Promote Michigan Blog

2019 Milestone Celebrations

This year, the big anniversary celebration focuses on Michigan’s State Parks, which were formally organized in 1919.

Two Michigan state parks pre-date the creation of the park system: Mackinac Island State Park, created in 1895 as Michigan’s first state park (and the nation’s second national park from 1875) and Michilimackinac State Park, created in nearby Mackinaw City, in 1909. Both of these parks, along with Historic Mill Creek State Park are under the jurisdiction of the Mackinac Island State Park Commission.

Michigan’s 103 state park and recreation areas cover 306,000 acres with 14,100 campsites in 142 campgrounds and over 900 miles of trails. The state parks and recreation areas statewide collectively saw more than 26 million visitors.

The Michigan DNR operates 746 boat launches on 57,000 acres of designated public water access sites. It also operates 16 “harbors of refuge” as well as providing support for the other 61 harbors in the system. The harbors of refuge are approximately 30 miles apart along the Great Lakes shoreline to provide shelter from storms and often provide boat launches and supplies. There are 11 state underwater preserves covering 2,450 square miles of Great Lakes bottomland and 10 of them have a maritime museum or interpretive center in a nearby coastal community.

The DNR Parks and Recreation Division also manages 138 state forest campgrounds (including a dozen equestrian campgrounds). The Michigan state game and wildlife areas encompass more than 340,000 acres. DNR also oversees the trail systems in the state. This includes 880 miles of non-motorized trails, 1,145 miles of rail-trails, 3,193 miles of off-road vehicle (ORV) routes and 6,216 miles of snowmobile trails.*

For more about the history and celebration of Michigan State Parks, visit

Many noted Michigan businesses, attractions, events and communities (including Promote Michigan, founded in 2004) are celebrating milestone years this year…here’s a list (please feel free to share others we may have missed).

385 Years (1634)

  • Jean Nicolet, guided by the Wyandot, passed through the Straits of Mackinac and followed the southern shoreline of the Upper Peninsula, en route to find the Ho-Chunk and the imagined passage to the Pacific.

340 Years (1679)

  • René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle sailed Le Griffon to St. Ignace and on to an island at the inlet of Green Bay, departed from there with 14 men via canoe south on Lake Michigan, and established Fort Miami.

335 Years (1684)

  • The mission of St. Joseph was established in Niles by Claude-Jean Allouez.

200 Years (1819)

  • In the Treaty of Saginaw, the Ojibwe, Ottawa, and Potawatomiceded more than six million acres in the central portion of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan to the United States.

190 Years (1829)

180 Years (1839)

175 Years (1844)

170 Years (1849)

165 Years (1854)

160 Years (1859)

150 Years (1869)

145 Years (1874)

140 Years (1879)

130 Years (1889)

125 Years (1894)

120 Years (1899)

115 Years (1904)

110 Years (1909)

105 Years (1914)

100 Years (1919)

95 Years (1924)

90 Years (1929)

85 Years (1934)

80 Years (1939)

70 Years (1949)

60 Years (1959)

55 Years (1964)

50 Years (1969)

45 Years (1974)

40 Years (1979)

35 Years (1984)

30 Years (1989)

25 Years (1994)

20 Years (1999)

15 Years (2004)

10 Years (2009)

5 Years (2014)


SOURCE: Promote Michigan (est. 2004)


*Source: Wikipedia