By Pete Wurdock

Muskallonge Lake State Park opens on May 15, but not all parts of the campground will be ready for guests at first. Construction of a new bath house is in progress.

“Construction on a new bath house began last October, with the demolition of the old building, which was from the 1950s,” said Park Supervisor Jim Dzelak. “The newer bath house was completed in 2002, so this facility was due for a renovation.”

This renovation impacts section three of the campground, so until it is completed, 30 of the 150 campsites will remain closed. The project is expected to be finished by the end of June.

Contractor Tamarack Builders worked through the winter and spring on the project, which was funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) as part of a $250 million effort to improve Michigan’s state parks. Work at the Tahquamenon Falls State Park and a project in Brimley is also being handled by Tamarack Builders.

Bids on future projects at Muskallonge Lake State Park are expected this summer, and Dzelak hopes those improvements will be approved in the 2025 budget. These projects include road paving, new underground water lines and improvements to the underground wastewater system. Bids for a new boardwalk down to Lake Superior have been requested – the old boardwalk was damaged by shoreline erosion.

Dzelak hopes they can install a universally accessible walkway down to the beach to give campers easy access to the big lake, and wants to acquire a track chair to accommodate those with mobility issues.

Next year’s projects aren’t set in stone. Price fluctuations and other variables, like the U.P.’s short construction season, could be potential roadblocks.

Michigan’s state parks fill up quickly. House Bill 5597 could help Michigan residents get first dibs on booking campsites within the state. The bill, which is in discussion, would give Michigan residents a two-week head start on booking campsites around the state ahead of non-residents. Typically, campers need to book six months in advance, which means by January, the best spots are usually booked.

Muskallonge Lake State Park has historically been full throughout the season, but Dzelak said cancellations happen all the time. People hoping to camp there should visit the Michigan DNR website regularly: to check for available sites. People can also call (800) 447-2757 to make reservations. Camping runs through October 15.