Nestled along the shore of Michigan's St. Clair River is Algonac State Park. The park offers half a mile of scenic shoreline views and is a popular destination spot for RV and tent campers alike. Algonac State Park was originally established in 1937, but it was much smaller than its current 1,450 acres. Nature lovers will have plenty to soak up while visiting, considering the park is home to rare habitats. The international freighters that chug down the river have also drawn culture lovers from all over the country for decades. You likely won't be able to enjoy everything the park has to offer in one day, so reserve an RV campsite from the more than 300 available and stay a night or two so you can have time to do everything you want. Visitors to the park can enjoy hiking, cross-country skiing, biking, fishing, metal detecting, picnicking, practicing their aim at the shooting range, and trapping. Best of all, no matter how you choose to spend your time at Algonac State Park, you'll be able to see an abundance of plants and animals that you probably don't see in your everyday life.
RV Rentals in Algonac State Park
Transportation in Algonac State Park
The roads within Algonac State Park aren't perfect, but most of them are at least paved. There are no especially tight turns, but some of the roads are gravel, which some visitors find difficult to navigate with a big RV. Still, as long as you take it slow and steady you shouldn't have any problems getting around the park in your RV. It is worth noting that there aren't a whole lot of roads within the park to begin with. There is a road from the entrance to the campgrounds, picnic areas, and archery range, but most of the "roads" within the park are actually foot trails and are not suitable for vehicle usage.
It's for this reason that not all visitors choose to bring an extra vehicle, since it won't take you any more places than an RV could, although an extra vehicle may make getting in and out of the park during your stay easier. Some people choose to bring bikes, but most people just explore on foot since the terrain isn't always suitable for bikes. A very large chunk of the park has absolutely no roads or foot trails, though, and is a dedicated wildlife area. It should also be noted that all of the roads within the campgrounds are one-way, so be sure to always follow the flow of traffic. The main parking lot is near the campground and Park Station.
Campgrounds and parking in Algonac State Park
Campsites in Algonac State Park
The Riverfront Campground is located almost right on the shore of the St. Clair River, making it many visitors' favorite camping spot. Not only do you get scenic views of the river right from your campsite, but the flowing river is also great for lulling you to sleep at night. This is a large campground with offer 200 campsites available for tents and RVs. Both 30 and 50 amp hookups are available and most sites feature gravel parking spurs and can accommodate RVs up to 50 feet in length, but this doesn't apply to all sites. Water spigots and restrooms are located throughout the campground, and the nearby sanitation station makes disposing of any waste a breeze. The sites vary in shade coverage, but they're very spacious and, despite the large number of sites in the campground, still provide you with privacy. The sites at the Riverfront Campground can be reserved between March and November, so if you plan on visiting during those months make sure to make your reservation before you arrive to ensure you have a site.
The Wagonwheel Campground is open from mid-May to late October and is comprised of 76 campsites. No two sites are exactly alike, with shade coverage varying from no shade to full coverage. The size of the campsites also vary, but most of the sites are suitable for RVs and trailers between 35 and 40 feet long. There is only one restroom at this campground, but this campground is much smaller than Riverfront, so thankfully none of the sites are super far. Although this campground isn't located near the river, it is pretty close to the archery and trapping ranges, making it a favorite for hunters. It's also a favorite for hikers who want to explore the trails since they are all relatively close to the campground. A smaller organization campground loop is located beside Wagonwheel, but you have to hike into it and it is not suitable for RV camping.
From November until March, the campsites at the Riverfront Campground are not reservable and are only available on a first-come, first-served basis. Although it stays fairly busy year round, especially on weekends and holidays, you should still be able to get a site when you arrive due to the sheer number of sites.
There are no campsites that are only first-come, first-served, even during the winter. So if you want a campsite at the Wagonwheel campground, it's best to make your reservation before you arrive.
Seasonal activities in Algonac State Park
Enjoying the Archery Range
Algonac State Park features an archery range where you can practice your shot. It's located about midway between the two campgrounds, so you can easily access it regardless of where you're staying. It's good for beginners and pros alike and provides a safe space for anyone to hone their skills. However, you have to bring your own equipment, so be sure to pack your bow and arrow in your RV before heading to the park.
The St. Clair River is more than picturesque, it also makes a great fishing spot for RV visitors. It's known for being a great spot to catch walleye, but several other species of fish inhabit the area as well, including catfish, carp, bass, and sheephead. Just exactly what you catch will depend on when you go fishing and where. Although there isn't any equipment rental or bait shops within the park, there is a bait shop just south of the park, which may be worth making a stop at on your way to the park.
Attending Nature Programs
Nature programs are offered at the park during the spring and summer months and are an activity many RV visitors like to take part in. The programs vary widely, covering everything from specific bird species to the general history of the area. They are a great opportunity to get kids interested in nature and conservationism, but also provide a fun and engaging way for visitors of all ages to learn something new and enjoy the natural beauty of the park.
A trapping hunting range is located beside the archery range and is open for trapping during the fall and winter months. Hunting methods are restricted, but with skill and some luck you can catch small game species such as squirrels, ducks, and rabbits. Big game species, such as deer, aren't as common, but still inhabit the area. Make sure to follow all rules and regulations while hunting and only hunt within the designated area.
During the winter, after the snow falls on the park, visitors can enjoy cross-country skiing. Not all of the trails are suitable for skiing, but the ones that are provide scenic views of the snow-capped forested areas of the park. Depending on what trail you take, it may not be suitable for beginners. It should also be noted that equipment rental is available in the park, so you'll have to bring your own skis in your rig.
There are three trails within the park, varying in length and difficulty. In total, there are four miles of trails, so it's possible for an experienced hiker to see all of them in a day. The trails are the perfect way to explore the rare habitats within the park, including the lake plain prairies and oak savannas, and see the wildlife that calls the area home. If you're traveling in the RV with kids and want a short, scenic route that isn't too hard, try the Blazing Star Prairie Trail.