Fayette Historic State Park

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Fayette - sign


Fayette Historic State Park
4785 II Road
Garden, MI

(Date of Visit: September 2011)


I almost passed right by without stopping here as I was heading out of the Upper Peninsula.  I had decided to camp at Indian Lake State Park because Fayette doesn't yet have a sanitary station in their campground.  I am so thankful I made this a day trip, though, because it ended up being one of my very favorite sights! I really loved it here and spent hours exploring not only the historic buildings, but just sitting and enjoying the scenic beauty. 

Michigan DNR website:  "Fayette Historic State Park houses a Historic Townsite, a representation of a once bustling industrial community."

That description may be technically accurate, but it doesn't begin to do justice to how fascinating this place really is.

Fayette - Overview

The Visitor's Center is a great place to start for an introduction to the history and current preservation efforts.  This shot of an overview of the grounds was taken from there.

Fayette - Map

There are five miles of trails around the perimeter of the grounds and buildings. Click image above for larger size to see the layout of the grounds (it will open in separate window).

Fayette - Model

There's also a model recreation of Fayette, Circa1886, that illustrates what it looked like in its heyday.


I was plenty happy this present day wandering around the grounds amid the ruins of this fascinating era.  The setting and views are exquisite and the informational signs and displays made it easy to imagine what life was like living at Fayette in the late 1800's.

Fayette - Bluff

You can even walk around this beautiful bluff, but by the time I was through with the main grounds, I didn't have time for it.  But this park is definitely on my "must-return-to" list and I intend to explore this then.

Malia resting at Fayette

I guess deep down inside, I didn't really want to leave because when I tried to, I realized I didn't have my car keys.  I wrote about that misadventure and the blessings that came out of it on my blog at Malia's Miles:  Once again, I discovered that it's not always just the sites themselves that make a place so special, but the people who work and visit there: Best Intentions and Keys Lost


All Michigan Miles Fayette Historic State Park pages:

OverviewHistoric BuildingsHotel  Campground


I'd love to hear your own experiences about places I've been - and what you think are "must-sees" - and I really value any suggestions and feedback from readers, so please let me have your 2 cents in Comments below:

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  • stacey

    We stayed a night at Fayette on our return home from Wilderness state park. We didn’t really know much about it but wanted to try something new. We were all blown away with the historic town! Its almost an eerie feeling being there. So amazing how preserved it is. The views from the historic town are bresthtaking. The campground wasn’t my favorite, but was clean and quiet. I could be bias since I had spent all week looking at lake Michigan 🙂 there is no dump station or modern bathroom, but I think they are going to be going through some upgrading in the future. I highly recommend visiting the town, you can spend hours there easily, its worth the 10 min drive down the peninsula. If you’re looking for a more modern campground Indian lake is close and lovely.

    • Hey Stacey, I’m glad you found it as fascinating as I did – totally cool place! I didn’t stay at the campground there, either – I stayed at Indian Lake, too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts & comments!