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Harrisville State Park is on the eastern side of the state of Michigan, on the shoreline of Lake Huron. It’s a beautiful area with forests and lakes all around and would make a great location to book an RV in Alcona County.
The small town of Harrisville is on the edge of the park, to the north is the city of Alpena and to the south Tawas City. Alcona County is sparsely populated with mostly small towns, but this makes it a great base to rent an RV and explore the quiet roads.
The park was established in 1921 and offers exceptional bird-watching opportunities on the shores of Lake Huron. The lake is popular for boating, particularly kayaking and canoeing, plus there are trails for hiking through the woods.
There’s a long sandy beach within the park along Lake Huron, perfect for sunbathing and swimming. The shoreline is also pet-friendly, but dogs must always be kept on a leash, making camping at Harrisville State Park great for the whole family.
Canoes and kayaks can be launched from the beach, but if you have a larger boat, there is a launching ramp just along the coast in Harrisville Harbor. Fishing is a popular pastime, with easy access to Lake Huron. Catch bass, perch, and walleye from the shore with salmon and steelhead available offshore. Guides and charters are available locally if you are unfamiliar with the area.
Cedar Run Nature Trail runs through the wooded section of the park and is a two-mile loop that is perfect for the whole family. Along the trail, you should see a variety of birds, and once back to the shoreline; there will be plenty of seabirds to spot.
During the winter, the trail can be used for cross-country skiing, plus there is a trail all the way into Harrisville that connects to the park. Bike rentals are available in the park that can be used on the trail.
Camping at Harrisville State Park
The campground offers around 195 sites, some with electrical hookup and can cater for larger campers, making it perfect for camping in an RV near Harrisville. A few pull-thru sites are available, so if you need one, it is advisable to book well in advance. A number of the sites are also right on the edge of the beach, with great views, but again you‘ll need to book in advance.
In the center of the campground is a large washroom with hot showers and toilets, pets are welcome, but dogs must be kept on a leash. Each site has a fire ring, and wood can be bought from the park office.
The nearby town of Harrisville is a very short drive in your rental RV, and you can also walk there along the shoreline path. There are a couple of restaurants, a store and a gas station in town, but not much else.
Just a couple of miles north of Harrisville is Sturgeon Point Lighthouse. Constructed in 1869 to indicate the presence of a 1.5-mile reef, the lighthouse is still in operation today. The lighthouse keepers house was converted into a maritime museum by the Alcona Historical Society and is open to the public on weekends. For a small fee, climb the 70-foot tower and get great views across Lake Huron. Explore the grounds around the lighthouse, and there is no charge for this.
Next to the lighthouse is the Bailey School, a single room schoolhouse that was built in 1907 and restored in 1998. Inside, you’ll find original items from the era including desks, books, blackboard, and much more. On the roof is the original school bell. It’s an interesting step back in time.
Just west of Harrisville and an easy drive when you rent a camper near Harrisville State Park is the small village of Lincoln. It was once the location of a station on the railroad that opened up Michigan but closed in 1929. The Lincoln Train Depot is now a museum recognized as a Michigan Historic site and is open to the public during the summer.
If you’re a baseball fan, then a trip to Saint Anne Cemetery in Harrisville might be of interest. Here you’ll find the memorial to Kiki Cuyler, a Hall of Fame Major League Baseball player, who played between 1921 and 1938. The local restaurant used to be owned by Kiki.
During the summer months, there is a farmers market on Saturdays and Wednesdays in Harrisville, and for entertainment, the Harbor Park hosts live music every Wednesday evening in July and August.