2019 Heartland Pioneer
2019 Heartland Pioneer
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Holly Recreation Area is located in Oakland County, Michigan close to the city of Flint and a little north of Pontiac and Detroit. When you book an RV in Oakland County, you have the perfect base to explore the rolling hills, woodlands, and lakes of central Michigan.
This almost 8,000-acre area offers camping and various activities including hiking and water-based sports, while during the winter, snow-based activities are available. Within the recreation area, you’ll also find a number of lakes for boating, canoeing, and kayaking. It’s a great area for camping with an RV, and there is plenty to see and do for the whole family.
Splitting the recreation area in half is I-75. To the west of the interstate are orchards, woodland, swamp areas, and small lakes. To the east are larger lakes, more swampland and forested hills and this area is the most developed for recreational use.
Camping at Holly Recreation Area gives you easy access to 30-miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. For all the family and with information boards along its route, the 0.5-mile loop Whispering Pines Nature Trail starts and ends in the McGinnis Lake campground.
For a slightly longer hike, the 2.4-mile Lakeshore Trail loop follows the shoreline of Valley Lake and Wildwood Lake, well away from the park road and most of the summer picnickers. It’s an easy route for the whole family and is on a marked footpath for the entire route.
The longest trail is the Oakland County Wilderness Trail, which is a six-mile loop that circles the McGinnis Lake Campground and McGinnis Lake and many other small lakes and marsh areas. The trail is graded moderate, but there are some significant climbs along the route. If you can manage them, there are some nice views over the park and local area.
Mountain bikers will find three dedicated trails in the park, the 2.25-mile North Loop, the four-mile West Loop and dedicated bikers the 18-mile East Loop, also known as Gruber’s Grinder, that includes log jumps and difficult climbs.
Swimming beaches are located on Heron and Wildwood lakes, where you’ll also find picnic tables, barbecue stands, and restrooms.
Close to I-75 and between the two areas of the recreation area is Mt Holly ski and snowboard resort. The resort offers around 20 runs of varying difficulty, but including many green and blue runs for beginners.
Bring your rental RV to McGinnis Lake campground in Holly Recreation Area, and you will find large, modern sites that can cater for even the longest RVs. All sites have electricity hook-ups, but not water. Modern restrooms are available on each of the four loops, and there are a small number of rustic sites available for anyone not wanting all mod-cons.
Pets are allowed, but as usual, must be kept on leashes at all times except in the pet area. There is a playground for the kids, a laundry and camp store for essential items. Close to the campground is the park’s 18-hole disc golf course, that’s sure to be a hit with everyone.
Just to the west of the recreation area is the small town of Holly, here you’ll find basic amenities such as a gas station, some stores, fast food places, and other restaurants.
For model railroad enthusiasts, then Holly has a treat for you. It’s the home of the Detroit Model Railroad Club, housed in the old Holly Theater, and boasts of over a mile of “O” gauge track. The club began life in 1935 and moved to Holly in 1974 and has continued to grow. They love to see visitors and are very proud to show you around the club.
On a more somber note, Holly is home to the Great Lakes National Cemetery, dedicated to members of the Armed Forces. If you have armed forces members or veterans in your group, this may be somewhere they’d like to visit.
The annual Michigan Renaissance Festival has been held near Holly since 1979 and now regularly attracts nearly 250,000 people each year. The event recreates a fictional Elizabethan era village called Hollygrove, based on villages from the time of Queen Elizabeth the first, at the end of the 16th century. Along with many shows and professional actors dressed in period costumes, many attendees also come in period costume to really get into the spirit of the event.
Only a short drive south in your rental RV is the city of Detroit. With all the facilities you’d expect from a large city, it could be a great family day out while RV camping at Holly Recreation Area.