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W. C. Wetzel State Park

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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 - W. C. Wetzel State Park is an undeveloped, open space park. No facilities are offered with the exception of a few bleachers overlooking the small softball field. A quaint picnic shelter keeps the sun or rain off your outdoor meal. An active "Friends" group is currently involved in the ongoing development of the site.

The park is named for one of Michigan's thirteen Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, W. C. Wetzel. On August 2, 1997 a War Memorial located in the park was dedicated in his honor. W. C. Wetzel was Private First Class (Pfc.), U.S. Army, 13th Infantry, 8th Infantry Division. He entered service at Roseville, Michigan and was an acting squad leader with the Antitank Company of the 13th Infantry while guarding his platoon's command post in a house at Birken, Germany. During the early morning hours of April 3, 1945 he detected strong enemy forces moving in to attack. He ran into the house, alerted the occupants and immediately began defending the post against heavy automatic weapons fire coming from the hostile troops. Under cover of darkness the Germans forced their way close to the building where they hurled grenades, two of which landed in the room where Pfc. Wetzel and the others had taken up firing positions. Shouting a warning to his fellow soldiers, Pfc. Wetzel threw himself on the grenades and, as they exploded, absorbed their entire blast, suffering wounds from which he died. The supreme gallantry of Pfc. Wetzel saved his comrades from death or serious injury and made it possible for them to continue the defense of the command post and break the power of a dangerous local counterthrust by the enemy. His unhesitating sacrifice of his life was in keeping with the U.S. Army's highest traditions of bravery and heroism.

Attractions - Wetzel State Park permits hiking, hunting, picnicking, ball games, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. Designated hiking trails are planned for the near future.

Recreation - Limited picnic facilities and a playing field are found at W. C. Wetzel State Park.

Climate - Southeast Michigan is the warmest region in the state with summer temperatures averaging 70 degrees F (above 21 degrees C) but it is not infrequent for days to reach the high 80s. Winter temperatures are warmer as well with averages hovering just below freezing. Yearly moisture amounts range between 18 - 32 inches.

Location - W. C. Wetzel State Park rests northeast of the Detroit metropolitan area off M-19.

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More Information

Contact Information:
W. C. Wetzel State Park, 28681 Old N. River , Harrison Township, MI, 48045, Phone: 810-465-2160

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.
Southeast Michigan - Southeast Michigan, teaming with people also teams with recreation opportunities. Glacial activity left this Great Lakes region lush with hundreds of lakes, ponds, and marshes.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources - Official agency website.


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