What to do in Craig Lake State Park

Craig Lake State Park and thousands of surrounding acres were originally purchased by Fred Miller of the Miller Brewing family in the early 1950s. He named the lakes after his two sons (Craig and Teddy) and daughter (Claire). Miller built two cabins, a three-bedroom lodge, and a six-bunk cabin for his caretaker Thomas. Miller and one of his sons died in a plane crash in 1954 and the property was sold to a logging company in Marquette. The State of Michigan acquired the land in 1966.

This wilderness park contains six full lakes and numerous small ponds along with a variety of wildlife such as deer, black bear, beaver, loons, and a portion of the Upper Peninsula moose herd. Craig Lake is 374 acres and features six islands and high granite bluffs along its northern shoreline.

Craig Lake is a wilderness area and access into the park is somewhat of an adventure. Vehicles with high ground clearance are recommended due to the rocky conditions of the road.

The park is totally undeveloped except for its trail network and two cabins. Craig Lake State Park offers some of the most rugged trails in Michigan. There is an eight-mile trail that loops around Craig Lake and offers some great opportunities to view wildlife, fauna, and the lakeshore. Most of the trails are wide tracks as they were former logging roads.

The two Miller cabins are excellent for small and large group getaways. The Miller cabins are located in the middle of the woods, about a two-mile hike from the parking area. The cabins have no electricity, a hand pump for water, and a pit toilet. There is also a grill for cooking and a fire ring. The park provides firewood for heat. The smaller cabin will sleep six and the larger cabin sleeps 14. The cabins are open to the public, weather permitting, from May 15th to October 15th.

Snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing are all popular activities in the park. Craig Lake usually has nine months of snow conditions and is never at a loss for winter activities.

Camping at Craig Lake is for backpackers only. There is a self-registration drop pipe at the entrance to the trail system. There are no designated campsites, but camping is allowed throughout the park, with exception to the immediate cabin area.

The park permits hunting for all species following regular State Regulations between September 15 and March 31. The terrain is mixed hardwoods and swamp offering ideal habitat for deer, bear squirrel, rabbit and grouse. The park is also open to trapping providing excellent muskrat, beaver and mink populations.

Recreation
Located in the heart of moose country, Craig Lake State Park is ideal for backcountry camping, canoeing, fishing, hunting, hiking, wildlife viewing and winter sports.

Location
Located in the Upper Peninsula, take US-41 / M-28 six miles west of Champion, Michigan and turn north onto Keewaydin Lake Road. Go 12 miles, taking the left fork after five miles. (There is an unmarked network of logging roads that leads to the parking areas of Keewaydin, Craig, and Teddy Lakes.)

Climate
The Upper Peninsula normally experiences mild summers with average temperatures near 70 degrees F (21 degrees C). Winter temperatures average 14 degrees F (-10 degrees C). Rain and snowmelt in the region can reach up to 200 inches annually. Travelers should be aware that significant amounts of snow could fall within a relatively short period of time resulting in hazardous road conditions.

Address
P.O. Box 88
Champion, MI 49814-0088

Phone: 906-339-4461

  • Craig Lake State Park Travel Q&A

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