Bay City Recreation Area

Quick Facts

Bay City Recreation Area


(989) 684-3020

Map Directions

Things To Do


Bay City State Recreation Area, situated on the shores of the Saginaw Bay, is home to one of the largest remaining freshwater, coastal wetlands on the Great Lakes, the Tobico Marsh. A mile of sandy shoreline and over 2,000 acres of wetland woods, wet meadows, cattail marshlands and oak savannah prairies make it an ideal staging area for migratory birds. The park has long been known for its outstanding variety of bird life and as a haven for wetland wildlife and plants.

Map of Bay City Rec. Area (MI)

Latitude, Longitude: 43.666630, -83.908768



  • Bicycling

    The three mile Andersen Natural Trail follows a railway corridor and connects to the Bay City Trailway System to the south of the park. Bicycles are welcomed on established park roads and on trails designated for such use.

  • Camping

    193 modern sites at the recreation are offer electrical service and modern restrooms. Two group sites can be reserved by contacting the park. Group sites are primitive.

  • Fishing

    The Tobico Lagoon provides pike, carp, bass and panfish. An accessibile fishing pier makes shore fishing available to all. Additional DNR-managed boating access sites are within a few miles of the park. Ice fishing is just off the park's shore in the winter months.

  • Hiking

    More than seven miles of trails help visitors explore the wetlands. Offereings include over three miles of paved accessible pathways, three observation towers, boardwalks, viewing platforms and shoreline spotting scopes. Bicycles and rollerblades are welcome.

  • Historic Sites

    The observation towers at Tobico Marsh are closed for safety repairs.

  • Hunting

    Deer, waterfowl and small game are allowed during open seasons.

  • Picnicking

    Visitors can picnic on the sandy shoreline of the Bay or under the shelter of lofty cottonwoods and ash trees which border the Tobico Lagoon. The picnic areas offer tables and fire pits/grills. Five shelters are available for rent.

  • RVing

    193 modern sites at the recreation are offer electrical service and modern restrooms.

  • Water Sports

    Swimming is offered at the park. A beach house is open seasonally.

  • Winter Sports

    Cross-country skiing is availible on trails during the winter months.



To reach the park, drive north of Bay City, take I-75, Beaver Rd. exit #168, and go east five miles to the park entrance.

Phone Numbers


(989) 684-3020

Campground reservations

(800) 447-2757