Bay City Recreation Area
|Bay City State Recreation Area|
Location within the state of Michigan
|Location||Bay County, Michigan, USA|
|Nearest city||Bay City, Michigan|
|Area||2,100 acres (850 ha)|
|Governing body||Michigan Department of Natural Resources|
Bay City State Recreation Area (formerly Bay City State Park) is a 2,100-acre (850 ha) state park located near Bay City, Michigan in Bay County, Michigan, on the shore of Saginaw Bay. The Tobico Marsh, one of the largest remaining freshwater, coastal wetlands on the Great Lakes is located in the park. Other natural features of the park include a mile of sandy beach, over 2,000 acres (810 ha) of wetland woods, meadows, oak savannah prairies, and cattail marshes. The park is a haven for migratory birds and wetland wildlife.
Facilities and activities
- Saginaw Bay Visitor Center - 10,000 sq. ft. building features an exhibit hall with interactive natural history displays, a 100-seat auditorium and a gift shop. Environmental education programs are offered year round for the public, school groups and other groups.
- Hunting - The park is open to hunting during open seasons.
- Wildlife viewing from three observation towers, boardwalks, viewing platforms and shoreline spotting scopes
- Spray Park
- Hiking on seven miles of trails
- Cross-country skiing
- Fishing in the Tobico Lagoon
- Picnic Area
- Picnic Shelter
- Metal detecting - Metal detecting is recognized as a legitimate recreation activity when it is conducted in ways that do not damage the natural and cultural resources in Michigan State Parks nor violate applicable state statutes. Use a map that shows clearly where this activity may take place. Any items found must be reviewed by park staff and may be retained for further investigation.
Pollution on the beaches bordering the Saginaw Bay consisting of organic matter has been a significant issue to park patrons and local waterfront land owners in recent years. Although beach grooming has been implemented to clean up the beaches, much of the shoreline along the bay is muddied with "muck".
Much of the pollution found along the bay shore has been attributed to waste runoff from local farms settled within the Saginaw River watershed, wastewater treatment failures, and leaking septic systems, which contribute nutrients into the water, causing algae blooms.