WDIV’s Pure Michigan photos in honor of the Great Lakes State turning 186

Why our state is so special

Local 4's Kim DeGiulio on the Detroit Riverfront (WDIV Local 4)

Happy birthday Michigan! While you might be turning 186 years young, here at Local 4 would like to say you don’t look a day over 40.

Whether you are all the way up north in Marquette or as south as Lambertville, we Michiganders can all agree that Michigan has been aging with beauty and grace.

We are blessed with 103 state parks that cover 357,000 acres of the Great Lakes state. From the Sand Dunes to Pictured Rocks, there are many ways to enjoy the beauty that our state has to offer.

This Aug. 2, 2003 photo shows a kayaker in Lake Superior off the cliffs at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore near Munising, Mich. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore could end up on the back of a quarter a few years from now. (AP Photo/Bob Brodbeck) (Associated Press)

Besides nature, the Mitten has really cool history that is displayed throughout our state. Don’t believe me? Take a snow day and check out The Henry Ford Museum or the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library in Grand Rapids.

Okay, there’s history and nature but besides that, what else makes Michigan cool?

Well, how many states can say they have a German-themed town like Frankenmuth or a city filled with mid-century homes like Midland or a city where Gibson guitars were produced like Kalamazoo? How many states can say they are surrounded by 94,600 square miles of water? Not many states can say that a subgenre of Rock was invented in their state, like Motown. -- or can say that Madonna, Jack White or Patti Smith is from their state.

Musician and Detroit Native Jack White gets ready to throw out the first pitch prior to the start of the game between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on July 29, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

From the craft beer to the craft scenery, I would like to say that Michigan is pretty neat.

Below you can find some fun facts about our great state and several #PureMichigan pictures from your Local 4 team. ✋

Michigan is derived from the Ojibwa (Chippewa) Indian word meaning “large lake.”

National Geographic

Michigan is home to about 360 bird species.

National Geographic
Jamie Edmonds at Arcadia Bluffs golf course (WDIV)

Michigan is the only state in the contiguous 48 that can look southward into Canada.

Kim DeGiulio, WDIV
Kim DeGiulio on the Detroit Riverfront (WDIV Local 4)

The Kellogg brothers accidentally created Corn Flakes in Battle Creek in 1898.

National Geographic
Jason Colthorp and his dad at Bay Harbor golf club in Petoskey. (WDIV)
Karen Drew and her daughters at Mackinac Island (WDIV Local 4)

The village of Colon is known as the magic capital of the world.

FAB Magic
Jacqueline Francis' photo at Nubs Nob in Harbor Springs. (WDIV Local 4)

Michigan’s state gem is Chlorastrolite. The stone ranges in color from yellow-green to almost black and is found primarily in the Upper Peninsula

State of Michigan
Rhonda Walker and her husband Jason Drumheller at Cullen Plaza play ground on the Detroit Riverfront. (WDIV Local 4)

Residents living in Detroit were the first Americans to have telephone numbers.

Dorsey College

Eastern Market is the “largest and oldest market of its kind,” serving Detroit for more than 170 years. Eastern Market is also the largest open-air flowerbed market in the U.S.

Visit Detroit
Devin Scillian's sea glass from Lake Huron (WDIV)

While Florida may have the most overall golf courses in the country, it’s Michigan that has 500 “public” golf courses, the most golf courses accessible to the general public in the country, more than southern states like Texas and Arizona combined! Michigan also has 3 of the top 100 golf courses in the country, Crystal Downs, Oakland Hills Country Club and Arcadia Bluffs.

Rhonda Walker, WDIV
Rhonda Walker at Bay Harbor Golf Club (WDIV Local 4)
Rod Meloni jumps off his boat into Lake Michigan (Rod Meloni/WDIV)
Paul Gross enjoys a snowy scene in Farmington Hills (Paul Gross/WDIV)
Megan Woods in the Grand Traverse Bay. (Megan Woods/WDIV)

“I miss catching sunsets by the water and dunes … they are unforgettable.”

Megan Woods
Megan Woods at the Sleeping Bear Dunes: the largest freshwater sand dune in the world. (Megan Woods/WDIV)

Listen to Michigan’s state song below:

Comment below why you are proud to be a Michigander, and what your favorite #PureMichigan fun fact is!

About the Author:

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.