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Fayette State Historic Park

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General Information

Fayette Historic State Park attracts thousands each year including scuba divers.
Copyright: - Michigan State Parks & Forests
Fayette Historic State Park attracts thousands each year including scuba divers.
Description - Fayette Historic State Park encompasses 711 acres featuring a restored iron smelting company town (1867-1891). The townsite is jointly administered with the Michigan Historical Center, Department of State. The variety of day use and overnight facilities attract thousands each year to this bayside park.

Attractions - Fayette State Historic Park is one of the Upper Peninsula's most unique state parks. In addition to the typical state park amenities of hiking and camping, this park features a townsite and scuba diving opportunities.

Guided and self-guided walking tours are available for the historic townsite, a former iron-smelting operation located on the Gardne Peninsula at Snail Shell Harbor. Many immigrants from Canada, the British Isles and northern Europe lived in this town that thrived for nearly a quarter of a century. Contact the park office for guided tour details and tour maps.

The park also features a 61-site campground and three miles of shoreline on Big Bay De Noc. Facilities include pit toilets, electric hookups and water for each site. Most campsites are well shaded. There's no problem with insects, making your camping experience more enjoyable. Camping facilities are open from April 15 to November 15. In addition, boat camping is allowed in Snail Shell Harbor, and space is on a first-come, first-served basis.

A boat launch, located between the campground and picnic area, allow pleasure boats access to Big Bay de Noc. Parking is provided for vehicles with trailers. The protected waters of Snail Shell Harbor are deep enough for larger pleasure craft.

Big Bay de Noc provides some of the finest perch, small mouth bass, northern pike and walleye fishing in the Great Lakes. Fishing is permitted in the harbor area.

The beach on Sand Bay is just a short distance from the campground. The picnic area is adjacent to the beach and offers grills and pit toilets. Playground equipment and horseshoe courts are available.

Five miles of hiking trails are open year-round winding through a mixed beech-maple hardwood forest and throughout the historic townsite. Trails are open in winter for cross-country skiing.

Scuba divers are invited to Snail Shell Harbor during certain times of the day. A fee and use permit are required. In order that all divers might enjoy this activity, all submerged artifacts are to remain in place and nothing is to be removed from the harbor bottom. Call park office for details.

Recreation - Visitors to Fayette State Historic Park enjoy viewing historical sites, walking tours, swimming, camping, picnicking, fishing, hiking, and scuba diving.

Climate - The Upper Peninsula normally experiences mild summers with average temperatures near 70 degrees F (21 degrees C). Winter temperatures average 14 degrees F (-10 degrees C). Rain and snowmelt in the region can reach up to 200 inches annually. Travelers should be aware that significant amounts of snow could fall within a relatively short period of time resulting in hazardous road conditions.

Location - Located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, travel US-2 to Garden Corners and go south on M-183 17 miles to reach Fayette State Historic Park.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: Karen (Millington, MI)
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: We have been in this area twice. The last time we camped in the State Forest campground. The campground was beautiful... most campsites backed up to the beach but were sheltered from the lake winds. This trip we visited the town of Fayette. WOW! Do yourself a huge favor and plan a whole day for this... bring a picnic lunch to eat at the picnic tables by the harbor. There is so much we didn't see, and we were there for several hours. Read all of the information... it is educational, interesting, and fun. I am impressed with the way everything is presented. I can't wait to go back to see the things we missed!

More Information

Contact Information:
Fayette State Historic Park, 13700 13.25 Lane , Garden, MI, 49835, Phone: 906-644-2603, TTY: 517-335-4623

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.
Michigan's Historic Sites -
Upper Peninsula - This region encompasses nearly the entire Upper Peninsula landmass embracing windswept mountain tops, tumbling waterfalls, pristine woodlands, scenic lakeshores, and welcoming communities.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources - Official agency website.


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