Local TV Channel with New of Park in 2008
  June 10, 2008 Click here to watch A new summer reading program at the Cadillac Public Library is using insects to get kids to read. We have more details. Plus, a big baby buffalo was born at a wildlife park in Cadillac. Those stories on this Local Edition.

June 26, 2008 Click here to watch It’s been over two weeks since severe storms flooded our area. After all the damage caused by the floods, one local business is just reopening now. We have the details. Plus, a new law designed to make car rides safer for children goes into effect in just a few days. Those stories on this Local Edition.

The Park in Print


June 18th, 2008 CadillacNews.com

By Rick Charmoli

Animals safe but Johnny’s temporarily closed

CADILLAC - Black Jack, Bob, Athena, Danno and Bucka are waiting until they can get back to doing what they do best - bringing smiles to people’s faces.

As a result of the storm that ravaged through the area last week, these inhabitants of Johnny’s Wild Game and Fish Park are waiting for the Cadillac attraction to open back up after it sustained damage related to the storm, according to owner Brian Johnson.

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On the Go Magazine - Summer 2008

Getting up Close with the Animals

Two page spread in Cadillac News On the Go magazine.


Traverse City Record Eagle 1998


Johnny’s Wild Game Park attracts 15,000 visitors each year

This should be the time of year when folks who own summer  tourist attractions work their hardest.
Not so with Brian Johnson, the caretaker for Johnny’s Wild  Game and fish Park, southwest of Cadillac.
During the summer season, he hires several high school and  college students to help him take care of the deer, goats, buffalo and dozens  of other game, farm and exotic animals and birds.
“Now, I can take care of some maintenance,” Johnson  said.  “And we can get away a little  bit.”
Johnny’s is an off-beat petting zoo set off the beaten path  and surrounded by woods.  There’s a  stocked trout pond, 10-cent feeding machines and a goat who crosses a bridge  and pulls a pan up to his perch by a line when people put handfuls of corn in  it.

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Traverse City Record Eagle
Sunday July 10, 1994
Northern Living



You know you’re onto something good the second you spot the humble, hand-lettered sign at the intersection of two soggy dirt roads.

Johnny’s Park.

The road doesn’t look promising, but curiosity eclipses concern over your car’s worn shocks. Who’s Johnny?

You find the park, but not the man.

Herbert “Johnny” Johnson died years ago, not too long after establishing this petting zoo of exotic and not-so-exotic animals officially known as Johnny’s Wild Game and fish Park.

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Cadillac News 1980



“Zoos are nice, but an animal habitat like Johnny’s gives children—and adults—a chance to experience wildlife.”

It is, one exhilarated adult said, the missing like—that very delicate, but oft missing connection, between man and nature.

Johnny’s Wild Game and Fish Park, located five miles southwest of Cadillac, is unique in that it is a wildlife, fish and fowl sanctuary in which people mingle with the animals.

The popular northern Michigan tourist attraction recently open its’ doors for its’ 16th season.

“We camp in this area every year,” said Larry Fitzsimons, of Toledo, Ohio.  “Oh, sometimes we go up as far as the Straits, but where ever we camp we always make it a point to stop in here at Johnny’s.

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Cadillac Evening News
August 3, 1973

Johnny’s Game and Fish Park


Johnny’s Wild Game and Fish Park isn’t a zoo, park or preserve.  It’s a philosophy.

“I’m trying to do something different,” owner and manager Mrs. Ruth Johnson says.  “We want children to feed, touch and learn to know the animals.”

That was the plan when the park was initiated by her husband, Herb, about seven years ago.  Herb died two and one half years ago, but Mrs. Johnson, a former teacher, has never considered selling the property.

“As long as I feel good, it certainly beats selling underwear,” she laughed.  “I don’t want to go back to teaching.  This is really satisfying work.  And people tell you when they enjoy the park.”

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Manton Tribune-Record, Manton
September 20, 1967


A big attraction –


It was on Tuesday, September 13, 1966, when TV commentator Ron Gamble featured in south and movie at 7:00 p.m. on Detroit Channel 4, a Cadillac Area outdoor attraction.

Johnny’s Wild Game and Fish Park had come into its own, a place where grown-ups and kiddies could enjoy and make acquaintance with the wonderful world of domestic and wild life animals.  It was a serene and well-documented story, which unfolded a “paradise” hidden in a wooded area, a five-minute drive from Cadillac.

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