Petoskey State Park

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Petoskey State Park
Petoskey State Park (July 2019).jpg
Beachfront along Lake Michigan
Map showing the location of Petoskey State Park
Map showing the location of Petoskey State Park
Location in Michigan
LocationLower Peninsula, Emmet County, Michigan USA
Nearest cityPetoskey, Michigan
Coordinates45°24′05″N 84°54′30″W / 45.40139°N 84.90833°W / 45.40139; -84.90833Coordinates: 45°24′05″N 84°54′30″W / 45.40139°N 84.90833°W / 45.40139; -84.90833
Area303 acres (123 ha)
Elevation630 feet (190 m)[1]
DesignationMichigan State Park
Governing bodyMichigan Department of Natural Resources
WebsitePetoskey State Park

Petoskey State Park is a public recreation area covering 303 acres (123 ha) on Lake Michigan in Bear Creek Township, Emmet County, Michigan. The state park is located 3 miles (4.8 km) northeast of the city of Petoskey on Little Traverse Bay. It is surrounded by heavily vegetated sand dunes that are excellent examples of parabolic dunes.[2] Michigan's state stone, the Petoskey stone, can be found on the park beach.[3]


The park occupies part of the site where William Wirt Rice (1833–1891)[4] built a tannery in 1885 at the mouth of what came to be called Tannery Creek. The tannery occupied 180 acres that were eventually divided between Petoskey State Park and the commercial district on U.S. Highway 31. At its peak, the tannery employed some 200 workers and processed over 1000 hides—primarily buffalo—per day.[5] The tannery closed in 1952, and its buildings were torn down in 1963.[6] The City of Petoskey purchased a portion of the tannery's land north of Tannery Creek in 1934 and created the Petoskey Bathing Beach. The state of Michigan purchased the beach in 1968, took title in 1969, and opened the park's campground in 1970.[3]

Activities and amenities[edit]

The park offers a mile-long sand beach for swimming, a trail that ascends the Old Baldy sand dune, picnicking facilities, and a 178-site campground.[3]


  1. ^ "Petoskey State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ "Dune Systems" (PDF). The Nature Conservancy. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Petoskey State Park". Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  4. ^ "William W. Rice". USGenNet Inc. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  5. ^ E. Lillard et al. (April 2013). "Tannery Creek Watershed Management Plan" (PDF). Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council. Retrieved July 11, 2018.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Fifty Years Ago Today: Tannery buildings razed". Petoskey News. July 31, 2013. Retrieved July 11, 2018.

External links[edit]