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Around 15,000 years ago, the last Great Glacier scraped and gouged the soft Michigan soil, flattening the land in some areas while scooping out dirt or forming towering hills in others. Bald Mountain is one such formation. Huge boulders piled upon a large hill make up the mountain. Bald Mountain Recreation Area was officially established in the early 1930s, and the Civilian Conservation Corps, which operated under President Roosevelt’s New Deal program, blazed trails, created a beach, and laid down roads. The beach was voted the “Best of Detroit” in Detroit Monthly in 2017.
The closest town with a variety of resources and amenities is Rochester. Rochester, in addition to delicious restaurants and a vibrant shopping scene, has a small hospital equipped with an emergency room. It’s also the closest town with a Walmart store. Rochester is just about 10 miles to the south. Get started planning your RV camping trip today and book an RV in Oakland County.
Four thousand six hundred thirty-seven acres of Bald Mountain Recreation Area is divided nearly perfectly in half by a highway that runs north/south. Bald Mountain Recreation Area is considered one of the hilliest challenging parks to hike in Michigan. The western half is wilder with very few trails, while its eastern counterpart has around 15 miles of marked trails. All trails are multi-use, shared with mountain bikers and hikers. Some of the trails are considered extremely challenging, and past hikers have been known to use them to train for hiking up Rocky Mountains’ 14ers, Mount Everest, and other equally challenging summits around the world.
Hikers, bikers, and other adventurers should wear blaze-orange in autumn. Hunting is a popular activity in Michigan, and many hunters enjoy visiting Bald Mountain Recreation Area. Catches include deer and other small-game creatures like rabbits, woodchuck, and waterfowl. There are also clay-shooting, and rifle ranges for shooters to practice their aim.
When winter arrives, the fun doesn’t stop. As soon as snow descends upon Michigan, transforming the hardwood and conifer woods into a magical landscape, a majority of the trails are open to cross-country skiing and snowmobiles. Note that only about eight miles are groomed, though.
There is a healthy population of massasauga rattlesnakes, which is Michigan’s resident venomous snake. All hikers should know how to identify them, even though they are generally very timid and prefer to avoid people.
In part due to its proximity to several suburban towns with camping restrictions, there is no RV camping at Bald Mountain Recreation Area. However, there are several options the further you get away from Detroit.
RV camp near Oxford, MI, at Horseshoe Lake Campground, which is operated by Detroit Sportsmen’s Congress. There are around 190 sites with water and electric hookups. Restrooms with hot showers and an on-site dump station are available for the guests to use as needed.
Alternatively, Clearwater Campground in Ortonville, MI, may be a good contender. The campground bills itself as a “taste of the ‘Upper Michigan’ without a six-hour drive.” Indeed, the facility has strived to incorporate as much as a natural, wild feel as possible. The campground has 100 sites, all of which come with electric hookups and wifi access.
Nearby Addison Oaks RV campground in Leonard is a seasonal facility with 170 sites. All sites have electric and water hookups, and they are generously sized to allow slide-outs.
Hit the road in a rental motorhome and visit the local sights and attractions. The Legoland Discovery Center in Auburn Hills is fun for adults and children alike. Enjoy the intricate, nearly life-sized sculptures constructed out of Lego blocks, learn about how Lego is constructed in its factory tour, or test your construction skills and build race cars.
Detroit has a long and storied history. Once a vibrant, bustling town that was virtually decimated when auto factories moved out of the area in the late 1980s, Detroit has made a comeback in recent years. It now features a rich cultural scene, music and nightlife, and museums. Motown Museum spotlights the city’s role in the music-making scene, various artists like Stevie Wonder and Berry Gordy, Jr, and the birthplace of the Motown genre. The Detroit Zoo boasts a world-class conservation effort, helping preserve endangered species from around the world. Resident animals include gray wolves, piping plovers, and snow leopards.
At the end of a long day of grueling hikes and exploring Michigan, retreat into the comforts of an Airstream rental. Enjoy the perfect escape with family and friends on your next adventure to Michigan.