Mitchell State Park
Mitchell, United States
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William Mitchell State Park is a state park in Cadillac, Michigan. The park is one of the more popular camping destinations in northern lower Michigan. It is located between Lake Mitchell and Lake Cadillac. A historic canal, approximately one third of a mile in length, connects the two lakes and runs directly through the park. Dug in 1873, the canal allowed felled trees to be floated from Lake Mitchell to lumber mills on Lake Cadillac. The 334-acre (1.35 km2) park was officially dedicated in 1919.
The park contains 221 campsites. There are both "premium modern" and "modern" campsites, as designated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which operates the park. Many of the campsite locations are shaded and feature 50-amp electric hookups. There are also modern toilet buildings, showers and sanitation stations.
Eight campsites are wheelchair-accessible. A mini-cabin and a camper cabin are also available for rent. There are two boat launches, and recreational watercraft can be docked on the side of the canal, next to the campsites. A playground is also located in the campground.
A day-use area is located on Lake Mitchell, offering a sandy beach, a picnic area, a picnic shelter and playground equipment. There is a roped-off swim area.
The boat launch facilities on Lake Cadillac and Lake Mitchell allow easy access to water sports and fishing activities. Both lakes are noted as fine walleye fisheries and are popular fishing areas during the summer. Anglers can expect good catches of perch, walleye, panfish and bass.
In the winter, snowmobiling, ice fishing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are popular recreational activities.
The Park is only a few miles east and north of the Manistee portion of the Huron-Manistee National Forest, the headquarters of which is located in Cadillac. East of the city and the campground is also the Pere Marquette State Forest, and to the southeast is the White Pine Trail State Park.
Across the canal from the campsites is the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center, which documents the history of hunting and fishing in Michigan. The center is open year-round. There is an exhibit hall which displays local wildlife species. Seminars, audio-visual presentations and workshops are available to visitors. An auditorium is also open to visitors, which features a short multimedia show on the role sportsmen and sportswomen have played in preserving and restoring Michigan’s wildlife and fisheries resources.
The 2.5-mile (4.0 km) Heritage Nature Trail begins at the Hunting and Fishing Center and runs through a woodland and marsh environment. The nature trail is a study area which supports a variety of plants and wildlife. The trail, mostly a woodchip path with a series of bridges and boardwalks, provides a pleasant hike around scenic wetland areas.
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