Parks and Beaches
Located adjacent to the US Coast Guard Station near the intersection of Lakeshore Boulevard and East Michigan Street, McCarty’s Cove (officially the south extremity of Shiras Park) includes a swimming beach on Lake Superior with lifeguard watch, two volleyball areas, picnic tables, four permanent park benches overlooking the lake, grassy open space, small restroom facility, drinking fountain, cooking grills (three), parking area, and a playground with a wooden play structure on the bluff above the beach.
A very popular swimming area is located immediately south of the Municipal Power Plant off of Lake Street. South Beach Park has two sets of stairs and a handicapped ramp providing access to the beach/restrooms, five swings, climbing apparatus, tot riding apparatus, two permanent benches and extensive lighted/paved parking. A unique feature is the custom-designed recreational building set into the bluff. The building contains accessible restrooms and storage facilities, and a top-sided handicapped accessible viewing platform facing the lake. There are volleyball poles available if you bring your own net and ball.
Tourist Park Campground
The city-owned and operated Tourist Park is located approximately 1/2 mile north of Wright Street on Sugar Loaf Avenue on the north edge of the city. Fronting the Dead River, the nicely wooded 40 acre park provides visitors with a clean, pleasant and convenient place to camp in the immediate Marquette area. [More Information/Make Reservation]
Ellwood A. Mattson Lower Harbor Park
Located just north of the ore dock in Marquette's Lower Harbor, the 22 acre Mattson Lower Harbor Park has a large grassy open space area, park benches, picnic tables, Kid's Cove Playground (a very large wooden play structure built through community donations and volunteers), an architecturally designed period concession/restroom facility, boat ramp, and a large nearby breakwater. The shoreline bike path runs through the park and an illuminated walkway with period style lighting parallels the waterfront along the bulkhead.
Fishing opportunities also exist with the fishing occurring predominately in the spring and fall for Coho and Chinook salmon and Rainbow, Lake, and Brown trout. In just a few years (the park was dedicated July 24, 1989),the large grassy area has become the City's most popular location for special events, playing host to such activities as The Seafood Festival, the International Food Festival, Winterfest, concerts, fireworks, and other large gatherings. An outdoor ice rink (lighted) is located in the park during the winter months. The 101 slip Cinder Pond Marine, completed in 1995, is located immediately east of the park.
Shiras Park is located on the shore of Lake Superior, the bulk and northernmost part of which accommodates the area known as Picnic Rocks near the intersection of Lakeshore Boulevard and East Fair Street. The approximately 31 acre park has a beautiful 5/8 mile long sand beach. The Picnic Rocks area has restrooms, grassy open space, benches, cooking facilities, picnic tables, a drinking fountain, and paved and graveled parking lots. There is also a playground which was dedicated by the Zonta Club of Marquette, with swing sets, tot riding apparatus (two), a wood/steel play unit, and climbing tires. In addition to motor vehicle access, the park is accessible by the shoreline bike path. Improvements to the Picnic Rocks area were part of a U.S. Land and Water Conservation Project. For the past several years the site has accommodated the annual Outback Art Fair.
South Beach Park
Located immediately south of the Municipal Power Plant off of Lake Street, South Beach Park has a swimming beach on Lake Superior with two lifeguard watches, two sets of stairs and a handicapped ramp providing access to the beach/restrooms, volleyball poles (you must bring a net and ball), five swings, climbing apparatus, two permanent benches and extensive lighted/paved parking. A unique feature is the custom designed recreational building set into the bluff. The building contains accessible restrooms and storage facilities and a topside handicapped accessible viewing platform facing the lake. Major improvements were funded in part by a MDNR Coastal Zone Management grant during the mid 1980s.
Fit-Strip (Cemetery) Cross-Country Trail
Located on West Ridge at the southwest corner of the Park Cemetery, this site contains 1.7 and 1 kilometer cross-country ski trails which are lighted until 11 p.m. during the winter months. This trail also serves as a jogging trail in the summer and includes developed exercise stations. A parking area is also provided.
Mount Marquette Lookout
Located on Mount Marquette off the Mount Marquette Road near the Carp River, a lookout provides a panoramic scenic view of the City of Marquette and Lake Superior. It is also part of a groomed snowmobile trail and has hiking trails.
Kaufman Sports Complex
Constructed in 1996, the Kaufman Sports Complex has four large softball diamonds with spectator seating and 3 soccer fields. In addition to a large lighted parking area (gravel), the facility contains a restroom facility, drinking fountain, and emergency telephone. Construction of a new facility with restrooms and picnic area will begin in the spring of 2009.
North Marquette Athletic Field Complex
Located on Presque Isle Avenue near the corner of Presque Isle Avenue and Wright Street, the 20 acre North Marquette Athletic Field contains a softball diamond, two regulation baseball diamonds, and one junior baseball diamond, newly constructed dugouts, restrooms, drinking fountains, and spectator seating including barrier free design seating. The south end of the site contains a basketball court (two hoops), slide, two swing sets (six swings total), tot riding apparatus, and an outdoor lighted ice rink during winter.
Located at Mesnard and Adams Streets in "South Marquette", historic Hurley Field has a lighted outdoor softball field. The 2.5 acre facility (renovated 1985) also contains spectator seating, dugouts, lighted scoreboard. The adjoining playground on the east side of the field has a basketball court (two hoops), four tot swings, picnic tables, merry-go-round, slide, tetherball pole, climbing apparatus, play tires, a paved play area, restrooms, concession facilities, and a drinking fountain.
Pioneer Road Softball Diamond
This three-acre site contains a regulation softball field, fencing, spectator seating and portable restrooms during the season. The facility is located approximately 7/8 mile west of County Road 553 on Pioneer Road south of the built-up portion of the city at the former municipal solid waste disposal site. The field, which is not irrigated, has not been used since the opening of River Park Sports Complex.
