Michigan State Parks: Muskallonge Lake

Muskallonge Lake State Park is located 28 miles northwest of Newberry in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is situated between Muskallonge Lake and Lake Superior, making it a favorite for boating, fishing, and rock hunting.

At 217 acres, Muskallonge Lake State Park is on the smaller side. However, it is a great basecamp to visit the many scenic locales throughout the northeastern section of the U.P.

Muskallonge Lake State Park sits on the former site of Deer Park, a lumbering town in the 1880s. Muskallonge Lake was a mill pond for millions of white pine logs that were brought to it by railroad lines. By 1900, the virgin stands of pines were depleted, the mill was closed and the lumbering operation moved away. All that remains of the lumbering community are piles of sawdust and a few partly submerged pine logs in the lake. The state park also was the old site of a Coast Guard Life Saving Station.

Trails, rockhounding, and more

If you have an ORV/ATV, Muskallonge Lake State Park is one of the few state parks where you can ride your ORV straight from the state park to the many nearby designated ORV trails. (This is special because in most parks you have to keep your ATV trailered and haul it to the trailhead.)

Rocky beach and Lake Superior
Lake Superior Shoreline

The Lake Superior shoreline is a great place to hunt for all types of rocks from agates, granite, basalt, and even Petoskey Stones. At the campground host station is a board that describes the different rock types and what they look like. Before you head to the beach check the host station first to see what to look for. (Note, if you take a UV flashlight with you once it gets dark you might even find some of the special Yooperlite rocks!)

Muskallonge Lake provides excellent opportunities to catch northern pike, muskallonge, smallmouth bass, walleye and perch. Lake Superior boasts populations of trout, salmon and menominee, especially near the river mouths.

The only hiking trail in the park is a 1.5 mile trail that connects to a segment of the North Country Trail. The NCT runs from New York to North Dakota (if you’re up for a real hike!)

A designated swimming beach is available near the campground, as well as a small day-use area with a few picnic tables, grills, and some old playground equipment.

Despite being closed in winter, the state park is a popular area for snowmobiles, cross country skiing and ice fishing.

Camping at Muskallonge Lake SP

There are 159 campsites at Muskallonge Lake State Park. The campground is split into three sections, with multiple loops within each section. The site sizes vary immensely throughout, but include both paved, gravel, and grass sites in essentially all the loops.

Roadtrek van in a campsite in the woods

There also is a mixture of 50 amp and 20/30 amp. This much variety allows you to choose if you want a woodsier feel (sites 131-159), a more open area (sites 1-80), or a little in between (81-130.) Two bathhouses are available since the campground is so large.

A great basecamp

There are many unique and beautiful places to visit if you’re staying at Muskgallonge Lake State Park.

A few of these include Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore, Grand Marais, Whitefish Point/Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, Father Marquette National Memorial and Museum, Logging Museum in Newberry, and the Seney National Wildlife Refuge. Hop online for more information and travel time to each of these spots.

Upper Tahquamenon Falls
Upper Tahquamenon Falls in the winter

We have plenty more adventures to come, so subscribe to this blog and our YouTube channel. We have a video about Muskallonge Lake State Park here. You can follow us on Instagram, our Facebook page, and Twitter. Plus, you can see each of the parks we visited 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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