Harvest Festivals, Spooky Times Ahead at Michigan State Parks

This fall, Michigan State Parks, palisades and harbors will be haunted hot spots, filled with mythical 18th century creatures, spooky hayrides, autumn fests, and howling (and talking) coyotes.

All around the state, these events and festivals beckon visitors with eerie calls and tasty treats, signaling the start of fall and a fun-filled extension of the family camping season and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has issued an open invitation for visitors of all ages! Here are just a few examples of what’s happening around the state:

Haunted Harbor
October 8, Mackinaw
Long after the boaters have packed up and left Straits State Harbor in Mackinaw County, the cool October nights thicken the air into a heavy fog that rises off the waters of Lake Huron, creating a ghostly ambiance. It may sound scary, but it’s not enough to keep hundreds of children away from the frightful fun at Straits State Harbor’s annual Haunted Harbor, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the marina (409 S. Huron Ave., Mackinaw City).

There are many fun family events set for Michigan State Parks in October.
There are many fun family events set for Michigan State Parks in October!

Fort Fright
October 7-8
Looking for more spooktacular family fun after the Haunted Harbor? Then make your way just a couple of miles down the shoreline to Mackinac State Historic Parks’ Fort Fright at Colonial Michilimackinac, a family-friendly event where creatures from 18th-century French Canadian folklore are brought to life, randomly roaming the wooden palisade.Mackinaw City

Mother’s Nature’s Halloween Trail
October 15, Bay City
Even knowing that it’s just a re-creation based on 1770s folklore, the howl of a werewolf is frightening enough. Anyone who’s heard the mournful bay of a coyote or an owl’s screeching hoot has likely experienced that same spine-tingling chill. During the 18th Mother Nature’s Halloween Trail, sponsored by Friends of the Bay City Recreation Area, visitors can learn more about Mother Nature’s scariest creatures, why men fear them, and how they got their rough reputations.

Statewide Harvest Festivals Througout October
Autumn’s clear days, crisp air and brilliant colors are magnets for campers who long for an excuse not to winterize the camper or pack away the tent just yet. With more than 80 harvest and Halloween festivals taking place at state parks throughout Michigan this October, the DNR offers plenty of reasons to postpone the season’s end.

The Michigan DNR reminds all visitors that a Recreation Passport is needed for vehicle entry into all state parks and recreation areas. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport .

To learn more about other events click here.

Click to see a Digital Park Visitor Welcome Map!


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