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Head For Fall Festivals At State Parks

Don't button up that camper or RV for winter just yet. There's plenty to do at select Michigan state parks through early October, as 'tis the season for fall festivals and fun as temperatures begin to cool down and summer camping transitions into fall camping.

More than 30 Michigan state parks and recreation areas are preparing fall harvest festivals. These events feature fall-themed, family-oriented activities such as pumpkin carving, costume contests, trick-or-treating and much more. Each park puts its own personal spin on the celebrations, so no two events are exactly the same.

Below are just a few upcoming harvest festivals that may still have camping availability. Events marked with an asterisk (*) are for registered campers only:

  • Sept. 12-13

Baraga State Park – nature programs, games, face painting, trick-or-treating, costume contests (limited camping availability).

  • Sept. 20

Fort Wilkins Historic State Park - campsite decorating, trick-or-treating, geocaching and food

  • Sept. 26-27

Proud Lake Recreation Area* - hay rides, games, campsite decorating, trick-or-treating and more
Wells State Park* - a variety of Halloween-themed activities, including pumpkin painting, horse-drawn carriage rides

  • Sept. 26-28

Seven Lakes State Park* - trick-or-treating, games, campsite decorating and prizes

  • Sept. 27

Bay City State Recreation Area* - campsite decorating, games and fun
Bay City State Recreation Area - trick-or-treating at the day-use area
Leelanau State Park - a farmers market, pancake breakfast, lunch, fresh apple cider, interactive demonstrations and games
North Higgins Lake State Park - fall festival activities will begin at 8 a.m. and continue throughout the day
Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park - pumpkin-lit trail open to the public for self-guided hikes

  • Sept. 27-28

Brimley State Park* - a haunted house and many more seasonal activities (only the haunted house is open to non-campers)
Oct. 3-4
Proud Lake Recreation Area* - hay rides, games, campsite decorating, trick-or-treating and more seasonal fun
South Higgins Lake State Park - hay ride, haunted forest, costume ball, campsite decorating

  • Oct. 3-5

Holland State Park* - campsite decorating, pumpkin decorating, trick-or-treating, games and crafts (limited camping availability)
Keith J. Charters Traverse City State Park - live music, costume contest, trick-or-treating and haunted headquarters
Lakeport State Park* - campsite decorating contest, costume contest, trick-or-treating
Metamora-Hadley Recreation Area* - pumpkin decorating, arts and crafts, costume parade, trick-or-treating
Otsego Lake State Park* - campsite decorating contest, pumpkin painting, face and fingernail painting, T-shirt craft
Seven Lakes State Park* - trick-or-treating, games, campsite decorating
Sleeper State Park* - arts and crafts, costume parade, pumpkin chucking, trick-or-treating, campsite decoration contest

  • Oct. 4

Bay City State Recreation Area* - campsite decorating, games
Bay City State Recreation Area - trick-or-treating at the day-use area
Fayette Historic State Park - hay rides, Halloween-style fun, campsite decorating and kids' activities that adults will enjoy too
Hartwick Pines State Park* - campsite decorating, trick-or-treating for the kids, hay rides
Wilson State Park* - pumpkin carving, hay rides, and trick-or-treating

  • Oct. 4-5

Aloha State Park - kids' activities, trick-or-treating, chili cook-off and site decorating, sponsored by Fernelius Auto Group
Brimley State Park* - a haunted house and many more seasonal activities (only the haunted house is open to non-campers)

For information about a specific event, please visit the online Calendar of Events or contact the park directly. To see a full list of fall harvest festivals, visit www.michigan.gov/gogetoutdoors, and select “Harvests and Haunts."

Most harvest festival activities are free for registered campers, and some are open to the public, but a Recreation Passport is required, and camping fees apply. To check camping availability and make a reservation, visit www.midnrreservations.com or call 1-800-447-2757.