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Tawas Point State Park

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General Information

A young cottontail sits motionless
Copyright: Patty Elton - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
A young cottontail sits motionless
Description - Tawas Point State Park encompasses 56 acres along one of Michigan's most vibrant points. This sandy peninsula has attracted migratory birds for centuries and today attracts tourists year round for bird watching opportunities, scenic pleasures, and water-oriented sports. With protected waters lying to the west, and both Tawas and Au Sable Rivers nearby, paddlesport and sailing enthusiasts find the area an excellent natural resource.

Tawas Point is located off US-23, 2.5 miles southeast of East Tawas on Tawas Beach Road. It is just over an hour drive from the Tri-Cities and only three hours from the Detroit area. The park contains 183 acres situated on the end of a sand spit that forms Tawas Bay. It has been referred to as the "Cape Cod of the Midwest." The campground is located on Tawas Bay where the water is shallow and warm for swimming. Located within the park is the Tawas Point Lighthouse. Although it has been remodeled several times, the station serves as the sole representative of a true Victorian-era style station built on the Great Lakes.

Attractions - Tawas Point State Park is a one of Michigan's most popular state park destinations. Both day use and overnight areas teem with activity even when the weather turns foul. Two miles of white sand beach provide the perfect spot for an outdoor picnic, a group gathering, sunbathing and swimming. The picnic shelter in the day use area may be reserved at $40 per day. Contact the park for details.

Camping facilities at Tawas Point are open April 1 to December 1 with modern bathhouses offered April 15 to November 1. The area includes 210 sites, two mini-cabins, a scenic pond, sanitation station and beach access. Campsite reservations may be made by calling 1-800-44-PARKS.

Tawas Point is a stop over point for hundreds of species of migratory birds, and it is a favorite viewing location for many bird watchers from all over the Midwest.

Tawas Bay itself has long been considered one of the finest sailing areas in the country due to the winds and protected waters.

If you would prefer to fish, Tawas Bay has perch, walleye, brown trout, lake trout, northern pike, bass, coho and chinook salmon. There is no boat launch in the park but several nearby and boats can be moored in the bay off the campground. There are many charter boats in the area if you don't have your own.

Ice fishing is also a very popular sport on Tawas Bay. In 1987 a limestone reef was constructed in Tawas Bay, and it has helped to make the Bay one of the best fishing areas around. The reef is 800 feet long and 25 feet wide. It is located along the northern side of the bay and provides a natural habitat for smaller baitfish, which in turn attracts larger predator fish. Since the construction of the reef, fishermen have found greater success in walleye, pike, perch and smallmouth bass fishing.

There are 60 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails for the winter enthusiast and these same trails are available for your hiking pleasure the rest of the year. There are also nearly 100 miles of groomed snowmobile trails.

Although the park does not have a park store, there are stores available near the park. The Tawas area has many fine restaurants as well as some fast food chain restaurants for your dining pleasure.

A 68-mile self-guiding auto tour has been developed. A brochure describing this tour is available at the park office or Chamber of Commerce offices in the area. The tour will take you around the Tawas and Oscoda area to such places as the Iosco County Historical Museum in East Tawas, The Lumbermen's Monument along the Au Sable River and the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda, as well as many other places in the area.

Located within the park is the Tawas Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse, built in 1876, is equipped with a Frensnel lens built in Paris, France in 1880. It replaced the original lighthouse located near the present ballfield. The lighthouse stands 70 feet above Lake Huron and the walls at the base are 6 feet thick.

The Coast Guard station adjacent to the park on Lakeview Drive was also built in 1876 and is the only surviving example of the First Series Life Saving Stations built on the Great Lakes. Although it has been remodeled several times, the station serves as the sole representative of a true Victorian era style station built on the Great Lakes. In 1991 the Coast Guard built a new station just outside the park entrance and decommissioned the old station. The new station is a very modern station that offers improved protection for boaters in northeast Michigan.

Tawas Point Celebration Days is a family oriented celebration of our American heritage held the second weekend of June each year. There are many activities offered for the entire family. Some of the activities include historical and educational displays, lighthouse tours, demonstrations of traditional crafts such as spinning, weaving, blacksmithing, wood carving, children's activities, fishing derby, guided hikes, traditional music, muzzle loader demonstrations, period encampments with period dress. The weekend is sponsored by the Friends of Tawas Point State Park.

Other celebrations include: Perchville (February), Art and Crafts Shows (May-Labor Day), 4th of July Celebration, MarinerFest and Antique Auto Show (July), King Salmon Derby (July/October), Railway Days (September), and Westfest (October).

Recreation - Recreations pursued while absorbing beautiful scenery includes camping, cabin lodging, hiking, fishing, swimming, and an assortment of other water-oriented sports such as sailing.

Tawas Point- Modern - (800) 447-2757, 193 site(s), $27

Tawas Point-Sandy Hook Nature Trail - 2 (Miles), Hiking, Cross Country Ski
Tawas Point-Lumbermen's Monument Auto Tour - 68 (Miles),

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 - Tawas Point State Park is located on scenic Tawas Bay Point in Lake Huron. Travel US-23 north through East Tawas, and go east on Tawas Beach Road 2.5 miles.

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More Information

Contact Information:
Tawas Point State Park, 686 Tawas Beach Road , East Tawas, MI, 48730, Phone: 989-362-5041, 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.
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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