Along picturesque Lake Huron in northeast Michigan, Cheboygan State Park covers over 1,200 acres of lakeside beauty. Located along the Huron Shores Heritage Route, the park is a perfect RV road trip stop with a mix of outdoor fun and local cultural history of the Great Lakes. Scenic beaches, low-lying forests, and cedar swampland make up Cheboygan Point, which surrounds Duncan Bay to the east. Wildflower viewing is popular during the peak season, which runs from May to October. Nature lovers will love the designated wildlife viewing areas in the backcountry areas of the park for the diverse species that inhabit the Great Lakes habitat.
Designated as a state park in 1962, Cheboygan State Park has a rich maritime history and many historic lighthouse attractions on view. Scenic waterfront views include the 14-foot Shoals Lighthouse offshore, and trails lead to the remains of the original 1859 lighthouse located on the mainland. Hiking trails through the local ecology and windswept dunes are well marked and a great starting point to explore the park. The summer months offer fun in the sun on and off the waters of beautiful Lake Huron. Winter sports such as cross-country skiing keep the park active all year-round.
Cheboygan State Park is located in Cheboygan County, in northeast Michigan. The park lies on the Huron Shores Heritage Route, a 200-mile road trip route along US-23 with beautiful scenic views of Lake Huron. There is a single entrance to the park from US-23 that leads to the day use area and the campgrounds. Most of these roads are gravel roads with the exception of the large day use parking area. There are good dirt roads leading to the lighthouse attractions in the north of the point, though it may be easier to travel there on foot or by bike.
The beach area is a three-mile drive from the campground, so it might be preferable to drive your RV or vehicle to get to the beach day use area. The town of Cheboygan is also only three miles away and offers many local stores and a Main Street, with larger chain stores available a bit farther out of town.
Cheboygan State Park campground offers 78 campsites, many with partial shade cover from the sun. Campsites are available with picnic tables and fire pits. Most campsites are level grade so you should have no problem setting up your motorhome and getting settled. The campground offers comfort stations, three water sources, and a dump site. The RV sites offer 20-amp electrical hookups but there are no sewer or water hookups available. There is a playground in the park for added fun with the junior campers. Water view and private campsites are available, so check for reviews to find your ideal spot.
The campground office is on site and responsive to any needs you may have during your stay. Reservations can be made via the park website, allowing you to choose your preferred site, amenities, and view pictures of each site. There is a maximum number of six people per campsite and reservations may be made up to six months in advance. There are no ADA accessible sites.
Enjoy the Michigan beaches from outside your camper by taking a swim in the beautiful clear waters of Lake Huron. The swimming area is located at the day use area and complete with a park beach house for changing and picnic tables. The shallow slope of the beach is especially popular for families with young children to have a chance to splash in the sun. Pack a picnic for a great day in and out of the water.
Don’t forget to pack your fishing gear in your rig, because Cheboygan State Park waters hold great freshwater catches. The bay is full of Northern Pike, Large and Smallmouth Bass and Pan Fish. Little Bill Elliot Creek also flows through the park and is known for catches of Speckled Brown Trout. Fishing is also available off the rocky shores of the campground area for added ease and comfort on your RV vacation.
A carry-in boat launch provides access to Duncan Bay, which has two shipwrecks in its waters to marvel at as you paddle over them. The Leviathan shipwreck sits at the mouth of Duncan bay towards the southwest side. The Genesee Chief shipwreck is a smaller but worthwhile piece of maritime history. The sheltered bay offers calm waters to enjoy the lakefront scenery at your own pace. Boat rentals aren’t available directly at the park, so make sure to pack your own watercraft or make arrangements for a rental before entering the park.
Metal detecting is permitted at Cheboygan State Park as a recreational activity and there are great areas to search for treasure along the Lake Huron waterfront and beaches. The designated areas within the park are located near the campground waterfront and in the day use beach area. The maritime history of Lake Huron, including the local shipwrecks, make it an exciting place to probe for artifacts. Be sure to report any historical finds to park staff to analyze and help determine significance to local history.
There are well-marked five hiking trails that offer scenic views of the great Lake Huron and the surrounding lakeside. The trails range from a half-mile to one and three-quarter miles, making it easy to hike more than one in a day. You won’t want to miss the famous lighthouse attractions along the way. From the north of the point, the 14-foot Shoals Light is visible from the shoreline. At Lighthouse Point, the remains of the original 1850s lighthouse tower are a testament to the maritime history of Lake Huron.
Don’t let the Michigan winter keep you stuck inside the camper! Winter sports enthusiasts will love the cross-country skiing opportunities at Cheboygan State Park. Several well-marked trails offer fantastic views of the Lake Huron shoreline and inland natural ecosystems. The park also offers an annual lantern-lit evening cross-country skiing event, with a two-mile groomed and lantern marked trail for a unique Nordic experience. Snowshoers and hikers are also invited to attend and join the fun and hot chocolate stations along the way.