Brimley State Park is a cozy 151-acre state park on the sandy shores of Whitefish Bay. Located at the eastern end of Lake Superior in Michigan, the park was established in 1923 and is one of the oldest state parks in the Upper Peninsula. Its age makes it a hotspot for family traditions and campers still descend on this family-friendly campground all year round.
With grassy lawns and a peaceful lake, outdoor recreation abounds at Brimley State Park. Guests can spend their days fishing, boating, and swimming in the warm waters of Lake Superior or make use of the park’s acreage by hiking and skiing on its scenic trails. The campground is perfect for traditional campers and RVs with well-paved roads for biking and a playground for kids. Families will love picnicking here and viewing many forms of wildlife.
Brimley State Park is a popular destination for year-round RV camping, but please be advised that a Recreation Passport is required to enter the park. Guests can apply for these easily online. Reservations are necessary during the summertime, especially for those campers who have a large rig.
Guests can easily reach Brimley State Park by driving in or boating in. Located 30 minutes from Sault St. Marie along the coast of Lake Huron, the park is easily navigable and the campground has paved roads that are great for biking. There are no driving restrictions within the park, but previous campers have warned of tight campsites that can make maneuvering a large rig rather tricky. Campers who have a big rig will want to be sure to book and arrive early in order to get the larger spots that have limited availability.
Inside the park, it is recommended that guests explore via a small, secondary car or using bikes. Biking and walking are the best modes of transportation as they can go on the many trails and paths that connect park amenities whereas vehicles are limited to the roads.
Brimley State Park Main Campground is a popular spot for many. The campground has a total of 237 modern campsites that offer electrical hookups with a select number of sites offering 50 amps. Be aware that several of the campsites are reserved for tent camping only. There are some pull-through sites for RVs and big rigs. However, most of the campsites are smaller and more compact.
Campground amenities include water filling stations and a dump station. Campers also have access to three restrooms with hot showers and vault toilets. Directly across from the campsite is a small IGA store where campers can pick up any essential items they may have forgotten. Camping reservations can be made up to six months in advance and day-use shelters up to a year in advance. Due to the popularity of the park, guests cannot stay any longer than 15 consecutive nights. Pets are welcome but must be kept on a leash at all times.
For guests who need a break from the RV, the park offers one mini cabin that is available by reservation only. This cabin is located in the main campground on the far east side. Backing up to several shady trees, this cabin can sleep up to four people. It includes bunk beds and basic kitchen appliances such as a mini-fridge and microwave. It also comes with its own private grill, picnic table, and fire pit.
The abandoned railroad corridor that runs along the edge of the park is often used for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing during the cold winter months. The corridor offers a unique path on which skiers can experience their sport. Whether a beginner or a seasoned skier, park guests will find that the abandoned railroad corridor includes many different routes with at least one being suited to their level. Annual family fun days are held on the trails so that visitors can ski any of the loops at their own pace.
The sandy beach and the campsites are great places to enjoy a little metal detecting. Lost coins, pieces of jewelry, and other small treasures are often found here. The beach is by far the best place for metal detecting as the porous sand allows for deeper and more accurate detecting signals. Guests will also find it much easier to dig up their treasure on the beach rather than in the campground.
While metal detecting is classified as an approved recreational activity, guests should still be cautious in their search and be especially careful not to damage the natural and cultural resources in the park. Be aware that anything found within the park will have to be reviewed by the park staff and it may be kept for further investigation.
While hunting is prohibited within the boundaries of Brimley State Park itself, campers and visitors can visit the nearby State Forest Land to the south for some prime hunting ground. Common catches include snowshoe hare, deer, and ruffled grouse. Be aware that this is bear country and black bears are often spotted in the area. Please note that an annual base license is required for every resident or nonresident who hunts in any of Michigan's state parks. All intending hunters are required to have a valid and current base license in order to hunt here.
Brimley State Park itself does not actually have any marked or designated hiking trails that are maintained by park staff. Guests will need to utilize extreme caution if they decide to go exploring in the park forest. Campers and day visitors alike are welcome to use the abandoned railroad corridor that runs alongside the park for hiking as well. Additionally, many guests find the shoreline along Lake Superior’s Whitefish Bay to be a peaceful, relaxing spot for lazy strolls along the beachfront. Keep an eye out for any hidden treasure or sea life that might show up at low tide.
Park visitors can look forward to a wealth of water activities at Brimley State Park. There is a boat ramp available within the state park for those who wish to launch their own watercraft out onto Lake Superior. Activities like water skiing and tubing are popular amongst families. For those without their own boat, the sandy beach is a great place to enjoy swimming in the summer months. In fact, Brimley has some of the warmest swimming areas on Lake Superior. Be sure to obey all park swimming rules. Pet owners should know that pets are not allowed anywhere on the beach in Brimley State Park.
Fishing is one of the most popular activities at Brimley State Park. Anglers can look forward to finding a nice, peaceful spot along the shore or venturing out onto Lake Superior in their boat for deeper fishing. Common catches include whitefish, perch, northern pike, and walleye in the nearby rivers and bays. Visitors who are looking for more of a challenge will want to venture outside of the park to any one of the many nearby trout streams. Please note that a license is required in order to fish in any of Michigan's state parks.