Michigan's Heritage Park at Hilt's Landing, Whitehall

4.6
#6 of 9 in Museums in Muskegon County
Science Museum · Hidden Gem · History Museum
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The Michigan Heritage Park is an open-air museum that spans 10,000 years of Michigan history. It consists of a half-mile trail loop that starts with a pre-historic mastodon exhibit and ends at a Civilian Conservation Corps camp exhibit. The historical exhibits are recreations. The park is operated by Muskegon's Lakeshore Museum Center.
George Edward Hilt (1916–2012) had a plan before he died for his property called Hilt's Landing in Whitehall Township, Michigan. In his estate planning, Hilt made provisions that his vision of using his 230-acre family property should be for telling the story of Michigan's history to future generations. His trust fund appointed over two million dollars for developing Michigan Heritage Trail at Hilt's Landing—a portion going to build the historic park by the Lakeshore Museum Center and another portion for maintenance and operation of the facility. The effort to establish the park has gone on for nearly a decade.
The 19-acre open-air museum park opened on June 6, 2015, and has a visitor's center. It is a seasonal attraction, open from June through October. Local donors put millions of dollars into the park. The Consumers Energy Foundation was a large donor. It is part of a larger development at Heritage Landing, which is said to be Muskegon’s new “recreational gem.” It was funded in part by a special ballot proposal passed in 2011. Building the authentic recreations of furniture required staff to 'turn back the clock' and use antiquated methods.
The trail has site areas showing 10,000 years of Michigan history. Exhibits include the Mastodon Site; the Archeology Site; Native American Village; French Fur Trader Cabin; Colonial Cabin; Civil War Camp; Civilian Conservation Corps camp and a Michigan farmhouse. Visitors are encouraged to participate in activities so that they are interacting with the artifacts and culture, not just passively listening to a docent. To visit Michigan's Heritage Park at Hilt's Landing on your trip to Whitehall, use our Whitehall trip maker app.
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Michigan's Heritage Park at Hilt's Landing reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
29 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Michigan's Heritage Park is outstanding. The trail around the living museum is beautiful and the park is filled with knowledgeable staff. There are hands on activities at each stop on the trail and... 
    Michigan's Heritage Park is outstanding. The trail around the living museum is beautiful and the park is filled with knowledgeable staff. There are hands on activities at each stop on the trail and...  more »
  • This is a really interesting place if you like history. Its kind of back in the woods but you don't feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. The interpretors were very friendly and informative and....  more
    This is a really interesting place if you like history. Its kind of back in the woods but you don't feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. The interpretors were very friendly and informative and....  more »
Google
  • Took the grandchildren to Heritage Park. They enjoyed all the hands-on activities. Lots of interesting Michigan history exhibits to see. The outdoor trail is paved, so it is handicapped accessible. Has various stops/ exhibits along the pathway, with interpreters for most exhibits. Includes a Native American home and how it was built, various furs, spear throwing practice, grinding corn. Next is a Trading Post /Fort; an 1830s Settlers Cabin; an Underground Railroad exhibit; a Civil War Camp; a Logging Camp Shanty; a 1900s Farmhouse; a Civilian Conservation Corp Tent; .... all pertaining to Michigan history. Well worth the visit.
  • Has many interesting things to learn about the old days. Very well maintained, clean, very helpful n very respectful! Would recommend this to everyone!

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