It's been a different scene since the launch of the Recreation Passport in Michigan in 2010.
It replaced the annual window sticker and daily pass. It became available to the motorist when they renewed their license plate tabs every year for the price of $10. This decreased the cost of admission for a year in the state parks in Michigan more than half.
It's been a great tool in enlisting people to come to Michigan's state parks, and now, it's now needed for those who want to have access to store forest and non-motorized pathways owned by the Department of Natural Resources.
It's a move that was coming, since the Rec Passport had been heralded as the savior of the state park system. I loved the idea when it first came out, and I snagged it as soon as my tabs were expired. Since purchasing it, I've used it at at least two state parks, and will use it at several more this year.
State forest and non-motorized pathways will draw a new crop of users into the park system, and making the Recreation Passport a crucial part of streamlining a service that has struggled over the last decade can only improve the state's natural resources.