Located in northern Michigan, Mitchell State Park is a secluded natural paradise. Although just over 300 acres, you’ll have miles of beautiful hiking and great swimming, boating, and fishing. The Cadillac Nature Study Area gives you acres of trees, plants, and wildlife to enjoy, as well as over three miles of hiking trails. Plus, the visitor center has constantly rotating exhibits on the park’s wildlife.
The park has two lakes, making it perfect for those who want to head out onto the water during their RV trip. There are two boat launches for easy water access, as well as multiple sandy beaches with well-maintained swimming areas.
The campground within the park has over 200 sites for you to choose from for your rig, all of which offer electrical hookups. And you’ll be within walking distance of the water. Mitchell State Park makes for an excellent, modern getaway for your next RV trip.
Located in northwestern Michigan, Mitchell State Park can be reached from multiple major states in the surrounding region, including Detroit and Chicago. The park is also easy to navigate, so you’ll have no issue finding your site.
If you are coming from Detroit, take US-10 west out of the city, and you will arrive at the park in a little over three hours. And from Chicago, you’ll take I-196 and US-131, reaching the park in around four hours.
The park is fairly small, so you won’t have to drive far once you arrive to find your campsite. You don’t have to worry about any RV restrictions, and even large rigs should be able to navigate the campground. However, this area of Michigan does get quite cold in the winter, and the roads are often covered in ice and snow. You are advised to bring snow chains with you if you are visiting the park in the winter.
There are over 200 sites to choose from at the campground located within the park. And you’ll have full modern amenities in the campground, with access to showers, restrooms, and sanitation stations. You’ll also have easy access to drinking water at all of the sites. All of the sites have electrical hookups, as well as picnic tables and fire pits. The campground is also pet-friendly.
All of the sites are near the water so that you can walk to the fishing and swimming areas, as well as the boat launches. You won't be far from the park’s Hunting and Fishing Center, as well as the main hiking trail that leads you to the Cadillac Nature Study Center.
The sites must be booked at least a day before you plan to arrive and can be reserved up to six months in advance. The summer months do get quite busy, so you should consider booking well in advance. The campground is open year round.
With two lakes, Mitchell State Park has some of the best fishing in the area. The park is known for its walleye fishing. But you’ll find a wide range of fish species, including perch, panfish, and bass.
You’ll find great fishing on the shore just outside the campground. And there’s a boat ramp that makes it easy to access the water.
The best seasons for fishing will depend on what species you’re looking for. But, in general, the fishing is particularly good in spring, but still excellent through summer and fall.
The park is also a great choice for those looking for boating. You can explore Lake Cadillac or Lake Mitchell in a kayak or canoe. Or bring a boat with a bit more power and enjoy water activities on the lake, such as water skiing or jet skiing. The lakes are large enough that you won’t feel crowded, even during the busy summer months.
There are boat launches on both lakes, so getting your vessel from your rig to the water is easy. The park does not provide rentals, so you’ll have to bring your own boat with your campervan.
Those that want to cool off will find great swimming at Mitchell State Park. There are sandy beaches on both lakes, so there’s plenty of room to lay out and soak up the sun. You’ll also have access to picnic shelters near all of the campsites.
The waters of both lakes are clean and refreshing, so they are perfect for swimming on hot summer days. The swimming areas are not always monitored, so do take caution if you are bringing small children.
Although the park is small, you’ll still find miles of trails to explore. And the trails are all easy to access from the RV campground.
Hike up to the Cadillac Nature Study Area. You’ll find a natural preserve with a wide variety of different species. You’ll be able to see ducks, turtles, ospreys, great blue herons, and beavers.
Hiking at Mitchell State Park is at its best from April through September. Come in spring when the flowers roll through the park for some of the most scenic views in the area. Or enjoy the nature area as the leaves begin to turn deep orange in the autumn.
If you want to take a break from the hiking or fishing, you can head indoors to the visitor center. You’ll find seasonal fishing and hunting exhibits that highlight the local wildlife. The displays are always changing, so you should find something new every time you visit the park.
The visitor center is open year round, although hours may vary by season. You can also sign up for an interpretive program that will take you fishing and hiking in the marsh next to the visitor center.
Mitchell State Park is also a great choice for cross-country skiers. You’ll find a network of trails that leads throughout the park. Explore the Cadillac Nature Study Area on skis, and head up to the osprey lookout for great views of the snow covered park.
All of the trails are groomed, so the course is approachable for skiers of all experience levels. You’ll have to bring your own skis, as the park does not rent gear.