J.W. WELLS STATE PARK is located on Green Bay approximately 30 miles south of Escanaba, 25 miles north of Menominee or one mile south of Cedar River. Its 678 acres include a 3 mile shoreline with a beautiful sandy beach for swimming, a large picnic area, campground and rustic cabins that are available to rent year round. There are seven miles of trails to hike in summer and cross-country ski in the winter.


The park, established in 1925, was donated to the State of Michigan by the children of John Walter Wells. Mr. Wells was a pioneer lumberman who was very well known in the area. He owned and operated several lumber companies and sawmills and was mayor of Menominee for three terms beginning in 1893. Much of the construction of buildings, water and sewage systems and landscaping in the park was done by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s and 1940s. The CCC was a work force created by Franklin D. Roosevelt to help preserve our nation's natural resources and to create jobs for the many unemployed. They also planted numerous trees, built bridges, fought forest fires, constructed roads and cleared trails.

Camping and Day Use

A modern campground, with electric hookups, flush toilets and showers, offers the camper a wide array of grassy sites with varying degrees of shade trees from which to choose. In addition, every site has a picnic table and a firepit for campfires. The campground provides a playground, tot-lot, firewood concession and a sanitation station. Bottle gas, ice, bait and other supplies can be obtained in Cedar River, Stephenson or other nearby towns. A modern boat ramp, charter boat service and restaurants are available in Cedar River. A large picnic area within easy walking distance of the campground offers the following attractions; two picnic shelter buildings, each with modern restrooms and nearby horseshoe courts; picnic tables; charcoal grills and a large playground. The area also has an open play field, two volleyball courts and a sandy beach which is excellent for swimming. The picnic shelters can be reserved for a nominal fee.

Rustic Cabins

There are six rustic cabins located on the shore of Green Bay at the north end of the park. Each cabin offers bunk beds, a wood stove to be used for heat, firewood, table and chairs and an outdoor charcoal grill. Pit toilets and drinking water are available within 300 feet of each cabin. Cross-country skiing is a popular activity from the cabins in winter. Three rustic trailside shelters offer trail users a warm place to rest.

Fishing and Hunting

The area around the park offers great fishing for smallmouth bass, pike, walleye, panfish, trout and salmon. Right after the ice is out in the spring, which is usually in early April, some of the best brown trout fishing anywhere in Michigan can be found along the shore of the park. The area also offers some of the best whitetail deer hunting found in Michigan. Menominee Country has one of the highest deer populations in the State, as can be evidenced by th high quotas of antlerless deer permits issued and some of the largest racks taken. Small game hunting for grouse, pheasant, squirrel, rabbit and waterfowl is also available nearby. Wild Turkey hunting is gaining in popularity.

General Park Information

The park is open all year and the modern facilities are open from mid-April to mid-October. Camping rates flutuate depending on the time of year. Rustic cabins and picnic shleters can all be reserved ahead by mail or phone.

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