RV Rental Big Rapids

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Named for its turbulent rapids on the Muskegon River, Big Rapids is a small hamlet part of the larger Big Rapids Township in Mecosta County, Michigan, about 70 miles west of Midland. The town was first settled by the French brothers back in 1855, and later platted in 1859, and finally incorporated in 1869.

Big Rapids is a wonderful place to rent an RV for a variety of reasons, serving as more than just a suitable gateway to the fantastic wilderness areas of northern Michigan. This delightful college town is home to around ten thousand people, with even more people moving in for the school year running September to May.

When you book an RV in Big Rapids, you can stroll down North Michigan Avenue and see a mix of new structures and old brick buildings erected over 100 years ago. There is an airport on the outskirts of town, and an even larger international airport down by Grand Rapids which is about an hour's drive south.

Discover Big Rapids

The Great Outdoors

Big Rapids favorable position in the heart of lower Michigan means that nearly every park and forest in the state is within reach when you rent an RV in town. From the shores of Lake Michigan to the sprawling national forests of the north, you might have trouble pinpointing exactly where you want to spend your vacation. Luckily, the easiest choice is found right in the middle of town along the Muskegon River that serves as the town’s main attraction. At the Big Rapids Riverwalk, visitors can walk or bike along the river, enjoy the sights and sounds of the rapids, and get some quality exercise in a beautiful space. During the summer months, half the town can be found swimming or tubing in the river, by far the best way to cool off when it’s too hot outside.

If you take a drive to the coast of Lake Michigan, you can bring your Big Rapids RV rental to places like Muskegon State Park over by the city of Muskegon. The park is sandwiched between Lake Muskegon and Lake Michigan, giving it two different beaches on either side. All in all, there are two fishing piers, three miles of sandy lakeshore, a boat launch, 12 miles of hiking trails, and two campgrounds where you can park your Big Rapids motorhome rental overnight. Silver Lake State Park is located farther north on the very same stretch of coast, giving you even more space to camp and take in the scenic views of Lake Michigan. This 3,000-acre park consists of mature forest lands and towering sand dunes overlooking the water. Hunting, fishing, swimming, hiking, and off-roading are popular ways to use the park.

It would be hard to ignore Manistee National Forest, as Big Rapids practically sits right on the edge of the wilderness. Over a half million acres of spectacular evergreen paradise can be explored when you bring your Big Rapids camper rental for a ride through the woods. There are long-distance trekking loops, glacial lakes, sand dunes, beaches, and mountains that contain ski and snowboarding resorts. Additionally, there are several campgrounds scattered throughout the national forest.

RV Park

There are a few suitable campgrounds in the area around Big Rapids. Ann’s Putman Lake RV Park & Campground is located in the national forest area, with a variety of activities to keep guests occupied. There are fishing areas, swimming ponds, paintball courses, a camp store, hot showers, and a whole lot more at this wilderness resort.

River Ridge Resort in Stanwood has a beautiful lodge by the water, a marina, a swimming pool, a playground, basketball and volleyball courts, a camp store, and a bar & grill on site, so you hardly have to leave the park.

City Attractions

The Big Rapids Riverwalk isn’t the only feature you can find in Big Rapids, but it is one of the most charming attractions in the city. Strolling along the Muskegon River is a nice way to get around town, in a very walkable, pedestrian-friendly place. The main streets in the downtown area are lined with old brick buildings that showcase a distinct style that makes you feel very at home in the central Michigan town. Over at Ferris State University, there are a few fantastic museums you can peruse for some insight into the local history, as well as a wide range of topics covered in niche exhibits.

The Jim Crow Museum is a thought-provoking place that looks into the turbulent race relations throughout American history. A gallery of artifacts, objects, advertisements, and other race-related items demonstrates how divided the country once was during the infamous Jim Crow era.

The Ferris State University Fine Art Gallery is another wonderful place to check out while you are on campus, with ever-changing rotations of contemporary artwork put on display for the benefit of the viewing public. There are artist showcases, workshops, lectures, and more at this amazing institution at Ferris State University.

The Card Wildlife Center serves as a museum and education center, also located on the college campus. The primary function of this place is to teach the youth about the wonders of the natural world, from different species in different environments. The hope is that fostering a connection with nature will save the environment down the line, and instill a sense of compassion in the future generations.

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Popular nearby hiking trails and campgrounds

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RV Parks, Campgrounds, and State Parks near Big Rapids