What to do in Hartwick Pines State Park

The 9,762-acre park rests in a mixed hardwood and pine forest boasting two inland lakes and the East Branch of the Au Sable River. It is the largest state park in the Lower Peninsula and the fifth largest state park in Michigan. Outdoor recreation and education are superior at Hartwick Pines State Park. Many of the parks features are centered on The Michigan Forest Visitor Center and The Logging Museum. The park is open daily from 8 AM to 10 PM.

Hartwick Pines State Park is one of the shining stars within the Michigan State Park system. Visitors are treated to a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities and environmental education resources. The Michigan Forest Visitor Center is the gateway to the towering white pine forest, a relic of the past. Michigan's past, present and future" is the theme of the 1,500 square foot center featuring hands-on exhibits, dioramas and the talking "Living Tree." The Logging Museum depicts Michigan's rich logging history while playing host to organized groups and school groups. Call 517-348-2537 for details.

Developed recreations within the park include hiking and mountain bike trails, which double as cross-country ski routes in winter. A large campground with a rustic cabin offers overnight guests modern facilities, hookups, and sanitation station. Camping is available all year. Anglers test their skill on two inland lakes and the East Branch of the Au Sable River. Large picnic facilities attract families and groups to individual tables and large shelters. Grills and nearby restrooms are provided.

Fishing is allowed along the scenic East Branch of the Au Sable River and from the handicapped accessible fishing piers at Bright and Glory Lakes (fishing license required). Outside the old growth forest and developed areas, the park is open to hunting during established seasons. Signs mark the areas closed to hunting.

Many of the park facilities including the visitor center and logging museum are handicapped accessible.

Recreation abounds at Hartwick Pines State Park. Guests can meander through a virgin white pine forest, view exhibits pertaining to Michigan's logging history and its abundant wildlife, camp, overnight at a rustic cabin, take a guided tour, hold a business meeting, hunt, fish, swim, and use the trail system for a variety of pursuits including snowmobiling.

Hartwick Pines State Park is lcoated six miles northeast of Grayling, Michigan. Travel Interstate 75 North from Grayling to M-93 east. The park is two miles off the Interstate.

Northern Michigan normally experiences mild summers with average temperatures around 70 degrees F (21 degrees C). Winter temperatures average 14 - 22 degrees F (-10 to -6 degrees C). Yearly rain and snowmelt in the region averages 28 - 36 inches but can be dramatically altered by the "lake effect," thus depositing significant amounts of snow within a short period of time causing hazardous road conditions.

4216 Ranger Road
Grayling, MI 49738

Phone: 989-348-7068

  • Hartwick Pines State Park Travel Q&A