We love Petoskey State Park –
2475 M-119 Hwy.
Petoskey, MI 49770
Grilling out, bumping a volleyball, hunting for Petoskey stones, and sand under our toes, these are the things we love most about Petoskey State Park.
Located just north of Petoskey along M-119, Petoskey State Park is nestled on the east end of Little Traverse Bay. The beach area offers two parking areas that fill up fast on warm, sunny days, a pavilion, volleyball nets, grilling areas, a small playground, and concessions with kayak and paddleboard rentals.
The two campgrounds include the “Tannery Campground” and the “Dunes Campground” (opened in 1970).
Another amenity is the Petoskey Downtown Trolley which offers pickups and drops passengers off downtown Petoskey. Click here for more information on the trolley. Sadly, at the time of writing this, the trolley is not running on a regular schedule due to employee shortages.
Hiking trails throughout the park include the “Campground Trail”, “Old Baldy Trail”, and the “Portage Trail”. Of course, the beach also offers lovely terrain for walking.
The State of Michigan bought the property now known as the Petoskey State Park from the City of Petoskey in May of 1969 for $150,000 (the equivalent of $1,220,917.58 in today’s dollars).
The City of Petoskey bought what was then dubbed the “Petoskey Bathing Beach” from the Michigan Tanning & Extract Company tannery in 1934, purchasing 2700 feet of waterfront for $25,000 ($556,909.77 in today’s dollars). “This sale by the company was obviously made for economic reasons brought about by ‘hard times’.” (- History of the Petoskey Bathing Beach)
The W. W. Rice Tannery grounds were prepared in 1884. In 1885, Mr. Rice moved his family to the Petoskey area from New York.
The Daily Resorter noted in June of 1890 that the “extensive tannery of W. W. Rice located two miles north to Petoskey, on the G.R. & I. railroad at its junction with the Harbor Springs branch, is one of the most extensive business enterprises of our city, and its increasing business has this spring compelled an increase of power and equipment. Mr. Rice has made arrangements whereby he secures the principal part of his raw hides in large quantities direct from South America. This industry not only gives employment to a large number of men, but furnishes a good local market for bark. Quite a little village, which goes by the romantic name of Kegomic, has sprung up around the tannery.” Not too long after that article, the Kegomic Tannery sold to Rice (1892).
In 1911, the Rice family merged with the Boyne City Tanning Co., forming the Michigan Tanning & Extract Co. The buildings were razed in 1963, 11 years after they discontinued processes in 1952 (Petoskey News Review).
Originally deeded to Pay-Me-Gwau (Parkland) under an Ottawa Indian Treaty in July, 1855, the Petoskey State Park has certainly had quite the history.
A Michigan Recreation Passport is required for entry.
For more information on the park and campground reservations, click here.
With 1 mile of sandy beach, hiking trails, two campgrounds, there is plenty to do here!