The jack pine stands of Northern Michigan are the exclusive home to the rare Kirtland's warbler and more than 300 other species of birds that spend at least part of the year in Michigan. The region provides hundreds of thousands of acres of extraordinary natural areas for bird watching, hiking, walking, and picnicking. National and State Parks, Forests, and Nature Preserves offer pristine natural habitats for many species. Many areas will offer guided tours, educational materials, or guidance to help the novice bird watcher. From coastal wetlands to remote island forests, bird watching thrives in Northern Michigan.
Covering more than 3.8 million acres, the state’s northern forests support the largest organized recreational system in the United States. Today through great foresight and commitment, the state has created 100 majestic state parks and numerous state forest campgrounds.
A few that are particularly praise-worthy include the Hiawatha National Forest encompasses nearly 880,000 acres. Just off the Lake Huron coast of the Upper Peninsula is historic Mackinac Island State Park, recently honored by National Geographic as one of the ten finest in America. Pictured Rocks NationalLakeshore, located in Munising, is home to spectacular multicolored sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes and waterfalls along 40 miles of the Lake Superior shoreline. In the sturgeon capital of Michigan, Onaway State Park has 10,000 acres of abundant fishing.
Thanks to careful land-use management, you can still see and touch 90 species of trees native to Michigan. Most of the parks and forests are open year round, so the seasonal activities offer opportunities for every interest. For a complete list of Michigan parks and forests, click here.