F.J. Mclain State Park boasts over 400 acres of wooded trails, sandy bluffs, clean beaches, and (relatively) calm waters, as well as cabins, campgrounds, picnic shelters, scenic overlooks, playgrounds, and even an ice cream stand.
- 47.14141, -88.36428
- Don't Forget
- Sunscreen, sports equipment, jacket or extra layer, guitar for bonfire singalongs.
- Best Time to Go
Fresh Coast Tip
Access to the park requires a day pass, available for a nominal fee at the park entrance.
From spring thaw to winter’s first snowfall, Mclain’s (as it’s locally known) is always full but never crowded.
Along with great fishing, thimbleberry picking and agate hunting. Mclain’s is a favorite among locals and tourists alike for a sunset bonfire, a pick-up game of Frisbee, or a quiet ramble through the woods.
In our opinion, though, the best way to enjoy Mclain’s is to set off by kayak from the Breakwaters, the sandy beach at the park’s southern end. Navigate past the jetty and paddle along the park’s shoreline until you reach the opposite point. After a brief break to admire the view and maybe cast a fishing line, head back the same way.
If you’re lucky, the sun will have just begun setting behind the Art Deco-style lighthouse at the entrance to the Keweenaw Waterway (also known as the Portage Canal). With a helpful wind and calm water, you’ll reach the Breakwaters just in time to build a fire, crack a couple of Michigan craft beers, and watch the waves crash against the lighthouse as the sky turns every color in the rainbow.
Photo: Adam Johnson / @whiskeyandradiators