Michigan State Parks Centennial: Young State Park

Two people by a state park entrance sign

Young State Park is located on the east end of the beautiful Lake Charlevoix in northwestern Michigan. Opened in 1921, Young State Park offers camping and day-use options and is a great location for friends and family to gather to enjoy the lake or hang out by a campfire.

Lake Charlevoix is a 17,000-acre inland lake that offers plenty of space for boating, tubing, fishing, swimming, kayaking and more. Since the lake is surrounded by many private homes, it can get very busy during summer weekends.

Camping at Young State Park

Trailers in a campground

There are three distinct campgrounds at Young State Park: Spruce, Oak, and Terrace. All of the 240 sites are modern, with some having been upgraded to 50amp. The sites are a mix of grass and dirt and lots of different sizes to accommodate rigs and tents of all kinds. There aren’t a lot of trees, so the campgrounds are fairly open, which is great for groups to book adjoining sites and pull their tables and equipment together during their stay.

In Oak and Terrace, you can get sites right on Lake Charlevoix. (Note: A few of these sites are susceptible to high water levels and may be closed during certain times of the year.) Two mini cabins also are available, one in Spruce and one in Terrace.

Young State Park activities

You’ll find plenty to do in the 560 acres of Young State Park. There are five miles of trails for hiking, running, nature study, or cross-country skiing. If you like sports there is a volleyball court, softball field, and basketball court. The day-use area has a beach, picnic area and a small pond for fishing. A barrier-free walkway is available near the beach, but due to the high water levels in 2019, most of the walkway and the beach were underwater.

There is a good-sized camp store located in the day-use area with park souvenirs, as well as basic food and camping supplies. The building it’s housed in was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.

A beach by a lake
Beach at Young State Park, mostly underwater (2019)

Nearby activities

Young State Park is located near the town of Boyne City which is well-known for people who like outdoor activities no matter the season. In summer there are local golf courses, and in winter there is downhill skiing nearby. Be sure to talk to the park rangers or check out the brochures in the park office to find out all the local restaurants and fun things to do in the area.


We have plenty more adventures to come, so subscribe to this blog and our YouTube channel. (We have a video about Young State Park here.) You can follow us on Instagram, our Facebook page, and Twitter. Plus, you can see our progress as we visit each park on this interactive Google Map. You also can keep track of our activities on social media with the hashtags #hikecampgo and #mistateparks100.

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