Nestled along the shore of Michigan's St. Clair River is Algonac State Park. Open year-round, 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. The majority of the park is untouched but actively managed in an attempt to restore the habitat to its natural state. The lake plain prairie and oak savannah is flat clay ground with sand beach ridges to the west. Nature lovers will have plenty to soak up while visiting, considering the park is home to these rare habitats. The international freighters that chug down the river have also drawn culture lovers from all over the country for decades.
You probably won't be able to enjoy everything the park has to offer in one day, so reserve one of the 300 RV campsites available. 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.
If you want to enjoy more of the wildlife in this area, then venture eight miles south through Algonac and take the ferry across the river to Harsens Island. On the southwest side of the island, you'll find the Saint Clair Flats State Wildlife Area, which covers over 25,000 acres of land. There is an abundance of birdlife here at all times of the year, but especially during the migratory seasons.
Wetzel State Recreation Area is another nature lover's paradise just over 20 miles to the west of the park. The four miles of trails in this area are all foot trails only. Here you can enjoy the waterfowl and other wildlife at your own pace in peace and quiet. If you have a camera, remember to pack it in your RV because this part of Michigan is a great place to take some really beautiful photos!
Located on the M29 River Road on the banks of St Claire River, Algonac State Park is just over 50 miles north of Detroit. RVers traveling from Detroit along the I-94 can relax knowing there are no obstacles or height restrictions along the route. If you are looking for supplies, food, ATMs and gas stations, you won't have to venture too far from the park. Algonac, two miles to the south, and Marine City, about five miles to the north, are two small cities where you'll be able to find the stores and facilities you're looking for. In fact, all along the road leading to the park, you'll regularly find a place to get takeouts too.
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 the archery range, but most of the "roads" within the park are actually foot trails and are not suitable for vehicle usage. 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.
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 you also get a front-row seat to the display of freighters that use this river. At night, the flowing river is also great for lulling you to sleep.
This is a large campground, which offers 220 campsites for tents and RVs. Two of these campsites are also ADA-accessible. Both 30- and 50-amp hookups are available, and most sites feature gravel parking spurs. Sites vary in length, accommodating RVs up to 50 feet in length, so make sure to reserve the right length site for your RV. Water spigots are located throughout the campground, and the nearby sanitation station makes disposing of any waste a breeze. There are two restroom buildings with showers, one on the north side of the camp and one on the south.
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. Sites closer to the playground are great for families with younger children. 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 mid-October and has 72 campsites available for tent and RV campers. If you're looking for a quieter campground, and don't mind not being on the river, this is the one to choose. No two sites are exactly alike, with shade coverage varying from no shade to full coverage.
The size of the campsites also varies, but most of the sites are suitable for RVs and trailers between 20 and 40 feet long. Three of the sites in this campground are also ADA-accessible. This campground offers 20- and 30-amp electric hookups and central water spigots. The restrooms are situated right in the middle of the wagon wheel, offering easy access for all campers in this campground. The sanitation station is a short drive away, closer to the Riverfront Campground near the entrance to the park.
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.
The Port Huron KOA campground is near big-city attractions and amenities in Detroit and Flint in addition to the St. Clair River and Port Huron’s activities, such as fishing and boating. The area also features plenty of history and culture as well as family-friendly activities and tours. This award-winning, resort-style campground is an attraction in itself with catered breakfasts, ice cream, a snack bar and Kamping Kitchen, miniature golf and other recreational facilities, a pool, bike rentals, a dog park and planned activities for visitors of all ages.
With historic lighthouses, the "Twin Bridges," and Port Huron close by, Emmett, MI makes a great starting place for an hour-long trip to Detroit or Flint. Find a deluxe lakefront spot for rigs up to 80 feet at the Emmett KOA, set on 40 wooded acres with a four-acre lake and sandy beach ideal for fishing and swimming. Full hookup sites with up to 50-amp service, concrete patios with patio furniture and gas grills provide additional convenience. There's Wi-Fi, cable TV, bike rentals and mini-golf to keep you entertained. Propane and firewood are both available on-site.
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.
A smaller organization campground loop is located north of the Wagonwheel Campground, along a gravel road, although it is not suitable for RV camping. This rustic campground has controlled access through a locked gate and is used for group camping and events. It is quiet and peaceful this deep into the woods, and there is an abundance of birdlife to enjoy. Camp facilities include vault toilets and water spigots.
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 sheepshead. 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.
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.
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.
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 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 not available in the park, so you'll have to bring your own skis in your rig.
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. Hunters are required to have a license.