Holly Recreation Area
Guide

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Introduction

Holly Recreation Area in Holly Michigan is a year-round state-run facility that provides RV campers and recreationists with family-friendly activities during every season. The park is located between Pontiac and Flint and is easy to access from larger cities, like the Detroit metropolitan area, which is only an hour away.

The park rests among four lakes. Heron Lake, the largest of the lakes, is a 132-acre lake that allows kayakers, canoers, and boats with quiet electric motors. Because Heron Lake is a popular fishing destination, observing the natural serenity of the water is essential. Visitors can play and swim along the shores of Heron Lake, as well as rent canoes, rowboats, and paddleboats from the park store. Anglers using boats should keep sounds and speeds below a disruptive level.

The other lakes, Lake McGinnis, Valley Lake, and Wildwood Lake, are smaller lakes also perfect for fishing and light recreation. Should you want a quieter, more peaceful water experience, plan on using one of these three, wakeless lakes.

The park is also home to many different types of special events intended to educate and entertain guests and the surrounding communities. Races, tournaments, seasonal festivals, and educational programs take place year-round. Visit the park’s event page to see what’s happening during your visit.

RV Rentals in Holly Recreation Area

Transportation in Holly Recreation Area

Driving

Holly Recreation Area is located 52 miles northwest of Detroit, and 19 miles southeast of Flint, Michigan.

Campers should use the campground access when entering the park to set up your RVs for the night. The addresses to the main park and the campground area are different. Avoid taking the wrong turn and use the 5300 McGinnis Road address instead of the primary address listed on the park’s page. Pass the main entrance and proceed about .7 miles until you come to a fork in the road. Turn left at the signs that say McGinnis Lake Campground, as turning right will take you to the Holly Recreation Area beach.

Michigan State campgrounds require a recreation passport to gain entry into the park's facilities, both for daily use and overnight camping. Please note that this daily fee is an additional cost added to the overnight camping fee. Daily fees vary depending on the visitor’s state of residence.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Holly Recreation Area

Campsites in Holly Recreation Area

Reservations camping

The Holly-McGinnis Lake Campground

The Holly-McGinnis Lake Campground is one large facility separated into an East and West Campground. Each campground has multiple loops, but all campers will enter the campground from the same location. The campground is a seasonally operated campground that offers full facility use during camping season, and primitive camping with no water or restroom facilities during the shoulder seasons.

The campground connects to hiking trails and provides camping guests access to three playgrounds, a horseshoe pit, a basketball court, disc golf, dumpsters, water hydrants, pit toilets, restrooms with showers, and a dump station. The campground office is conveniently located at the entrance to the campground. Please note when reserving your site that the Aspen Loop is a primitive-style loop with no electric, water, or quick access to restrooms or showers. Campers will need to go to another loop to use the facilities.

The Maple, Hickory, Oak, and Trillium loops are more modern spaces that are equipped with 30 or 50 amp electrical hookups, with hydrants scattered throughout each loop. Campers will need to go to another section of the campground to use the facilities. Each site allows leashed pets, and depending on the location, many of the spaces are partially shaded or fully wooded. Many of the gravel and dirt back in spaces are 50 feet, and allow rigs up to 45 feet in length. Each area has a fire ring and a picnic table. Generators or other amplified devices may not be used in a manner that creates excessive noise.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Holly Recreation Area

In-Season

Water Park

Holly Recreation area is one of three Michigan State Parks with a water park on site. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be an American Ninja Warrior, now is your chance to find out! The Whoa Zone is a water obstacle course that provides participants a fun, safe, and challenging experience. Try out the semi-circle step, the gigantic springboard, the wiggle bridge, the half-pipe and more, and experience what fun feels like! Contact the park for information on hours of operation, ticketing, rules, and height requirements.

Picnicking

The Holly Recreation Area has many day use facilities for the visitors who enjoy staying outside in the warm weather. The Sunset Ridge Picnic Shelter, located next to the disc golf course, is a reservable shelter offering picnic tables and a large grill. Visitors can rent horseshoes, volleyballs, and disc golf discs and play all day outside. This shelter is close to modern restrooms and water. The Oak Flats Picnic Shelter is set up in a wooded area and is close to some of the hiking trails. It offers a grill, picnic tables, and access to modern restrooms, electricity, and water as well as a volleyball net and a basketball area. If you want an elevated view of the park, picnic at the Overlook Picnic Shelter. This shelter is close to the Wilderness and Lakeshore trails and has a grill, picnic tables, water, campfire rings, and access to water.

Disc Golf

The Holly Woods Disc Golf course is a place where the entire family can have a fun time. The rolling woodland course allows both 9 and 18-hole games. Beginners to disc golf enthusiasts will have fun on the course because it challenges people of all abilities. Visitors can borrow discs at the park for no additional cost. Because this course is a PDGA sanctioned course, tournaments take place here often. On tournament days, park guests become spectators instead of players. Come and see what disc golf is all about!

Off-Season

Multi-Use Trails

Take advantage of cooler temperatures and bike or hike the trails in and around Holly Recreation Area during the spring and fall. Using the paths during the off-season allows hikers and mountain bikers to see the changing colors of spring and fall. The park has over 25 miles of multi-use trails that accommodate hikers and bikers of all skill levels. The trails are all one-direction, single-track trails, so hikers are encouraged to walk in the opposite direction of traffic to avoid encounters with mountain bikes. See a park map for more information on the mileage and skill levels of all of the park's trails.

Fishing

Anglers can fish year-round at Holly Recreation Area. Aside from skilled anglers, kids can learn to fish with the Fishing In The Parks program, presented by the Explorer Ranger nature specialist. This public program is offered to the public as a free experience intended to educate kids about fishing. Fishing poles and tackle are provided for the kids participating in the program, which takes place at Heron Lake. More experienced anglers will also enjoy fishing on the lake and should contact the park or Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources for detailed fishing information. All anglers over the age of 17 must possess a valid fishing license.

Snow Activities

Because the majority of the park is open year-round, there are plenty of opportunities for visitors to experience winter activities such as ice fishing, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, and snowmobile riding within the park. When visiting in the winter, please be aware that not all of the entry gates are open. Prospective winter guests should contact the park to get detailed information about winter weather activities as well as information about the weather and trail and conditions. Park entry permits are required year-round.

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