Mitchell State Park

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William Mitchell State Park
Mitchell State Park (May 2017).jpg
Clam Lake Canal with campground on the right
Map showing the location of William Mitchell State Park
Map showing the location of William Mitchell State Park
Location in Michigan
LocationCadillac, Wexford County, Michigan, USA
Coordinates44°14′17″N 85°27′08″W / 44.23806°N 85.45222°W / 44.23806; -85.45222Coordinates: 44°14′17″N 85°27′08″W / 44.23806°N 85.45222°W / 44.23806; -85.45222 [1]
Area334 acres (1.35 km2)
Elevation1,289 feet (393 m) [1]
Visitors155,633 (in 1996)
Governing bodyMichigan Department of Natural Resources
WebsiteWilliam Mitchell State Park

William Mitchell State Park is a public recreation area covering 334 acres (135 ha) within the city limits of Cadillac, Michigan. The state park is located between Lake Mitchell and Lake Cadillac in northern lower Michigan. The historic Clam Lake Canal, approximately one-third of a mile in length, connects the two lakes and runs directly through the park.[2] The park is home to Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center which documents the history of hunting and fishing, offers seminars, workshops and audio-visual presentations, and includes an exhibit hall which displays local wildlife species.[3]


Dug in 1873 at the direction of city father George A. Mitchell, the Clam Lake Canal allowed felled trees to be floated from Lake Mitchell to lumber mills on Lake Cadillac.[4] The park was dedicated in 1919.[2] Under the name Cadillac State Park, it was among the first 25 established by the Michigan State Parks Commission.[5][6] The park bears the name of William W. Mitchell, who during the 1890s operated sawmills in area and who was a nephew of city founder George Mitchell.[7]

Activities and amenities[edit]

The park offers a campground with 221 sites, cabins, two boat launches, playground, beach, picnicking facilities, and fishing for perch, walleye, panfish, and bass. The 2.5-mile (4.0 km) Heritage Nature Trail runs through a woodland and marsh environment. The trail, mostly a woodchip path with a series of bridges and boardwalks, provides a study area supporting a variety of plants and wildlife. Winter activities include snowmobiling, ice fishing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.[2]


  1. ^ a b "William Mitchell State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ a b c "Mitchell State Park". Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  3. ^ "Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center". Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  4. ^ "Lake Mitchell Facts & History". Lake Mitchell Improvement Board. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  5. ^ "Annual Report". American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society. 1921. p. 145. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  6. ^ Albert Stoll, Jr. (ed.). The Biennial Report of the Department of Conservation of the State of Michigan 1921–1922. p. 228. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  7. ^ Walter Romig (1986). Michigan Place Names. Detroit, Mich.: Wayne State University Press. p. 604. ISBN 081431838X. Retrieved March 7, 2018.

External links[edit]