Tawas Point State Park is located at the end of a sandspit that touches Tawas Bay. The 183-acre state park is a great getaway for anyone who wants to spend a leisurely weekend surrounded by a beautiful bay. The park is just an hour’s drive away from the Tri-Cities. It’s also a popular RV destination for people from Detroit; it’s just three hours away from there.
Referred to as “Cape Cod of the Midwest,” this state park is a popular destination for birding enthusiasts. During the migration season, you can see more than 300 different species of birds in the park area. Needless to say, birdwatchers frequent the park mostly during spring and fall.
The park’s lighthouse also attracts history and architecture enthusiasts. Built in 1878, Tawas Point Lighthouse is the only representative of a true Victorian-era style station that is built on the Great Lakes. Since its construction, it has been remodeled several times but it still remains a popular landmark that can take any tourist back in a time capsule.
Other recreational activities include fishing, boating, hiking, and camping. Tawas State Park is especially great for those who are planning to take their family. You can park your RV and head off to the picnic benches right next to the beach. It’s the perfect setting to spend some quality time with your loved ones in a relaxed environment.
RV Rentals in Tawas Point State Park
Transportation in Tawas Point State Park
If you are someone who likes a long, smooth drive, then the road to Tawas Point State Park will impress you. To reach Tawas Point State Park, you can take US-23. From there, you should get on to Tawas Beach Road. The state park is located two and a half miles southeast of East Tawas.
The whole drive from the point you take a turn from US-23 to the state park is beautiful. The road is lined with greenery on both sides. There is hardly any scope to get lost there; only one road branches out towards Tawas from US-23. Starting from Alabaster Township, there is a 13.5-mile non-motorized path that you can take if you prefer to walk or ride a bike. It takes you all the way to the state park.
Right next to the campground, they have a big parking facility that can accommodate cars and RVs. The parking is spacious and is only a two-minute walk away from the beach. There is a smooth paved road till there. But if you want to go in deeper, there is only a dirt road leading towards the Tawas beach. It’s best to leave your car and then explore the rest of the area on foot.
Campgrounds and parking in Tawas Point State Park
Campsites in Tawas Point State Park
Tawas Point State Park Campground
Tawas Point State Park has more than 190 campsites spread out across its large campground. It is surrounded with trees on all sides which provides a good shade to the campsites. Only the campsites that are near the ponds on the outer sides offer very little shade.
Most sites are a mix of grass and dirt while the campsites for handicapped people are well-paved. Enjoy electric hookups as well as a sanitation station. The campground has well-equipped restrooms and changing rooms too. However, if the windows are kept closed for too long, it gets extremely humid inside. It can even give off a stale stench. You can complain about any hygiene issues to the local state park office.
For bonfires, make sure you are using only certified heat-treated firewood. In the past, invasive insects have hitched a ride on firewood and destroyed the greenery around. It’s a great site for those who want to try beachside camping and want to get closer to nature.
Seasonal activities in Tawas Point State Park
Not sure if hiking is for you? Haven’t tried hiking ever before? At Tawas Point State Park, you can give it a try. At the end of the park, there is a hiking trail that isn’t difficult even for beginners. For expert hikers, it may seem a little too easy. The Sandy Hook Hiking Trail, as it is called, is two miles long. Along the way, you can find interpretive stops that can guide you on your hike. However, if you are going with a pet, you will have to stay off the trail. Bicycles and pets are not allowed there.
Paddle boating can be a fun activity that will keep the adults as well as the kids in your family engaged. Tawas Bays’ clean water and an idyllic scenery make it worth all the effort. Paddle boating at Tawas Point State Park is especially scenic at dusk. You can watch the sun disappear as a riot of color fills up the sky. Just be warned — your thighs and feet might ache a lot after paddle boating.
Nothing screams vacation like a good picnic with a beautiful view. Tawas Point State Park has picnic tables right next to the beach. So you can watch the ebb and flow of tides as you sip on your favorite drink. You could also read a book or bathe in the sun for a while. The best thing is the beach is just right around the corner. So you can even jump in the water for a quick dip.
Tawas Point State Park is one of the best birding spots in the region. The region around the state park and the lighthouse is home to more than 300 species of birds during peak migration. From bald eagles to piping plovers and Kirtland warblers, you are sure to find all kinds of birds here. Just make sure you don’t forget to bring your binoculars with you. The diversity is incredible and will leave you amazed. It’s truly a birdwatcher’s paradise.
Along the northern side of Tawas Bay is an 800 foot long and 25 feet wide reef. Since the time it was constructed in 1987, the area has been thriving with different kinds of fishes. It serves as a natural habitat for smaller fish. Because of this, the larger fishes are also attracted to the region. You can find walleye, bass, coho, chinook, lake trout, brown trout, and salmon at Tawas Bay.
An uncommon recreational activity, metal detection is allowed at Tawas Point State Park. It is considered legitimate when it is conducted in such a way that it does not harm the environment. So, if you are planning to go for some metal detection, make sure you know the dos and don’ts of it. Going with an uninformed or a lax approach could land you in trouble there. If you aren’t sure about the rules, it is best to approach the state park authorities to get some clarity on it.