The Mitten celebrates 100 years of Michigan state parks in 2019

Michigan State Park Commission established in 1919

You don't have to travel far in Michigan to enjoy the state's natural beauty. (WDIV)

DETROIT - Michigan -- a nature lover's paradise.

In fact, you're never more than a half-hour away from a state park, state forest campground or state trail system when in the Mitten.

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The state is celebrating 100 years of state parks in 2019.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan State Park Commission formed on May 12, 1919, to acquire and maintain public land for state parks.

Grand Haven State Park (WDIV)

Prior to the creation of the commission, the Mackinac Island State Park was established in 1895, but it existed without a state park system for nearly 25 years.

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The DNR said much of the land used for the first state parks was donated. Individuals and lumber companies contributed to the creation of state parks, while some cities and counties donated land in hopes that the parks would attract tourists. 

Michigan now has 103 state parks that cover more than 300,000 acres. These areas draw 28 million visitors a year.

Maybury State Park in Northville (WDIV)

From fishing, hunting, camping and hiking to skiing and snowshoeing, the state's parks and recreation areas provide a multitude of outdoor activities no matter the season or temperature.

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Find a state park, campground, recreation area or trail by using the DNR Recreation Search tool

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