McLain State Park
is a 443 acres (179.3 ha) state park
State parks are parks or other protected areas managed at the federated state level within those nations which use "state" as a political subdivision. State parks are typically established by a state to preserve a location on account of its natural beauty, historic interest, or recreational...
in Houghton County
-National protected areas:* Keweenaw National Historical Park * Ottawa National Forest -Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 36,016 people, 13,793 households, and 8,137 families residing in the county. The population density was 36 people per square mile . There were 17,748 housing...
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....
on the Keweenaw Peninsula
The Keweenaw Peninsula is the northern-most part of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It projects into Lake Superior and was the site of the first copper boom in the United States. As of the 2000 census, its population was roughly 43,200...
, in Copper Country
The Copper Country is an area in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the United States, including all of Keweenaw County, Michigan and most of Houghton, Baraga and Ontonagon counties. The area is so named as copper mining was prevalent there from 1845 until the late 1960s, with one mine ...
. It is located on M-203
M-203 is a north–south state trunkline highway in the Upper Peninsula of the US state of Michigan. It connects McLain State Park with US 41 on each end in Hancock and Calumet...
halfway between Hancock
Hancock is a city in Houghton County; the northernmost in the U.S. state of Michigan, located on the Keweenaw Peninsula, or, depending on terminology, Copper Island. The population was 4,634 at the 2010 census...
Calumet is a village in Calumet Township, Houghton County, in the U.S. state of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, that was once at the center of the mining industry of the Upper Peninsula. Also known as Red Jacket, the village includes the Calumet Downtown Historic District, listed on the National...
The park is on the shore of Lake Superior
Lake Superior is the largest of the five traditionally-demarcated Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded to the north by the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of Minnesota, and to the south by the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Michigan. It is the largest freshwater lake in the...
, and most of the beach areas are rocky. However, a stretch of land on the edge of the park near the Keweenaw Waterway
The Keweenaw Waterway is a partly natural, partly artificial waterway which cuts across the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan; it separates Copper Island from the mainland. Parts of the waterway are variously known as the Keweenaw Waterway, Portage Canal, Portage Lake Canal, Portage River, Lily Pond,...
is sandy and good for swimming. This area is known as the Breakwaters, known to some locals as just the "Breakers." There are also good swimming areas adjacent to the campground.
McLain is a good jumping off point for exploring the Keweenaw Peninsula as it is between the Historic towns of Calumet and Houghton/Hancock. It is a popular destination for (non-motorized) bikers -- mountain bikers and road bikers as it has many trails through and near the park, and the park is situated approximately 10 miles from both cities which have strong biking traditions and many trails.
McLain State Park is also home to a campground, complete with showers and bathrooms. This campground is very popular in the summertime with locals and tourists alike. The park is also known for its beautiful sunsets over Lake Superior. It has about 80 campsites all of which are on or near the water's edge and a handful of small and rustic cabins, most of which sleep 4. They have one cabin that sleeps 8 and has a small primitive kitchen area. There are playgrounds scattered throughout.
Pedestrian access to the park is always free, and there is a free parking area outside the gates for those wishing to walk in. There is a nominal fee to enter the park with a car or use the campground.
During the first week of the fall semester, Michigan Technological University
Michigan Technological University is a public research university located in Houghton, Michigan, United States. Its main campus sits on on a bluff overlooking Portage Lake...
holds "K-Day" (or "Keweenaw Day") at the park. The university cancels afternoon classes so that students and faculty can enjoy a day of fun, sun, music, games, and food.
The spelling of the park's name is inconsistent on roadsigns and in local publications, varying between "McLain", "MacLain", and "McClain." The proper name is indeed "McLain."
- Campground - 98 Sites, 7 Cabins
- Picnic Area
- Picnic Shelters (3) - Reservation required
- Cross Country Skiing - 4 miles (6.4 km)
- Hiking - 4 miles (6.4 km)
Nearby Points of Interest
- Bishop Baraga Shrine
- Isle Royale National Park
Isle Royale National Park is a U.S. National Park in the state of Michigan. Isle Royale, the largest island in Lake Superior, is over 45 miles in length and 9 miles wide at its widest point. The park is made of Isle Royale itself and approximately 400 smaller islands, along with any submerged...
- North Canal Township Park
North Canal Township Park is a park across the Keweenaw Waterway from McLain State Park near Houghton, Michigan. It covers 177 acres and has several rustic campsites. The park features a breaker which protects the Keweenaw Waterway...
is on the opposite side of the Keweenaw Waterway as McLain.
- McLain State Park Michigan Department of Natural Resources
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is the agency of the state of Michigan charged with maintaining natural resources such as state parks, state forests, and recreation areas. It is governed by a director appointed by the Governor and accepted by the Natural Resources Commission...
- McLain State Park Protected Planet (World Database on Protected Areas)