Bay City State Park

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Bay City State Park
Bay City State Park beach.jpg
Beachfront along Saginaw Bay
Map showing the location of Bay City State Park
Map showing the location of Bay City State Park
Location in Michigan
LocationBay County, Michigan, USA
Nearest cityBay City, Michigan
Coordinates43°39′58″N 83°54′19″W / 43.66611°N 83.90528°W / 43.66611; -83.90528Coordinates: 43°39′58″N 83°54′19″W / 43.66611°N 83.90528°W / 43.66611; -83.90528 [1]
Area2,389 acres (967 ha)
Elevation584 feet (178 m) [1]
Governing bodyMichigan Department of Natural Resources
WebsiteBay City State Park
Park entrance along East Beaver Road and M-247

Bay City State Park (previously Bay City State Recreation Area) is a 2,389-acre (967 ha) state park located on the shore of Saginaw Bay near Bay City in Bay County, Michigan, United States. The Tobico Marsh, one of the largest remaining freshwater, coastal wetlands on the Great Lakes is located in the park. Other natural features of the park include a mile of sandy beach, over 2,000 acres (810 ha) of wetland woods, meadows, oak savannah prairies, and cattail marshes. The park is a haven for migratory birds and wetland wildlife.[2]


The park saw its inception in 1922, when the Michigan Conservation Commission accepted from Bay City a tract of land on the shore of Saginaw Bay with the proviso that the site become a state park. From 1923 until 1994, it was known as Bay City State Park. In 1994, when some 1,900 acres (770 ha) termed the Tobico Marsh were added to the park, the park took on the name of Bay City State Recreation Area, a move that confused both the populace and the media who continued to refer to by its original name.[3] The name Bay City State Park was restored in 2017.[4]

Activities and amenities[edit]

The park offers swimming, spray park, trails for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing, picnicking areas, playground, and camping. Park activities include fishing, hunting and trapping as well as wildlife viewing from observation towers, boardwalks, viewing platforms, and shoreline spotting scopes.[2] The park's 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) Saginaw Bay Visitor Center includes an exhibit hall with interactive natural history displays, 100-seat auditorium, and year-round environmental education programs.[5]

Beach pollution[edit]

Pollution on the beaches bordering the Saginaw Bay consisting of organic matter has been a significant issue to park patrons and local waterfront land owners in recent years. Although beach grooming has been implemented to clean up the beaches, much of the shoreline along the bay is muddied with muck.

Much of the pollution found along the bay shore has been attributed to waste runoff from local farms settled within the Saginaw River watershed, wastewater treatment failures, and leaking septic systems, which contribute nutrients into the water, causing algae blooms.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Bay City State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ a b "Bay City State Park". Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved July 11, 2006.
  3. ^ "Proposals would restore 'Bay City State Park' and allow more Tobico hunting". MLive. July 8, 2017. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  4. ^ "Memorandum: Order to re-designate Bay City State Recreation Area..." (PDF). Michigan Department of Natural Resources. November 14, 2017. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  5. ^ "Saginaw Bay Visitor Center". Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  6. ^ "Muck is gone from the beach at Bay City State Recreation Area". MLive. May 27, 2016. Retrieved June 28, 2018.

External links[edit]