VAN RIPER STATE PARK is located 17 miles west of Ishpeming on US-41. This 1,200 acre park contains one-half mile of frontage on the east end of Lake Michigamme with a fine sand beach. The water temperature is generally moderate, a pleasant change from Lake Superior temperatures. There is also one and one-half miles of frontage on the Peshekee River.


It is only a few miles east of the park where iron ore was first discovered in the Lake Superior region in 1845. Evidence of early mining ventures of almost a century ago can be seen along the several miles of good foot trails that wander through the hills on the north side of the highway. A fine scenic overlook of Lake Michigamme is found along these trails. Open pit mines are still operating in the general area and the Iron Industry Museum located in Negaunee is well worth a visit.

Camping and Day Use

The modern campground is located in a stand of conifers and hardwoods overlooking the lakes. All modern conveniences, showers, flush toilets and electricity are provided and the beach is nearby. A rustic campground adjoins the modern facility with hand pumps and vault toilets provided. There is no electricity. Showers can be taken at modern campground for a nominal fee.

Groceries and supplies are available at the park store or in Champion, one mile east of the park.


Lake Michigamme is one of the top walleye lakes in the Upper Peninsula. It also produces fine catches of bass, perch, northernpike and muskellunge. A boat launch is provided. Improved woods roads also provide access to the many streams, lakes and the great forest which lie north of the park.


In 1985 and 1987, fifty-nine moose were transplanted from Algonquin National Park in Ontario, Canada to a release site six miles north of the park. The herd has grown considerably with the birth of new calves each year. A slow drive through the area north of the park may reward you with the sight of one of these majestic animals. An information center located within the park has pictures and information on the transplant as well as the story of Moose Lift I and II being told on video tape.

Van Riper State Park is located in an area rich in scenic historic and recreational sites. The success of your vacation is not determined by the miles you drive, but by the pleasures you encounter. Drive slowly. Stop often. Have fun!

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