One of Michigan's oldest state parks, located along the sandy shores of Lake Huron, Harrisville State Park is also one of Michigan's best destinations for outdoor lovers. Established in 1921, as part of the inaugural batch of state parks following the inception of the Michigan State Parks Commission, the park is spread across 107 acres of beach, hardwood forests, and rocky landscapes, providing visitors with a diverse range of recreational activities.
Located in Harrisville Township, Michigan, visitors to the region enjoy the park's breathtaking views of Lake Huron, as well as a vast array of animal and plant species that are native to the region. Bird species like warblers, woodpeckers, wrens, and sparrows can all be easily spotted by hikers as well as small mammals like foxes, hares and badgers.
There are various other recreational options available to park visitors. History buffs can take a trip to the 150-year-old Sturgeon Point Lighthouse with numerous trails also providing hikers with different views of the Park and its many attractions. For RV campers, Harrisville State Park is a wonderful resort with the park's unique appeal and attractions making it a must-visit for all outdoor lovers.
Harrisville State Park can easily be accessed by foot or vehicle off U.S Route 23 in Alcona County. All vehicles with adequate licenses and a Recreation Passport have easy access into the park with tiled roads taking you to other parts of the park.
Vehicles are not allowed on trails or off-road. Transportation is easy within the resort as there are no other internal restrictions on any vehicle passed fit to enter the park so you'll be able to get around the Park easily whether in your RV, on foot or any other vehicle.
The campground at Harrisville State Park boasts 195 campsites available for tent and RV camping. The campsites are modern, with water and electricity access. Amenities at the campground include a bathhouse, day-use area, firewood vending machine, and outdoor grills.
Most of the campsites are less than 200 feet from Lake Huron, giving campers a scenic view of the lake from their campsites. The Cedar Run Nature Trail runs close to the campground and can easily be accessed by foot or bike. There is also a bike rental close to the trail as well as a mini convenience store and a playground for kids. Reservations can also be made several weeks prior to your visit.
Harrisville State park has an endless list of historical and cultural attractions around the park to keep visitors engaged for days. The Sturgeon Point Lighthouse remains one of the regions's most popular attractions, receiving thousands of tourists annually.
The town of Harrisville is also a short drive fro the park. Art and music shows as well as food festivals are part of the culture in Harrisville, making the resort town a great destination for part lovers. The Great Maritime Heritage Center is also close by and is also worth a visit during your stay in Harrisville.
Taking up one of Harrisville State Park's annual education programs is a perfect way to spend a day in the off-season. The education program is a chance for park visitors to earn their Hunters Education and International Bow Education Program (IBEP) certificates.
The program is supervised by trained instructors and park rangers who issue completion certificates upon the end of the course. Children under 10 are required to have a parent or guardian with them and participants are not allowed to bring their own hunting or bowing equipment. Be sure to register before the event as pre-registration is required.
Wildlife enthusiasts are advised to bring their binoculars to Harrisville State Park as the resort is home to a variety of unique animals which can be spotted by visitors all across the park. Coyotes, foxes and white-tailed deer all reside in the woody parts of the park and some can be spotted when hiking the Cedar Run trail.
Smaller mammals like squirrels, bobcats, beavers, badgers and rabbits are much more common in the park and can often be seen near the campgrounds. Ranger guided tours will also take you to parts of the park where you can spot rare animals like grouse and black bear.
.The park has many easily accessible trails that visitors can use for various recreational activities. Bikers can ride in any of the park's multi-use Inyo Mountains Wilderness trails like the two-mile Harrisville Cedar Run Trail which offers both bikers and hikers brilliant views of Lake Huron and the park's wildlife.
Visitors are allowed to bring their own bikes and riding equipment, but there is also bike rental available near the campground. Try the Alcona Heritage Route Multi-use Trail; a three-quarter-mile trail that connects the park to the town of Harrisville.
Harrisville State Park and Lake Huron are perfect bird habitats and are an excellent birding spot during summer. The lush surroundings and thick forests are a major corridor for migrating birds and provide a home to over 300 bird species. Woodpeckers, sparrows, and vireos are some of the most popular and commonly spotted species near the lake.
Hikers on the Cedar Run Trail can spot some wrens, thrushes, hawks, and nuthatches. The merlin bird is rare in these parts but can also be spotted by attentive hikers. A checklist of birds at the park can also be obtained at the park's headquarters during weekdays.
Harrisville State park offers no facilities or equipment for fishing but a boating access site at Harrisville Harbor gives visitors direct access to Lake Huron. Fishing enthusiasts need to bring their own equipment to the lake, which offers visitors the chance to fish for a vast range of fish species that reside in Lake Huron.
Smallmouth bass and walleye can often be caught near the shores, with trout and bass also popular catches near the edges of the lake. Lake Huron is also known for its large salmon population, with the Atlantic salmon and pink salmon also being popular catches at the lake.