J.W. Wells State Park, Cedar River

4.5
#44 of 66 in Nature in Upper Peninsula
State Park · Hidden Gem · Park
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J.W. Wells State Park (also known as Wells State Park) is a state park in the U.S. state of Michigan. The 678acre park is located in Menominee County on the shore of Lake Michigan's Green Bay, just south of Cedar River. It is on M-35, roughly midway between Menominee and Escanaba. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
In 1898, Sam Crawford purchased fifty-three thousand acres of stumpland around Menominee and began logging operations on the hemlock growing among the pine stumps. Five hundred of these acres were was still virgin timber, and Crawford intentionally preserved it. John Walter Wells, part owner of the Bird-Wells Lumber Company, later purchase this land. Wells died in 1921, and in 1925 his children donated 335 acres of virgin timber, including 2.5 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, to the state of Michigan to establish a park. An additional 131 acres which had been purchased by the Menominee County Road Commission was added to create the park.
Development of the park began in 1927–28. Trees were planted and stoves, toilets, a well, and play equipment were installed. In 1929 a log bathhouse was constructed. However, much of the development in the park was done by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). In 1933, a two-hundred man camp was established, and over the next 10 years, the CCC developed five distinct areas within the park: the day-use (or picnic) area, the residence area, the group camp area, the campground area, and the trails and trailside shelters area. The CCC undertook a major reforestation project in the park, constructed three miles of foot trails, a parking lot, recreational fields, and sanitary facilities.
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J.W. Wells State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
38 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Very nice park...large campsites on the lake...very clean. Found a fossil on the shore. Park Office moved us to a different quiet site due to construction. 
    Very nice park...large campsites on the lake...very clean. Found a fossil on the shore. Park Office moved us to a different quiet site due to construction.  more »
  • Large campground with 150+ sites. We stayed at a site by the water with electricity with our sprinter van but there’s also spots for bigger rigs too. The lake was kinda stinky but it was a nice place....  more
    Large campground with 150+ sites. We stayed at a site by the water with electricity with our sprinter van but there’s also spots for bigger rigs too. The lake was kinda stinky but it was a nice place....  more »
Google
  • This park is one of my top 5 favorites now. This was my first visit and I stayed in one of the rustic cabins and it was so peaceful and quiet. The traditional campground had two playgrounds for the kids. The bathhouse and restrooms are well taken care of. I swam in Green Bay both at my cabin and the beach. Which has a nice pavilion and recreational sports available. I kayaked the Bay and up and down the Cedar river. It was fantastic. The fishing looked to be popular as well. I will definitely be back for another stay in the future.
  • This is a Wonderful Upper Michigan State Park. Admin Fee's are very reasonable and it's a beautiful park with first class facilities. Changing rooms. Flush Toilets etc. The camp grounds are beautiful and there is always a waiting list so please be sure to call ahead and reserve a spot for camping if you plan to do so. Driving thru the park is beautiful too. I would highly recommend it for any family outing or just if you love nature walks.

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