Located just 15 miles southwest of beautiful Traverse City, Michigan, Interlochen State Park is situated between two well-known fishing and swimming lakes: Green Lake and Duck Lake. Interlochen is actually the thin strip between the two lakes and features almost a mile of lakeshore that is adorned with towering pines. The park was established as Michigan’s first state park by the Michigan Legislature in 1917. The price for the land was $60,000. The name of the park was originally Pine Park, a 200-acre public park created to preserve the 200-acre virgin pine stand for the people of Michigan.
Upon entry into Interlochen State Park, visitors are greeted by the “Big Wheel.” This well-preserved device was used by loggers at the turn of the century to haul timber out of the woods. Next door to the park you’ll find a world-class arts education at the Interlochen National Music Camp that draws young people from around the world to study a variety of fine arts, including music, theater, dance, visual arts, creative writing, motion picture arts, and comparative arts. Education classes are available for adults as well. This camp was established in 1928 and continues to draw thousands of artists and art lovers for its year-round concert series. Cultural opportunities abound in and around Interlochen State Park.
Interlochen State Park has 490 campsites–59 are rustic, the rest are modern. The park also has three cabins for rent.
Duck Lake-Modern: 418 sites with 50 amp electrical service, modern restrooms, tent rental, and tepee rental. $23-$25 per night.
Green Lake-Rustic: 58 rustic sites, vault toilet. $13 per night.
Camper Cabin: 3 sites. $86 per night.
Pop-up camper: 1 unit. $55 per night.
Rent-a-Tents: 2 tents. $34 per night.
The Pines Nature Trail runs one mile in length and offers both cross-country skiing and hiking.
Bass, pike, and bluegill can be found in both Duck Lake and Green Lake during the summer months. Smelt and pike are favorites of anglers who like ice fishing in the winter.
Three launches are maintained in the park. Each loop of the campground on Duck Lake has an access site, and the third is located in the rustic campground on Green Lake.
Located in the day-use area, this store includes a cafe and a video arcade. It is located near a volleyball court and the beach. Rowboats and kayaks are available to rent and reservations are available.
One picnic shelter is available for rent. Contact the park for reservations.
- The Interlochen Center for the Arts is adjacent to the park. Renowned musicians perform concerts year round.
- Two nearby canoe liveries rent canoes: Riverside Canoe Livery on the Platte River and Alvina’s Canoe Rental on the Betsie River.
- Also popular at Interlochen State Park is the Three Discipline Triathlon Event hosted each July.
Interlochen State Park is located 15 miles SW of Traverse City on M-137. Take US 31 W. of Traverse City for 7 miles to Interlochen, then go south on M-137 for 2 miles. Lake Michigan shoreline is 25 miles west of the park via US 31.