Photo Gallery Friday: Van Riper State Park in Marquette County
Photo Gallery Friday is a regular feature on Travel the Mitten that will help showcase photos from places where one post just isn’t enough to show off everything.
Van Riper State Park is a popular destination for summer camping in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Located in Marquette County and the heart of the state’s moose country, Van Riper SP features a beach on Lake Michigamme and miles of hiking trails that follow the winding Pehekee River. The campground features 147 modern sites and 40 rustic sites, as well as several rentable camper cabins. While many UP state parks can be found on the shores of Lake Superior or Lake Michigan, visitors will find the waters of Lake Michigamme warmer and more inviting.
Van Riper State Park is located in the heart of Michigan’s moose country. In 1985, a Michigan DNR team traveled to Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario to find and capture moose for relocation. “Utilizing helicopters, tranquilizing dart guns and slings, some moose were air-lifted as far as 14 miles from the capture area to base camp. At base camp, each animal was subjected to thorough medical testing and was fitted with a sophisticated radio collar, before being lifted into a shipping crate and placed onto a transport truck for the non-stop 600-mile overnight journey back to Michigan. A total of 29 moose (10 bulls, 19 cows), ranging in size from 750 to 1,250 pounds, survived the arduous journey.” The original relocation site is just a few miles north of the park, and this is one of the best areas for potential sightings.
The Marquette area is less than an hour’s drive away, with restaurants, breweries, waterfalls, lighthouses and countless other attractions for every interest. Enjoy this collection of photos from our stay at the park in August of 2015 (and a few more added in June of 2021).