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Orchard Beach State Park

Orchard Beach State Park
Orchard Beach State Park 3 by Joshua Young.png
Stairs and sky at Orchard Beach State Park
Location in Michigan
Location Lower Peninsula, Manistee County, Michigan USA
Nearest city Manistee, Michigan
Coordinates 44°16′55″N 86°19′00″W  /  44.28194°N 86.31667°W  / 44.28194; -86.31667 Coordinates: 44°16′55″N86°19′00″W / 44.28194°N 86.31667°W / 44.28194; -86.31667 [1]
Area 201 acres (81 ha)
Elevation 650 feet (200 m) [1]
Established 1921
Governing body Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Website Orchard Beach State Park
Orchard Beach State Park
Built Civilian Conservation Corps
NRHP reference # 09001064
Added to NRHP December 8, 2009

Orchard Beach State Park is a public recreation area covering 201 acres (81 ha) on the shore of Lake Michigan in Manistee Township, Manistee County, Michigan. Situated on a bluff three miles north of the city of Manistee, the state park offers a beach, campground and hiking trails.[2] In 2019, Lake Michigan was at record high levels which had covered the sandy beach at the base of the bluff, below the pavilion. The stairway, that was built to go down to the beach from the pavilion, in 2019 led straight into the high waters of Lake Michigan.

History [ edit ]

The park was developed by the Manistee, Filer City and Eastlake Railway Company and opened in 1892. After the company stopped trolley service to the park, the site was purchased by the Manistee Board of Commerce and deeded to the state to become part of the Michigan state park system in 1921.[3] The Civilian Conservation Corps was active in the park in the 1930s. Corps efforts included construction of several limestone structures including a pavilion, toilet, line house, and pump house.[4]

Historic place [ edit ]

The park was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2009,[5] being cited as "one of the most intact examples of a Michigan state park developed in the 1930s and 1940s under National Park Service guidelines.... retain[ing] the majority of its CCC-era buildings and physical layout."[3]

Pavilion [ edit ]

The pavilion, constructed by the CCC in the 1940s, is used every weekend for an event during the warm part of the year. Many weekends there is a wedding in the pavilion. Orchard Beach State Park in Manistee is only living up to half of its name.[6]

In 2019, the pavillion was threatened with distruction. The high levels of Lake Michigan were eroding the sandy bluff on which it stands. The pavilion is 50 feet (15 m) from the edge of the bluff.[6]

Activities and amenities [ edit ]

The park offers swimming, fishing, three miles of hiking trails, picnicking facilities, and a 166-site campground.[2]

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ a b "Orchard Beach State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ a b "Orchard Beach State Park". Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Weekly Highlight: Orchard Beach State Park". National Park Service. Retrieved December 26, 2009.
  4. ^ Paul E. Janostak (2009). "Orchard Beach State Park" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. National Park Service. Retrieved December 26, 2009. (26 pages, with map and 11 photos)
  5. ^ "Orchard Beach State Park". NP Gallery Digital Asset Management System. National Park Service. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Keith, Emma (12 September 2019). "Popular wedding spot could plunge into Lake Michigan". Gannett News Corporation. Detroit Free Press. p. A4. Retrieved 12 September 2019.

External links [ edit ]

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