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division. Trout fishing is available everywhere from Spring Mill Pond in Island Lake State Recreation Area to Tippy Dam on the Manistee River.
“The diversity of camping locations and the diversity of trout fishing experiences available are numerous, and would likely take any one person years to experience,” said Jim Dexter, acting chief of the DNR Fisheries Division.
The Recreation Passport has replaced motor vehicle permits for entry into Michigan state parks, recreation areas and state-administered boating access fee sites. This new method of funding Michigan’s outdoor recreation opportunities also helps to preserve state forest campgrounds, trails and historic and cultural sites in state parks, and park development grants to local communities.
Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking “YES” on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area. To learn more about the Recreation Passport, visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport or call (517) 241-7275.
Non-resident motor vehicles must still display a valid non-resident Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) to enter a state park, recreation area or state-administered boating access fee site. Recreation Passports can be purchased at any state park or recreation area, or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.
Contacts: Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014 or Jolene Priest 517-335-8155