DNR to reopen Grand Haven State Park Channel parking lot May 22

Looking ahead to the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced it plans to reopen Grand Haven State Park’s Channel parking lot (known locally as Fisherman’s parking lot) to public parking starting at 8 a.m. Friday, May 22. Those using the parking lots or visiting the park are reminded to follow COVID-19 guidelines at all times, for their own safety and the safety of others.

Both the Channel parking lot and campground area at Grand Haven State Park were temporarily closed to vehicle traffic May 3 due to public health and safety concerns after large groups congregated and failed to practice proper social distancing over the busy weekend. The park’s day-use areas have remained open; however, the DNR has closed many services and amenities across the entire state parks system to create an environment where social gathering is less likely to occur and where effective social distancing is most feasible.

The main beach parking lot, which closes from late fall through early spring each year, had already been closed. That lot typically opens around May 1, but the stay-at-home executive order and associated spending restrictions slowed or halted needed work and delayed the opening. The main beach parking lot will remain closed until sand relocation work has been completed.

When the Channel parking lot is at capacity, visitors are encouraged to seek alternative, legal parking locations throughout the city and enter on foot. Visitors are asked to be mindful of local city parking requirements.

“Grand Haven State Park is one of Michigan’s most popular outdoor destinations, and we know many people love to return here year after year. Right now, with the health and safety of the public and our staff as top priorities, we will be working with local law enforcement to assist as needed,” said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division. “We want visitors to enjoy the park over the holiday weekend, but to do so responsibly and mindfully,” said Ron Olson.

To help slow the spread of the coronavirus, DNR officials ask visitors to follow social distancing guidelines or the department again may have to close the parking lots in order to protect public health.

Keep the following guidelines in mind when heading outdoors:
Go out only if you’re feeling healthy.
Unless it is essential, long-distance travel is discouraged.
Keep at least 6 feet between yourself and people from other households.
Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
If the parking lot is full when attempting to visit a park, recreation area, boating access site or trailhead, leave and choose a different nearby location.
Learn more about outdoor recreation opportunities at Michigan state parks by visiting Michigan.gov/StateParks.

For more information, please contact Gary Jones, district supervisor for the DNR Parks and Recreation Division, at 269-204-7044 or JonesG@Michigan.gov.