Residents of the Detroit Metro area have it better than you might think. Less than an hour northwest from busy and developed Detroit there is one of the greatest opportunities for camping, swimming, and fishing in the whole region.
Proud Lake State Recreation Area is more than 4,700 acres of dense oak forest and wildflower meadows surrounding Proud Lake on the Huron River. The park is a popular destination for RV camping, kayaking, paddle boards, fly fishing, hiking, horseback riding, and cross country skiing.
Another section of the park houses the Riverhawk Lodge, Conference Center, Cafe, and other modern buildings which are available to rent for private parties and gatherings such as weddings and company outings.
The twenty miles of hiking trails are well used year round by hikers, equestrians, mountain bikers, and even cross-country skiers. The trails explore each section of the park and also follow along both sides of the Huron River as it flows through the park. Many residents of local neighborhoods regularly walk the park and it's a popular spot for pet owners.
The sweltering Detroit summers bring droves of people to Proud Lake for simple water fun. It's a nice size lake for floating and feeling safe with the kids exploring the shallows. While there isn't specifically a beach, there is a giant grassy bank on the edge of the lake by the campground, and it doesn't drop off quickly from the shallows. In the summer, this area is filled with colorful float toys and beach towels.
RV Rentals in Proud Lake Recreation Area
Transportation in Proud Lake Recreation Area
The entire campground is on a hillside which can make it difficult for larger RVs to level without extra blocking. All of the sites are back-in, but roomy and extra long. The power boxes are in the rear, which can require an extension for some designs. Cell service is also pretty weak if you're trying to work.
Campgrounds and parking in Proud Lake Recreation Area
Campsites in Proud Lake Recreation Area
Proud Lake State Recreation Campground
There are 130 campsites with power and enough room for any size equipment. There are no full hook-up sites, but there is a dump station and water fill. There are full restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and fire rings. There is also a boat ramp, and volleyball and basketball courts. Campers will need a state park pass in addition to paying for the campsite.
The campground is incredibly inviting, with extra-wide grassy spaces, and electricity at each site. The main section of the lake with a swimming area and a boat launch is just a short walk from the campground. This section of the park is also utilized frequently for many kinds of major festivals and activities open to the public. Most of the events are specifically geared toward weekend entertainment for families like zip-lines, fishing derbys, canoe races, and harvest festivals.
Seasonal activities in Proud Lake Recreation Area
Fishing Proud Lake
A wide variety of water features provide anglers of all kinds a chance to test their skills with hatchery brown and rainbow trout. Wading in the river areas and dry fly fishing is very popular and can get pretty busy on weekends. Proud Lake has some of the largest fish because the hatchery releases broodstock fish weighing up to five pounds into the lake. Simple lure and bobber fishing in the lake closer to the campground does fine as well, if you're getting the kids into it. Check with the Michigan DNR.
With nice shallow areas throughout the park, the whole family will find relief from hot Detroit summers. Proud Lake is a perfect place to simply float around on pool toys with a cooler of cold drinks for the day. Several places in and near the park rent paddle boards and kayaks for slightly more ambitious water fun. There are showers and bathrooms to change in for day use swimmers.
Concerts and Festivals at Proud Lake
The Proud Lake State Recreation Area is a prime location for large Detroit area festivals and live music events. Yoga gatherings, mushroom festivals , fall celebrations and full-blown outdoor music festivals all happen at Proud Lake. Check with the State Park and the Detroit local papers for scheduled events coming up.
Because of the unique geography here, Proud Lake is actually a chain of several smaller lakes linked by shallow river sections. There is no better way to explore this than with a kayak. You'll be able to whisk through each of the shallow sections with ease and see every part of the Huron River as it winds through the park. Having a GPS may be helpful, as it's surprisingly easy to get lost in all the bends and turns on the water. This is your best chance to see wildlife in the park. Follow the signs for the boat launch or use the one right in the campground.
With twenty miles of trail to explore the lake, the river, and also the parks's marshland, hiking opportunities abound at Proud Lake State Recreation Area. The park has a surprising amount of wildlife and forested area for being this close to Detroit. Hikers frequent this area all year round and it is a popular place for walking on-leash dogs.
Cross Country Skiing
With over twenty miles of trails within the park, some of them running parallel to the Huron River, Proud Lake State Recreation Area has plenty of terrain to get out and ski once the snow flies. There is a warming shack and usually most of the trails are groomed for classic cross country skiing. There's not enough width for skate skiers.