Located in Tourist Park, the two acre site includes a softball diamond, seating, and picnic tables.
Located at the corner of Ohio Street and Pine Street, across from Parkview School, the Williams Park (aka Ohio Street Park) has three tennis courts, basketball court (two hoops) and playground with tetherball pole, wooden play structure, small climbing apparatus, two swing sets (nine swings total), three slides, seesaw, merry-go-round, park benches, picnic tables, a paved play area, and a drinking fountain. Restrooms (portable) are available on a seasonal basis.
Occupying a typical city-size block located on Washington Street between Seventh and Morgan Streets, Harlow Park has a grassy open space, paved play area, fourteen swings, slides, seesaws, large play tires, climbing apparatus, asphalt surface basketball court (two hoops), tetherball pole, shuffleboard court, bike rack, 20 park benches, picnic tables, a drinking fountain and a utility building. The approximately five-acre historic park has a variety of large conifers and deciduous trees, the latter of which are laid out symmetrically (with benches) paralleling Washington Street. There is also an established walkway system with period style lighting. This park has been adopted by the American Legion Post 44, along with the American Legion Auxiliary. Harlow Park has the only outdoor regulation size basketball court in Marquette. It was renovated in 2008 with restroom facilities, new playground equipment and landscaping.
Shiras Hills Park
A small playground facility located on the south side of the Shiras Hills residential development includes grassy field with soccer nets, hard play surfaces, a small slide, swings (six swings total), climbing apparatus (jungle gym), merry-go-round, sandbox, picnic tables, and a new asphalt basketball court that was installed in June 2012. Portable restrooms are available on a seasonal basis.
Giants Foot Park
This is a recently developed playground (dedicated July 31, 1991) in South Marquette on the corner of Albion and Mountain Streets. Recommended as capital improvement in the last Recreation Plan (this "newer" part of town was identified as being deficient in park land) the playground contains sand play areas, a concrete surface basketball court (two hoops), two sets of swings (six swings), merry-go-round, climbing apparatus, bike rack, picnic tables, drinking fountain and a storage/utility building. Being a hilly part of the city, the partially tree-covered site is interspersed with rock outcrops. The park was developed principally by the neighborhood Giants Foot Park Association and the City of Marquette. Restrooms (portable) are available on a seasonal basis.
Located immediately south of the Marquette Chamber of Commerce building along south Front Street, the approximately one-acre Lakeside Park overlooks Lake Superior and Marquette's Lower Harbor. It is a very popular tourist stop during the season due to its proximity to the Chamber building. It contains a grassy open space, ornamental landscaping, stone paving area, several very large old trees, a large flagpole, parking lot, ten park benches, a monument, several historic plaques, a drinking fountain and a nice view of the lake. (Lakeside Park and Father Marquette Park discussed below are officially one park. They have been separated for convenience of identification and inventory.)
Father Marquette Park
Located directly north of the Chamber of Commerce building, Father Marquette Park overlooks Lake Superior and Marquette's Lower Harbor. The .5 acre site has a grassy open space, with landscaping and flowers, six park benches, picnic table, public phone, and an impressive bronze statue of Pere Jacques Marquette, the Jesuit missionary priest and explorer (1637-1675). The 20 foot tall monument sits on a prominent point amid rock outcrops and is surrounded by a fine rock pathway/step system. Presented to the City of Marquette on July 15, 1898, the statue bears the words "James Marquette-Intrepid Explorer". Local Native American tradition relates that Father Marquette camped on Lighthouse Point during a trip along the south shore of Lake Superior in 1669. Returning to his mission at St. Ignace after visiting Native Americans in the Illinois country in 1675, he fell ill and died at 38 along the Lake Michigan shoreline. In 1850, a year after its founding, the village of Worcester was renamed Marquette in honor of the priest.
Downtown Pocket Park
Located on Washington Street in downtown Marquette, the Pocket Park is a small grassy area nestled between buildings. The former site of a commercial building itself, the space contains six aluminum park benches, historic style (colonial) lighting, brick paved walkways, flagpole, a public telephone and a drinking fountain. The park is also used for seasonal noon concerts and is accessible by elevator from the municipal parking ramp.
Spring Street Park
Located near the Snowberry Heights senior housing complex on Spring Street, the approximately three-acre Spring Street Park currently consists of a large grassy open space with concrete walks meandering through the location. The space has two outdoor ice rinks during the winter months, one for skating and the second for hockey. As called for in the previous Recreation Plan, lights have been installed to allow for evening skating activities.
Located on Lakeshore Boulevard just south of the Dead River, the small (50 x 100 feet) greenspace was built in the 1930's by WPA labor under Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. Mainly used as a wayside for walkers to and from the Island, the area features interesting rock outcrop formation, benches, drinking fountain, and a small pump-driven waterfall. This park was renamed in the year 2000 from Dead River Park to honor the family of Bernard LaBonte who, along with the Telephone Pioneers of America, have adopted and greatly improved this park.
Much of the Holly S. Greer Shoreline Bike Path, starting where it enters the City limits from Harvey serves as the North Country National Scenic Trail which links the Atlantic seaboard with the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail in North Dakota. In addition to bicyclists, the "Bike Path" is used extensively by walkers, joggers, and inline skating enthusiasts. As called for in the last Recreation Plan, significant additional bike path development has taken place in recent years including segments along Hawley Street, the Dead River Spur railroad grade from Washington Street to Tourist Park, and along McClellan Avenue (south). However several significant "gaps" continue to exist along the popular lakeshore route.
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