Twin Lakes State Park is a public recreation area located on the shore of Lake Michigan, six miles (9.7km) southwest of Rogers City in Presque Isle County, Michigan. The state park contains two adjacent areas, one for camping and fishing and another with water-based activities such as swimming and canoeing. It is managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources under an agreement with the city of Rogers City.
In 1871, George Wyth Memorial Hall was constructed at the northern end of what later became Twin Lakes State Park. This building served as a hotel until it burned down in 1917. Its ruins can still be seen today. At least three buildings were built on its foundations; however, only two remain. One of these remains serves as the visitor center while the other houses the Twin Lakes Historical Museum. A picnic ground has been established near the beach. There are approximately 200 campsites divided into tent sites or RVs. Half of the campsites are available on a first come first serve basis but the remainder must be reserved.
The park also offers 16 cabins that sleep up to five people each in single or double bunks. Each cabin comes equipped with electric heat, lights, and outlets as well as having access to a fire ring and picnic table. Outside of the park there are four trails that provide over 26 miles (42km) of hiking opportunities through wooded dune landscapes, wetlands, prairie, sand barrens, and muskeg. Additionally, there is 1+1 mile bike trail which allows you to take your biking out onto the lake. Two boat launches are provided at the park along with a fish cleaning station.
Deer flies, ticks, and mosquitoes are common during late spring and summer months. The park provides electricity to those who wish to have it available to them. Campers may use either liquid propane or diesel fuel. No campfires are permitted inside the park. Wood stoves may be used if proper permits are obtained from the DNR. The park’s beaches are open year round, though swimming is not allowed due to the presence of dangerous currents. Swimming is possible at both north and south ends of the park. The main campground opens the second Friday in April and closes in early October.
Advance campsite reservations can be booked through the park reservation system. Walk-in campsites are available all year long. The historical museum house displays items related to the history of the park and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Exhibits include historic photographs, artifacts, clothing, and personal objects. Visitors needing a wheelchair accessible site should call ahead and make arrangements with the park staff. Only accessible walk-in sites will be made available when the campground reopens. Accessibility for the museum and associated parking lot is via ramp/lift.
The park offers a total of 17 miles (27km) of beachfront including 6 miles (9.7km) of groomed gravel beach, plus additional unguarded beach sections along Route 31. All boaters are required to wear life jackets that are approved by the United States Coast Guard. Beach grooming equipment is present throughout the entire season. Watercraft may be launched only into the waters directly adjacent to the beach. Parking fees are in effect June through mid September. $8 daily in May and Sept., $4 daily in Oct. and Nov., and free December through March.
The park hosts many events, some annual, like the Polar Bear Plunge, and others seasonal, like the Christmas in the Sand event. Other events hosted by the park include Music in the Parks, Craft Fairs, Movie Nights, Sports Day, Picnics, Family Games Night, Horseshoe Pitchers Contest, Keg Toss, Mardi Gras, Halloween in the Sand, Thanksgiving in the Sand, and more. Many of these events feature food, drink, and entertainment. Alcoholic beverages and unlicensed motor vehicles are prohibited.
Pets are permitted on leashes no longer than six feet (1.8m), and they must be kept within sight at all times. They are not permitted in the campgrounds or on the beach. Hunting is limited to deer, squirrels, and rabbits. These animals are game animals and protected under the law. White tail deer are regularly harvested in this region. The hunting of groundhogs is prohibited. The park features 10 miles (16km) of paved multi-purpose bicycle and pedestrian trails. Bikes are also permitted on certain roads and pathways. The park boasts 17 miles (27km) of sandy beachfront, 6 miles (9.7km) of which are guarded by lifeguards. The “Bayswater Point” section of beach is particularly popular among locals. An average of 60,000 people visit the park every day during the peak summer season.
- paddle boating
Fish most commonly caught include:
- yellow perch
- largemouth bass
- northern pike
- channel catfish
- freshwater drum
Common birds observed around the park include:
- red-winged blackbirds
- snowy owls
- turkey vultures
- bald eagles
- trumpeter swans
- Canada geese
- American white pelicans
- wild turkeys
- barred owl
- screech owls
- saw-whet owls