Description - Sanilac Petroglyphs State Historic Site encompasses 240 acres in Michigan's Lower Peninsula several miles east of New Greenleaf in the region known as the "Thumb." The park is famed for the state's only known rock carvings attributed to Native American workmanship. These sandstone carvings, known as petroglyphs, were first revealed after a firestorm swept the area in 1881. Geologists have since determined that these carvings date back 300 to 1,000 years. Petroglyphs (petro = rock; glyph = carving) are manmade images pecked, scratched, or abraided into any natural rock surface using crude tools such as sticks, rocks or bone. Petroglyphs were used to record visions, events, religious rituals, and geologic landmarks conveying thoughts without words, sounds or other language forms from one generation to the next. Petroglyphs often tell of the abundant wildlife encountered thousands of years ago. This ancient form of communication is found all over the world. It is unlike hieroglyphics, which is a language. At Sanilac Petroglyphs State Historic Site mythical water panthers, a deer, and archer are legible images still seen today.
Copyright: Patty Elton-Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Fungi have existed for millions of years but due to their delicate nature, little is known about their ancient history
- The state historic site located within the 240-acre park features Michigan's only known rock carvings attributed to Native Americans. The petroglyphs are along the north branch of the Cass River near Cass City.
Recreation - No services offered. The park is open Memorial Day to Labor Day.
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.
The historic site is located several miles east of New Greenleaf. To reach the park take M-53 south of Bad Axe to Bay City-Forestville Road. Then head east four miles to Germania Road and proceed south for one mile on Germania Road.