Interlochen State Park, located in Interlochen, was named as Michigan’s first state park in 1917, and it is located near some of Michigan’s most popular outdoor and recreational areas. Interlochen, Michigan is just south of Traverse City and close to Sleeping Bear Dunes and Lake Michigan. The lake-front park rests between the shores of Duck Lake and Green Lake, and it is a popular camping destination for people attending events and concerts at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, a concert and event venue.
Campers come to Interlochen State Park because it offers many styles of camping. If you are bringing an RV, there are two RV-friendly campgrounds to choose from depending on the type of amenities you want. The park also has an area for camper cabins, a group camping area, and a camping section designated for people who wish to rent a large, canvas tent-like structure. The camping selection is perfect for family reunions or other get-togethers because all different styles of campers have a place to stay.
The park is set up with a centrally-located guest facility that is close to the day use area. The day use area has parking, a boat launch, kayak rentals, and it is near the park store. The park store sells firewood, outdoor items, food, and ice cream, so guests don’t have to travel outside of the park if they’ve forgotten little necessities. The campgrounds branch out in either direction from the day use area, so wherever you stay, you will be close to the recreational facilities. Because of the park’s design, Interlochen State Park is a scenic and convenient place to stay and play.
Interlochen State Park is located in the northwestern portion of Michigan, fifteen miles from Traverse City, but it is also close to other significant points of interest. Interlochen State Park is 132 miles north of Grand Rapids and 171 miles northwest of Lansing. The park is an easy day drive from many different areas of Michigan, making the park a popular overnight destination.
Guests visiting the park must arrive between the hours of 8:00 am and 10:00 pm. After the park closes, only registered guests are permitted in the camping areas. Michigan State campgrounds require a recreation passport to gain entry into the park’s facilities, both for daily use and overnight camping. Please note that this daily fee is an additional cost added to the overnight camping fee. Daily fees vary depending on the visitor’s state of residence.
Campers who prefer rustic RV camping should choose the Interlochen Green Lake Campground, located along the shores of Green Lake. The campground is a two-looped, dog-friendly, seasonally-operating campground that offers primitive style campsites with no hookups. The natural surfaced driveways accommodate smaller RVs and trailers up to 30 feet in length, and each space has a picnic table and firepit. This campground has vault toilets, dumpsters, and it is located near a boat ramp. If you need to use a generator, you should do so only in a manner that won’t disrupt other campers.
Campers who want to stay near the shores of Duck Lake and have electrical hookups should choose the Interlochen Duck Lake Modern Campground. The campground is a two-looped, dog-friendly, seasonally-operating campground that offers plenty of campsites with full and partial shade. Guests staying at this campground may choose from sites with paved or unpaved driveways with either pull-through or back-in driveways. The sites accommodate RVs and trailers up to 40 feet in length, and each one has a picnic table, firepit, and electrical service. The campground offers vault toilets, modern restrooms, water faucets, and a dump station. Depending on the loop you reserve, you can be close to the volleyball court, a baseball field, a basketball court, and a playground.
If you and your family like to explore, why not try the world’s largest electronic scavenger hunt? Bring your hand-held GPS devices, and search for some of the caches placed around Interlochen State Park. There are numerous caches hidden both in the park as well as outside of the park’s boundaries. Before heading to your camp, download the coordinates and set up your account on the Geocaching website. Although there are caches hidden in the park, guests are responsible for bringing the necessary items needed to Geocache at Interlochen.
People who enjoy arts education and cultural programs come from all over the state to take part in concerts, events, and activities produced year-round by the Interlochen Center for the Arts. The park is the top destination for people who want to camp and take part in concerts and musical events. The center is located seconds from the main gates of Interlochen State Park, so you don’t have to walk far to get to your event. Before planning your trip, see what’s taking place at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. You may find more than one occasion to stay!
People who like to fish year-round will find the fishing both fun and abundant during every season at Interlochen State Park. During the warmer months, anglers have luck catching pike, bluegill, and bass, while the colder months bring better pike and smelt fishing. If you want to fish on either Green Lake or Duck Lake, bring your boats and access the water from one of the three boat launches, or fish from the shoreline. Don’t forget, if you want to fish in Michigan’s freshwaters, you must have a valid fishing license if you are 17 and older.
One of the best features of Interlochen State Park is its day use area. The day use area is located in between the two loops of the Duck Lake Campground. Bring your picnic lunches and eat lunch with a view of the water under one of the sheltered picnic areas, or spend your time lounging on the beach. The beach has a swimming area, and it is located near modern restrooms and the park store. If you work up an appetite while swimming, and you didn’t pack a lunch, stop by the park store to get something tasty to eat, and then later, when you need to cool off, come back to the store for a delicious ice cream treat!
During the summer, kids and their families can take part in outdoor educational programs created to inform and entertain guests about Michigan’s local and natural resources. These interpretive programs aim to give people of all ages an understanding of mammals, birds, and insects, as well as give people hands-on guidance on hiking or fishing within the state park system. These summer programs are informative, entertaining, and always changing. Visitors should check the posted program schedules or ask a park staff member for more information.
If you enjoy paddling or boating, you are in luck! Bring your small paddle boats or your electric-motorized boats and spend part of your visit exploring the waters of Green Lake and Duck Lake. Interlochen State Park has three boat launches, so getting into the water is convenient from both RV campgrounds. If you don’t have a boat, you can rent a kayak from the Duck Lake Day Use Area. Contact the park for more information on renting a kayak or launching a boat.