If you plan on camping this summer, getting into some of our more popular state parks could be even harder than usual.
$250 million in Federal COVID Relief Funding was divided among Michigan state parks to tackle critical infrastructure needs.
The big projects mean summer won’t start on time for several Northern Michigan State parks.
Mitchell State Park in Cadillac is in the middle of two major projects, building a new restroom and shower building.
“The building we tore down was constructed in the 1970s, and it exceeded its use for life,” said Brenda Pylkas from the Department of Natural Resources.
They are also redoing all the roads at the park.
“The last time the roads were updated in the campground were the 1980s and 1990s when they were last paved, so they are in dire need of improvement,” said Pylkas.
This work means campers will have to wait until July before they can pitch a tent or park their camper.
The businesses near the park, Like Pilgrim’s Village Fishing Shop, will miss campers the first half of summer.
“We’ll probably see a decline in walk-in sales and stuff because, I mean, there’s a lot of people across the road that are here to go fishing and stuff,” explained Christopher Knaisel, Owner of Pilgrim’s Village Fishing Shop.
Mitchell State Park believes the improvements will be worth the wait.
“As much as it’s an inconvenience for our campers not being able to be here in May and June, it also kind of affects the staff at Mitchell State Park,” said Pylkas. “We will miss the activity and the campers in the park, but hopefully, we can showcase a new modern restroom building and new roads this summer, and it will all be worth it.”
Other state parks will delay their openings until July 1st because of improvement projects.
Those include Interlochen State Park, the Beachwood Campground at Ludington State Park, the East Campground at North Higgins Lake State Park and Straits State Park.