Burt Lake State Park was started in 1921 with the donation of 83 acres of land by Cheboygan County along the Burt Lake shoreline to the recently formed Michigan State Parks Commission. It was one of the first 25 parks the commission created. Shortly after the donation by the county an additional 40 acres was deeded to the State of Michigan which increased the park to 123 acres. From 1931-1939, through land exchange and transfers, additional acreage was acquired bring Burt Lake State Park to its present size of 406 acres.
The park also had a tall observation tower. I could find little information about it. I did see a postcard the referenced a telescope was at the top for visitors to look through. The postcards I found were dated back in the 1930s so it must have been constructed close to that time. I am not sure when or why the tower was taken down. I was told years ago by someone that it stood on the ridge near the corner of Old US-27 and M-68 where another shorter platform stood. I think that one is gone now also. It’s been a few years since I visited it. I am wondering with the tourists visiting the tower if that is what influenced the the Cross In The Woods Shrine.
If you want to read my full review of Burt Lake State Park check out the State Park Handbook HERE
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