DNR destinations: July Fourth quick guide

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- DNR News -

July 1, 2021

The Fourth of July holiday traditionally is a big weekend for state parks, historic sites and many other Department of Natural Resources-managed facilities and destinations, and staff around the state is ready to welcome visitors! We're sharing some quick tips and information to help everyone make the most of their recreation time this weekend and all summer long. 

Media representatives seeking more information or contacts for any of these topics, please email DNR-Public-Info@Michigan.gov

DNR facilities: What's open, what's closed?

a few people walking on the sidewalk in between the historic buildings at Fayette Historic State Park

Although most emergency and epidemic orders have been lifted, some DNR public facilities remain closed. Many state employees remain on mandatory telework, and the locations they traditionally work at will be closed until at least July 12. State parks and campgrounds, state game and wildlife areas, state forests and many other places are open, as they have been throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic. For the most up-to-date information about which facilities are open or closed, visit the DNR's COVID-19 page. Additionally:

  • DNR customer service centers and field offices, state fish hatchery buildings and state park headquarters buildings are closed to the public.
  • The Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit will reopen to the public July 16. 
  • Michigan History Center museums and historic sites vary by location; check individual webpages for more details.
  • All DNR shooting ranges are now open; check each range's webpage for days and hours of operation.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services still recommends that people not yet fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should wear face masks when in crowded outdoor settings. Additionally, visitors at DNR facilities and sites may see some DNR employees wearing face masks as an added precaution for the comfort and safety of visitors, volunteers and staff.

State parks: Know before you go

little girl with dark, curly hair, in a multicolored bathing suit, smiles at the camera while kneeling in the shallow beach surf

Cooling off and relaxing at the beach are big draws for many state park visitors this time of year. If your plans include beach time, especially along the Great Lakes, first visit Michigan.gov/BeachSafety for information on designated swim areas, the beach flag warning system, Great Lakes currents (and how to escape them) and more.

Keep these other tips in mind when visiting Michigan state parks:

  • Follow the #RecreateResponsibly best practices to ensure the outdoors stay clean, safe and welcoming for everyone.
  • Remember that aerial fireworks always are banned in state parks and campgrounds.
  • Be aware that some state park and recreation area parking lots could temporarily close due to capacity limits.

Protect our waters; don't spread invasive species

a man uses a spray hose to clean off the tires on his boat trailer

If you're spending time on Michigan's lakes, rivers and streams, please help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species – those nonnative plants, fish, mollusks and other species that can outcompete native species and cause serious harm to natural ecosystems. 

In fact, Michigan law requires boaters coming off the water to remove plants and debris from boats and trailers, remove plugs, and drain bilge tanks and live wells before heading out on the road. It also is important to check and clean all gear before moving to a new boating location.

Help mark Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week, June 27-July 4, by lending a hand to protect our waters. For more information, choose the Take Action tab at Michigan.gov/Invasives.

Keep sparks under wraps this Fourth of July

nighttime photo of a melty marshmallow hanging off a stick, over a glowing orange campfire

Stop by any Fourth of July celebration and chances are you’ll find campfires, barbecues, fireworks and more. DNR fire experts encourage everyone to enjoy these traditions, but please put safety first. Even with recent rains, much of the state is enduring drought conditions that have left forests and fields vulnerable to wildfire, and fire risk remains high, especially in northern Michigan. This year alone, DNR firefighters have responded to 240-plus blazes.

If you decide to use fireworks at home, consider the environmental impact and do your part to prevent wildfires:

  • Keep a water source ready to spray embers from fireworks. Spray the entire area you plan to use fireworks with water before starting and when finished.
  • Toss used fireworks and sparklers into a bucket of water.
  • Always supervise kids and keep fireworks away from your face and eyes.
  • Consider spark-free alternatives such as ribbon dancers, biodegradable confetti poppers, glow-in-the dark bubbles and glow sticks.
  • Check open burning status in your area at Michigan.gov/BurnPermit.

