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Michigan > Michigan State Parks and Forests > Bay City State Recreation Area
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Bay City State Recreation Area

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General Information

Ground hog nibbling on spring grass
Copyright: Patty Elton - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Ground hog nibbling on spring grass
Description - Bay City State Recreation Area overlooks more than 4,000 feet of Saginaw Bay. Five miles of trails, overlook towers, and the new Saginaw Bay Visitor Center interpret the 1800-acre Tobico Marsh, known nationally for its wetland birds and wildlife.

Attractions - The park encompasses both the recreation area and the Tobico Marsh State Game Area known for its birdlife and wildlife populations. A lovely modern 263-site campground with large grassy sites in a stand of mature oaks is open all year. Modern facilities are available from mid-April to November 1.

Located within the recreation area is the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center, only a short walk from the shores of the Saginaw Bay. Every visit to this park should begin at this award winning facility, newly renovated and reopened in l996.

Nature lovers are treated to five miles of trails, a marsh boardwalk and two 30-foot observation decks that provide a panoramic view.

A sandy beach offers sunbathing, swimming, and picnicking.

Anglers can find success in Saginaw Bay and at Tobico Lagoon. Typical catches include northern pike, perch, sunfish and bass. A trail provides access to the lagoon.

Hunting is permitted in designated areas only. State regulations apply. The park is newly handicap accessible.

Recreation - Outdoor activities involve camping, viewing wildlife exhibits, swimming, guided tours, picnicking, hiking, and fishing the Saginaw Bay. The off-season attracts cross-country skiers, snowshoers and winter campers.

Climate - Saginaw Bay has mild to warm summers with temperatures averaging above 70 degrees F (above 21 degrees C). Winter temperatures average 18 to 22 degrees F (-8 to -6 degrees C). This is the driest region in the state with yearly precipitation amounts hovering around 28 inches.

Location - The park is located five miles north of Bay City. Take Interstate 75 to exit 168 and head east.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: Roger A. Michalski (Essexville, MI)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: Nice trails and museum. Terrible swimming area if you can find a spot.

Filed By: Fai (Ann Arbor, MI)
Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: The beach smell is not so bad at this time of year and the muck was only at the shore. I enjoyed my trip, but we packed well for our weekend trip and we weren't expecting to really rough it out. Make sure to wear lots of bug spray, especially if you decide to check out the ampitheatre! Big Pro: The bathroom and shower facilities are really clean and new.

Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Not Recommended
Report: The Museum and trails are excellent. The swimming facilities are terrible. Muck and weeds and stench are terrible.Sad to say but maybe they ought to put a few swimming pools there.

More Information

Contact Information:
Bay City State Recreation Area, 3582 State Park Drive , Bay City, MI, 48706, Phone: 989-684-3020

Additional Information:
Michigan State Parks and Forests - Everything that makes Michigan special is embodied in the 96 State Parks. Boasting sterling recreation, Michigan State Parks and Forests invite you to enjoy one of their 14,000 campsites, 170 winter-sport areas and infinite rivers, streams, and lakes.
Saginaw Bay - Saginaw Bay is an outdoor paradise. Travelers will find an assemblage of conveniences including marinas, charters, leisure cruises, fine dining, bed-n-breakfasts and much more including bayside golfing.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources - Official agency website.


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