J.W. Wells State Park, Cedar River

#43 of 64 in Nature in Upper Peninsula
Must see · State Park · Hidden Gem · Park
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 4.5
36 reviews
  • Today we left Wells State Park and it is exactly what the top rated comments described. The bathrooms were immaculate, the views were astonishing, and the site was spacious. If you're a tent camper....  more »
  • JW Wells State Park is the best campsite to stay at in upper michigan it has almost anything it just needs a McDonalds! My stay was perfect especially during flthe 4th of july when the tempature is...  more »
  • What an amazing state park! All the campsites are nicely size and very well taken care of period the shower and bathroom facilities are beautiful. They offer lots of Kids Activities as well as coffee in the morning, ice cream purchases twice w day and they had a corn roast which was no charge one of the days we were there. The beach is very nice as well. Definitely will be going back to this state park probably yearly. I would say this state park reeks top of all that I have been too! There is no water hookups here but there is electrical, but that wasn't a big deal because we just filled our tanks with water prior to leaving. They do have water where you can fill buckets and fill your water in your camper if you run low.
  • Fantastic place... a little bit of Heaven on Earth. The camp hosts were so kind and each morning they provide free hot chocolate, coffee, and cookies. (donations accepted.) The bathroom/shower house was super nice and clean and the views are beautiful. We hope to visit again some day and highly recommend to anyone looking for a great camping experience!

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