Located in beautiful and majestic Grayling, Michigan, Hartwick Pines State Park offers breathtaking views along with many of the modern amenities that campers have started to expect when they are “roughing it” in the great outdoors. Located on 4216 Ranger Road, Hartwick Pines is in Crawford County, Northeast of Grayling on M-93, Exit 259 off I-75. This site is easy to access by car, truck and trailer, but vacationers will need a vehicle permit before being allowed to access the facility. For more information or reservation data, the park office can be contacted at 989 348 7068. The park is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. year round.
This is one of the largest parks of its kind in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Besides the majestic Au Sable River, there are also four lake and old growth pines contained in the vast acreage that makes up Hartwick Pines state park. It was named for the 48 acre forest of Old Growth pines which serve to remind visitors of one of the state’s primary industries of yesteryear.
There are a wide variety of activities to do on the 9,762 acres that make up this wonderful nature preserve. Visitors typically enjoy such things as fishing, hunting, mountain biking, cross country skiing, hiking and even using their metal detectors to search for buried treasure. For the more tranquil vacationer, there is even the opportunity to watch wildlife.
There are three distinct areas that can be rented out by prospective campers. These are the Hartwick Pines Group Use Area which has a large general site for larger outings. More information can be obtained by contacting the park office at 989 348 7068. The Hartwick Pines Modern has 100 sites at $33 and $25 dollar rates with a $16 stipend for off season visitors. This includes electrical service and modern restrooms. They can be reached toll free at 800 447 2757. Finally, Hartwick Pines Rustic Cabin offers the use of this one early style lodging at $60. Interested parties can call toll free at 800 447 2757.
For those persons interested in more active outdoor activities, there are also 6 nature trails that offer a challenge to any participant willing to attempt this test of endurance. The Hartwick Pines Aspen trail is three miles long and affords the sports enthusiast the chance at cross country skiing, hiking and mountain biking among other interesting activities. The Hartwick Pines Au Sable River Trail is also three miles in length and is named for the beautiful Au Sable River that runs through this area. It has room for cross country skiing fans and hikers too. Next is the Hartwick Pines Bright and Glory Lakes trail which is only one quarter mile long and is the perfect spot for fishermen to try their luck along its banks. Cross country skiers and hikers may also enjoy this brief journey along the way.
The Hartwick Pines Deer Run trail is lengthy at 5 miles and will give anybody a run for their money. There are opportunities to hike, ride mountain bikes and cross country ski along the length of this very long “path.” At one and one quarter miles, the Hartwick Pines Old Growth Forest trail is perfect for cross country skiing and hiking enthusiasts. Finally, the Hartwick Pines Weary Legs trail is aptly named because its seven and one half mile length is quite the workout for those persons into cross country skiing, mountain biking and hiking. With six trails on the property, there is bound to be something of interest, no matter what the level of physical activity is on the part of the vacationer.
One of the best features of the Hartwick Pines State Park is the logging museum, a one quarter mile from the visitor center. It is open from 9 am to 4 pm daily from May 1 through October 31. There are also extended summer hours from May 28 until September 6; the museum is open from 10 am to 6 pm.
This is one of the best places to enjoy a family getaway. The low price for a permit makes visiting any of the state parks a low cost way to spend some quality time together. Hartwick Pines state park has something for everybody among its many attractions.