Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park – Lead Naturalist and Adventure Tour Guide

Department: Museum Programs
Locations: Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park, Mackinaw City
Start/End Date: early May through late September
Pay Rate: Starting at $13.25/hr

Accepting applications for the 2023 season.

Scope of Duties:

This position serves visitors to Mackinac State Historic Parks (MSHP) by working as the lead uniformed interpretive naturalist and adventure tour guide at Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park (HMCDP). This full-time seasonal position is responsible for interpreting the natural history of the park while leading the high ropes Adventure Tours and providing nature themed presentations at various locations in the park.

The goals of live interpretive programs at HMCDP are to provide an enjoyable and educational experience for guests to the park and to help guest develop a better awareness, appreciation and understanding of the cultural and natural history of the park and the Straits of Mackinac region. Further duties are to protect and preserve the archaeological and natural features of HMCDP and to encourage the protection and wise use of the cultural and natural resources in the Straits of Mackinac area and elsewhere.


  1. Put our visitors first by treating them with respect, serving their needs and providing an enjoyable and educational experience.
  2. Lead natural history interpretation tours on the park’s high ropes Adventure Course, which includes the Forest Canopy Bridge, Eagle’s Flight Zip Line and the Climbing Wall Nature Trail.
  3. Present regularly scheduled talks and guided walks on a variety of natural history topics.
  4. Provide informal interpretation about the cultural and natural history of the Straits area
  5. Present environmental education programs (including talks and guided nature hikes) to groups of students visiting the park between May and June.
  6. Help monitor and protect the park’s fragile natural features from human abuse.
  7. Help to improve and maintain the park’s trail system.
  8. Maintain the Visitor’s Center’s wildlife observation area and native species plantings around the Visitor’s Center.
  9. Assist in the orientation and teaching of interpretive skills/techniques and natural history information to the HMCDP Naturalist/Adventure Tour Guide staff.
  10. Assist the Park Naturalist in daily supervision and evaluation of other HMCDP Naturalist/Adventure Tour Guides.
  11. Assist the Park Naturalist in managing weather-related closures of the Adventure Tour and communicating with other park staff.
  12. Participate in other interpretive presentations or park duties as required.

Position Requirements:

  1. Must be 18 years or older as of date of hire.
  2. Must have or be working towards a degree in natural resources management; biological, earth or environmental science; recreation; communication; education; interpretation or related field.
  3. Must be out-going, enthusiastic and have strong public contact and speaking skills
  4. Must have a practical knowledge of forest and stream ecology and be able to identify common plants and animals found in northern Michigan.
  5. Must be able to work the number of weeks assigned (positions work 12 to 23 weeks and will start in early May or June and work to Labor Day or mid-October; length of employment may vary depending on the position). 
  6. Must be willing to work most weekends and holidays during the visitor season.

Work Location and Schedule:

The workstation for this position is Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park located just outside of Mackinaw City, although the employee may occasionally be required to work at other MSHP sites as dictated by park needs. Work schedules are posted in advance and are subject to change depending on park operational needs. A normal work schedule is 40 hours per week, although hours and weeks worked may vary. The employee may be required to work evenings, holidays, and/or weekends as park needs dictate.

Physical Requirements:

This position will involve extensive walking – including walking up and down steps and on uneven terrain.  Stretching and bending are moves commonly made throughout the day by employees in this position. The employee must have the ability to do the following activities, with or without reasonable accommodation: Frequent lifting, carrying, transporting, loading and unloading of up to 35 lbs., walking long distances and up steep inclines in all weather conditions, frequent twisting, bending, stooping, reaching and grasping, sitting and/or standing for long periods of time, and the ability to utilize ferry boat transportation to and from Mackinac Island.

Dress Code:

The park maintains a dress code for employees in public service. This means inappropriate hairstyles, jewelry, or other inappropriate clothing or fashion that does not portray a professional appearance is not allowed. The Naturalist / Adventure Tour Guide will be required to wear a park-provided uniform while on duty.


The Lead Naturalist /Adventure Tour Guide is supervised by the Park Naturalist. This position helps supervise the other Naturalist/Adventure Tour Guide positions.

General Position Information:

This is a temporary seasonal at-will position which serves at the will of the employer and does not include recall rights or benefits (other than those mandated by governmental laws). This position will expire at the time employment is ended for the season and the employee does not have recall rights to this or any other MSHP position in the future. Specifically, the park is under no obligation to hire the individual in subsequent seasons. The number of weeks and hours worked may vary as park needs dictate.  Additional information will be provided upon employment.

Click here to fill out an application. 

Questions or cannot apply online?
Please contact:

P.O. Box 873
Mackinaw City, MI 49701
231-436-4100 x111

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