Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Michigan state parks celebrate fall with harvest festivals

Looking at the sign for Fort Wilkins Historic ...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As temperatures begin to cool down and summer camping transitions into fall camping, more than 30 Michigan state parks and recreation areas are preparing their fall harvest festivals. These events feature fall-themed, family-oriented activities such as pumpkin carving, costume contests, trick-or-treating and much more. Each park puts its own personal spin on the celebrations, so no two events are exactly the same.

Below are just a few upcoming harvest festivals that may still have camping availability. Events marked with an asterisk (*) are for registered campers only:
 Sept. 20 
 Sept. 26-27
  • Proud Lake Recreation Area* - hay rides, games, campsite decorating, trick-or-treating and more 
  • Wells State Park* - a variety of Halloween-themed activities, including pumpkin painting, horse-drawn carriage rides 
 Sept. 26-28
 Sept. 27 
Sept. 27-28
  • Brimley State Park* - a haunted house and many more seasonal activities (only the haunted house is open to non-campers)
Oct. 3-4 
Oct. 3-5 
Oct. 4
Oct. 4-5
  • Aloha State Park - kids' activities, trick-or-treating, chili cook-off and site decorating, sponsored by Fernelius Auto Group
  • Brimley State Park* - a haunted house and many more seasonal activities (only the haunted house is open to non-campers)
 For information about a specific event, please visit the online Calendar of Events or contact the park directly. To see a full list of fall harvest festivals, visit, and select “Harvests and Haunts."

Most harvest festival activities are free for registered campers, and some are open to the public, but a Recreation Passport is required, and camping fees apply. To check camping availability and make a reservation, visit or call 1-800-447-2757.
A Recreation Passport is required for any motor vehicle entering a Michigan state park, boat launch, state forest campground or nonmotorized state trailhead parking. Residents can purchase the Passport for just $11 ($5 for motorcycles) at the time of Michigan license plate renewal through Secretary of State. Forgot to check “YES” during renewal? Residents and nonresidents can purchase a Recreation Passport window sticker during regular business hours at state parks. Learn more about how the Recreation Passport supports state parks and local outdoor recreation opportunities at