Bewabic State Park – Camping and Outdoor Recreation in Michigan’s Western Upper Peninsula
One of our favorite state parks in the Upper Peninsula, and one we consider a “hidden gem,” is Bewabic State Park near Crystal Falls. At Bewabic visitors will find a 137-site campground, hiking trails, a volleyball court and swimming, boating and fishing opportunities on Fortune Lake. This is the only state park in Michigan with tennis courts, and many of the buildings trace their history back to the Civilian Conservation Corps. Those looking for modern camping away from heavily populated areas will love it here, and outdoor recreation enthusiasts will consider this place a summer paradise.
Most of the sites here are large, shaded and with many wooded buffers to maintain privacy. Fire rings and picnic tables can be found on each site, most have electricity and many are RV-ready with water, sewer, and electricity. Each campground loop has a bathroom/shower building (these were clean and well-maintained) and there are a handful of vault toilets scattered throughout the campground as well. At night, expect to be able to see a dark, star-filled sky if weather conditions allow while you take in the sounds or silence of nature.
The hiking trail is beautiful and covers two miles, showing off the park’s wooded areas, lake access, plants and wildlife.
There is a sandy swimming area on the lake, and a boat access/launch point area nearby. These combine with the picnic area and playground to form most of the day-use area for those wishing to visit but not necessarily stay and camp.
The tennis courts clearly show the signs of wear and tear, but is worthy of note for its uniqueness. It’s weird to think that there’s a tennis court in a state park in the western Upper Peninsula, but not in busier downstate parks like Grand Haven, Holland or Ludington.
Bewabic State Park is also rich in CCC history, which is immediately evidenced by the large stone walls that surround the park entrance. The picnic shelter, stone fire pits, and the rustic bathhouse owe their existence to the Civilian Conservation Corps. A plaque in front of this beautiful building notes that “The 3615th Company was formed at Camp Wells in June 1935″ and transferred to this area shortly after. With plans to keep everything rustic, 108 employees laid the groundwork of what would become this gem of a state park. The state of Michigan took over the park in 1966.
Nearby attractions include: Chicagon Falls (pictured), Horserace Rapids, Iron Mountain Iron Mine and Pentoga Park. Bewabic State Park can be found at 720 Idlewild Rd., just off of US-2 west of Crystal Falls . Dining options and a grocery store can be found a few miles east on US-2 in Crystal Falls.