Upgrades planned at Baraga State Park
BARAGA — Baraga State Park will make major renovations and service improvements throughout the upcoming summer, which will require temporary camping closures to portions of the 56-acre park, situated along the Lake Superior shoreline on Keweenaw Bay.
“The project will be completed in two phases,” said Dan Dowdy, supervisor of the Baraga State Park Management Unit. “We understand this will cause some disruption for campers and we appreciate in advance the patience of park visitors as we make these substantial upgrades.”
Baraga State Park has 114 campsites, a mini-cabin and a teepee. Beginning May 1, the north side of the campground will be closed for construction, reopening June 28. The south side closure will begin July 15 and continue through the end of the camping season. Construction is expected to be completed by Nov. 1.
Park improvements will include an upgrade to the electrical system, resulting in new 20-, 30- and 50-amp services, site renovations to include camper pads, more pull-through sites and the addition of 14 full-hookup sites offering 50-amp service, plus water and sewer.
“The new campground design will result in the availability of 95 sites that will accommodate larger recreation vehicles and electrical pedestals,” Dowdy said.
In addition, the park’s sewage wet well and pumping station will be upgraded.
Funding for the $1.2 million project is being provided from the state Park Improvement Fund, which is derived from user fees such as Michigan’s Recreation Passport — required for vehicle entry to state parks — and park camping and lodging fees.
Baraga State Park, established in 1921, is the oldest state park in the Upper Peninsula. Some of the current infrastructure is 50 years old and has reached or surpassed its expected lifespan.
The demands on these aging park features are increased during busy camping seasons, especially during holiday or event weekends.
“Staffers at Baraga State Park are very excited to see the final product and be able to offer extended services to our park visitors,” said Kelly Somero, Western U.P. recreation programmer. “Our park is already a great place where visitors have made lifelong memories for decades. These new campground upgrades will help ensure folks will be making memories here for decades into the future.”
U.P. Engineers and Architects Inc. is the professional consulting firm producing engineering and design, with Moyle Construction performing the work.
For more information on camping in Michigan, go to Michigan.gov/Camping.