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Cheboygan State Park is open all year for a variety of activities. A system of well-marked trails through the park provides access to scenic Lake Huron vistas, and glimpses of rare wildflowers and lake shore species. Modern camping, rustic cabins, and teepees are all available within the park. Elliot Creek flows through the park and is known for its trout. A carry-in boat launch provides access to Duncan Bay, where fishing is also plentiful.
- Chebogan-Blue Trail
- Trail Length: 1.30 (Miles)
- Cheboygan-Black Trail
- Trail Length: 0.50 (Miles)
- Cheboygan-Green Trail
- Trail Length: 1.75 (Miles)
- Cheboygan-Red Trail
- Trail Length: 0.75 (Miles)
- Cheboygan-Yellow Trail
- Trail Length: 1.75 (Miles)
- Cheboygan Modern Lodge
- Cheboygan Tepee
- Cheboygan-Group Use Area
- Cheboygan-Rustic Cabins
Located on the Straits of Mackinac and Duncan Bay in upper Lake Huron, this gem of a state park has seven miles of Great Lakes frontage. Its rich mixture of habitats is one of its strong points. Habitats close to the lake range from Great Lakes marshes, to cobblestone and lake sand beaches, to open sand dunes, to inter-dunal wetlands. Inland habitats are forested, ranging from dry maple, beach, and oak forests, to moist northern white cedar and lowland conifer swamps. The park offers modern camping facilities, rustic cabins, marked hiking and skiing trails, and a rich diversity of plants and animals. The seven miles of marked hiking trails pass through diverse habitats and offer hikers great wildlife viewing opportunities. Some of the best wildlife watching in the park awaits those who are willing to take a map and compass and set off on their own into the wildness that this special site has to offer.
This park offers superb bird watching opportunities due to its rich and diverse habitats. The swamps and wetlands in the low, wet areas along Lake Huron are good places to see ducks, geese, egrets, herons, and even the elusive American bittern. Several species of gulls, the rare black tern and common tern, plus the Caspian tern, can be seen working these wetlands and extensive shorelines for food. The park’s coastal habitats have a number of threatened and endangered plants such as Houghton’s goldenrod, Pitcher’s thistle, and dwarf lake iris. Many orchid species including the Calypso and ram’s head orchids are found in the moist white cedar habitats. Carnivorous (insect-eating) pitcher plants are common here, but you’ll have to get off the trails to find them. Look for their tall and beautiful, deep red flowers in mid to late summer in wetland habitats in the park. Colorful speckled brook trout may be seen in Little Billy Elliot’s Creek during late summer, and concentrations of black bass are often found in the weed beds of Duncan Bay near the campground. Bobcats are common in the interior of the park. Although these shy and reclusive predators are rarely seen, campers sometimes hear them screaming at night. The scream is a normal call for the bobcat, but it can definitely catch your attention if you’ve never heard it before.
Portions of this area are open to public hunting. Contact the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for affected seasons and locations.
From Cheboygan drive east on US-23 four miles to the park entrance on the left (north) side of the road.
Ownership: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Cheboygan State Park headquarters, (231) 627-2811; DNR Operations Service Center at Gaylord, (989) 732-3541
Size: 1,200 acres
Closest Town: Cheboygan
Facilities and Opportunities
Restrooms – at the modern campground, the beach house, and at some trailheads.
Trails – seven miles in several different trails, easy to moderate hiking.
Picnic – at the beach house on Lake Huron.
Camping – modern campground with 74 campsites ($16/night 2003).
Cross-country Skiing – seven miles of trail; six miles are groomed.
Boat Ramp – very rustic, small car-top boats only. Lower water levels restrict accessibility.
Drinking Water – at the modern campground and the beach house.
Fishing – wading shallows for smallmouth bass, perch, and channel catfish. Ice fishing for pike and perch.
Hunting – waterfowl in Duncan Bay; deer and small game except for safety zones.
Entry Fee – Michigan State Park Motor Vehicle Permit required for entry.
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References and More Info