Port Crescent State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Port Crescent State Park, a 640-acre park along the coast of Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay, is one of Michigan's most scenic parks and the perfect destination for your next RV family vacation. The park rests in the tip of the thumb of Michigan and has a pretty pleasant climate year round. After getting your recreation passport and setting up camp, you can take part in one of the many nature programs offered, take a dip in the lake, go fishing, stargazing, hiking, wildlife watching, picnicking, boating, winter skiing, and take pictures of the many scenic views you'll find.

The geologic and cultural history of the park stretches back hundreds of years, sitting in the same area as a busy, lumber-centric town in the 1800s. However, after multiple fires devastated the area the citizens fled and took their homes and businesses elsewhere, leaving little behind in the town that was once Port Crescent. Visitors to the park can still see remnants of the brick mill chimney and an old steel bridge in the park, but not much else history wise. The natural forming sand dunes in the park provide a fantastic opportunity to learn about dune formation and ecology and make a great wildlife observation area. No matter what you choose to do during your RV getaway to Port Crescent State Park, you definitely won't be bored for a second.

RV Rentals in Port Crescent State Park

Transportation in Port Crescent State Park

Driving

Since Port Crescent State Park is such a popular destination, it's pretty easy to find. The roads inside the park have some tight turns and some of them are a little worn down, but as long as you use extra caution it should be fine. The roads aren't in tip top shape, but that shouldn't stop you from giving the park a chance. Many of the trails in the park are on different ends of the park, and there is no major trail connecting them, so if you don't want to hike along M-25 just to get from one trail to another, you should probably bring an extra car with you. You can tow a car with your RV for no extra charge, and this makes getting from one end of the park to the other a breeze. Bringing an extra car also makes navigating the smaller paved roads within the park easier, so many visitors recommend it. If you're going in the winter be sure to bring a pair of cross-country skis as well since it's easily the most fun way to get around some of the trails. There are a number of areas for parking, even for RVs, around the park including near the Park Office and boardwalk. Of course, your best bet is to park at the campground if you are staying overnight.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Port Crescent State Park

Campsites in Port Crescent State Park

Reservations camping

Port Crescent Campground

Port Crescent State Park features a modern campground with over 140 individual sites. All of the sites have electrical hookups and some also feature full hookups, but they tend to go fast. Keep in mind that this campground operates from April to October. Campers can stay up to 15 consecutive nights, but no longer, and up to two vehicles are allowed at each site. Any additional vehicles will have to be parked in the nearby parking lot.

The campground is practically on the beach and many sites are waterfront, whether it's adjacent to Saginaw Bay or the Old Pinnebog River channel. Even if your site is not directly waterfront, they are all a very short walk from the beach and there are several beach access points you can use. Nearby foot trails can also be easily accessed from the campground, but it is fairly close to the M-25 highway, which means the campground isn't always as quiet as you might like.

Reservations can be made up to six months in advance. This campground can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 50 feet long, although most sites are suited for smaller RVs. You can choose among a site with a gravel, asphalt, grass, dirt, or sand pad. Most sites are level and some are fully in the sun, while others are protected by the shade of majestic trees. You can enjoy a relaxing picnic at your campsite at the picnic table provided.

A few cabins are also available if that's more your style, but many visitors love hooking up their RVs and roughing it from there.

First-come first-served

Port Crescent Campground

You can't count on any sites being available when you arrive at the campgrounds because none of them are set aside for local sale only. However, whatever is not reserved is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Keep in mind that reserving a site is the only way to guarantee you'll have one. It's easy to plan your trip ahead of time since reservations are available up to six months in advance.

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Port Crescent State Park

In-Season

Relaxing Beach Side

RV visitors to Port Crescent State Park can't leave without soaking up some sun beach side. The park boasts three miles of shoreline, so you can pick a spot out and have a lazy family beach day if you choose. The beach is the perfect place for the whole family, whether you're looking to splash in the waves, build sandcastles, or work on your summer tan while enjoying a good book. As mentioned earlier, the beach has several access points near the campground, so your beach paradise is never far away.

Hiking

The various hiking trails throughout the park can be a great way to get up close and personal with all of the nature that surrounds you. A few scenic overlooks can even be found along the trails, providing breathtaking views of the bay and park. The trail terrain isn't too rigorous and should be suitable for all members of the family, although it may get slippery after snow or rain. You can speed through them and get through all seven miles of trails in one day, or take your time and enjoy them over the course of your entire RV stay.

Fishing

An extra long fishing dock along the Pinnebog River provides the perfect setting to spend a sunny afternoon with your rod. Although the bay area is reserved for beach use, there are plenty of spots along the river where you can cast your line out and see what you reel in. Visitors usually have the most luck in the shallow river using worms or minnows and catch fish species such as carp, catfish, small and largemouth bass, crappie, and sunfish. So don't forget to bring your fishing gear in your camper to see what you can catch during you stay at Port Crescent State Park.

Off-Season

Cross-Country Skiing

During the winter months when snow falls on the park, certain trails allow cross-country skiing, which you should definitely take advantage of. The trails may not be the best if you've never gone skiing before, but anyone who has definitely won't want to leave the park without skiing down the trails in the winter. No rentals are available on site, so you'll have to bring your own, but the trails on the west end of the park provide both scenic views and thrilling slopes that just can't be beat.

Picnicking

Several picnic tables and shelters are available throughout the park, with some of them being by Pinnebog River and some being by the boardwalk adjacent to the bay. The views of the water from several feet above provide a surreal, breathtaking setting for a meal with loved ones. The picnic areas also have vault toilets nearby, so all you have to worry about bringing is the food. Picnicking outside the RV is a great way to enjoy a meal while basking in the serenity of nature all around you.

Stargazing

The entire Port Crescent Park is protected against light pollution and therefore makes the perfect setting for stargazing. Whether you visit in the in or off season, as long as the night is clear, you should be able to see gorgeous views of the night sky from the dark sky preserve. The park is one of the few dark sky preserves in the area and is the ideal place to witness astrological events such as meteor showers, eclipses, and spot the northern lights, various planets, and constellations.

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