Questions? Contact Paul Rogers at 616-260-8406.

Boat safe, boat sober

conservation officers aboard a DNR patrol boat on the Detroit River, city skyline and buildings in background

Every July Fourth holiday, conservation officers participate in Operation Dry Water – a national law enforcement campaign that promotes sober boating and is in line with the DNR’s ongoing message about responsibly enjoying the water. Conservation officers expect an extremely busy boating weekend and are urging everyone to use caution and common sense.

Earlier this week, the DNR promoted its participation in Operation Dry Water, highlighting 2020 accident statistics and urging safe, lawful enjoyment for boat operators and passengers. It’s good advice. In Michigan, it is illegal to operate a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A person is operating illegally with a controlled substance in their system and/or blood alcohol content of .08% or above – the same as operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

Questions? Contact Cpl. Ivan Perez at PerezI@Michigan.gov.

Top 10 ORV violations are easily preventable

a male DNR conservation officer talks with the operator of a red off-road vehicle, facing the camera, on a two-track dirt trail

Hitting the trails on an off-road or all-terrain vehicle is a big part of summer fun for many residents and visitors. DNR conservation officers throughout the state report a continued increase in ORV activity, particularly side-by-sides operating on roadways.

Make sure to keep it safe this holiday weekend: slow down, Ride Right and always share the trails and roadways with other users. With caution and awareness, most riders can avoid the top 10 ORV violations – which are safety-based and easy to prevent. 

If you plan to operate an ORV on the roadway, know that local ordinances vary by county. Do your research and also contact the local sheriff’s office to confirm which roadways you can legally operate on. No matter where you ride, remember that speed and careless and reckless riding were the primary causes of reported accidents in 2020. Extra effort from all riders means a safer 2021 for everyone!

Follow DHHS tips and tell ticks to bug off

view of a girl wearing shorts and tank top, carrying shoes, walking away from the camera down a forested, sunlit trail

There definitely are some guests not invited for holiday weekend fun: ticks. No matter what you’re doing outdoors or where in Michigan you plan to visit, take steps to keep ticks away from yourself, as well as your family, friends and pets. Earlier today, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services put the word out that tick season is here and shared a number of tips and strategies to protect against tick bites and tick-borne diseases.

Signs and symptoms of tick-borne disease typically begin one to two weeks after a tick bite or being in wooded or brushy areas where ticks commonly live. Early symptoms can be nonspecific and include fever or chills, rash, headache, fatigue and muscle aches. Early treatment with appropriate antibiotics can decrease the risk of serious complications.

Visit Michigan.gov/Lyme for help with tick identification, protection tips, details on submitting photos and other helpful information.

Note to editors: Larger, high-res versions of the images used in this email are available below for download. Caption information follows.

  • Fayette Historic State Park: Strolling the grounds at Fayette Historic State Park, which surrounds Snail Shell Harbor in Lake Michigan. 
  • Port Crescent State Park beach fun: Michigan's state parks will be busy over the holiday weekend, so enjoy the beaches but always monitor weather conditions and available warning systems.
  • Boat wash: Simple actions, like cleaning off boating equipment and trailers after leaving the water, can help limit the spread of invasive aquatic species.
  • Hoeft State Park marshmallow campfire: Making s'mores is a tradition everyone can enjoy, but make sure to keep campfires under control. 
  • Patrolling the Detroit River: As part of Operation Dry Water, Michigan DNR conservation officers will have an increased presence on Michigan’s lakes, rivers and streams to ensure boaters are recreating responsibly during July Fourth celebrations.
  • ORV: A Michigan DNR conservation officer conducts an ORV stop with a side-by-side operating along a roadway.
  • Cheboygan State Park trail: Walking in the woods is a great way to relax and enjoy the outdoors, but take steps to keep ticks away, too.


The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to Michigan.gov/DNR.