Opening and Upgrading the Parks of the Keweenaw Peninsula

KEWEENAW PENINSULA — Area parks will soon be opening up across the Upper Peninsula and for several parks in the Keweenaw upgrades could be in the forecast, including some major changes for a couple of area campgrounds.

There may still be snow on the ground in many parts of the Keweenaw, but the transition into the summer tourist season is not that far away, and some of those who come here for summer camping will find a change of scenery in the near future.

In the past season, construction crews built a new bathroom and shower house at McLane State Park, relocating the new facility away from the Lake Superior shoreline where erosion presented safety concerns for the previous building. More upgrades are on the way for other parks as well. In a recent press release, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced that it will allocating 1.2 million dollars to renovations at Baraga State Park.

The 56 acre park located on Keweenaw Bay currently has 114 camp sites, a mini cabin, and a tee-pee available for rent. Beginning on May 1st, the northern part of the campground will be closed throughout the end of June allowing crews to renovate some of the sites into pull through sites, accommodating RV travelers who prefer the ease of parking a large trailer, as opposed to backing into a camp site. This means the overall capacity of the park will be lower. When completed, the park will have 95 campsites, and the project also includes upgraded electric service, as well as water and sewer.

The second phase of the project will take place in mid July and is expected to be completed by November 1st. Baraga State park is the oldest State Park in the Upper Peninsula and has been in use since 1921.

Another area campground that could see some changes is Hancock Campground, located on the Portage Canal. The city council recently voted to approve a grant application that would provide nearly $145,000 of in funding. Along with anther $48,000 that would come from the city’s recreation millage, this would allow for improvements to the playground, and bathrooms. That project would take place next year if that grant is approved.