Get free or discounted passes to parks, cultural sites


Starting Wednesday, a program gives library cardholders in the state free or discounted access to Michigan state parks and recreation areas, historic sites, cultural attractions and campgrounds.

The Michigan Activity Pass is offered through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Recreation and Park Association and the Library Network. The program encourages residents to lead healthier lifestyles, “from running and biking to swimming and climbing ...,” said Suzanne Miller Allen, director of Community Responsibility at BCBS Michigan in a statement.

Through May 23, 2018, cardholders of participating libraries — more than 367 across the state — can print free, one-day passes at home or the local library, which can be used at 435 participating destinations in the state, including Michigan’s 102 state parks or 138 state forest campgrounds. The program also offers free or discounted admission to 195 historical and cultural sites in the state.

“Michigan state parks are packed with plenty of open space, trails, historical sites, overnight camping and much more,” said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division. “These outdoor places are also a great place to stay physically active with family and friends. Think of your state park as your own outdoor gym membership or a place to immerse yourself in a history or natural resources lesson.”

The Michigan Activity Pass is in its 10th year. Started from “humble beginnings in southeast Michigan,” it featured 30 museum and cultural institution partnerships, said Jim Pletz, Library Network executive director.

In the Lower Peninsula, the passes are good at places such as the Forever Curious Children’s Museum in Fennville, PuppetArt in Detroit, Belle Isle or even a Jiffy Mix Factory Tour in Chelsea. Also among the 435 sites are Brighton Recreation Area in Howell, and the urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids. In the Upper Peninsula, sites include Trout Lake Stare Forest Campground, Upper Manistee State Forest Campground and Interlochen State Park.

For information or a list of venuses and participating libraries, go to