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You don't need to venture too far from Detroit to find this recreational hotspot in Michigan. Island Lake Recreation Area sits along Interstate Route 96, not far from its intersection with Highway 23. The nearest town of Brighton provides an easy gateway to this idyllic, 4,000-acre park with its many miles of hiking trails, picturesque swimming beach, excellent fishing opportunities, and, during the winter, adventurous skiing trails.
Besides its vast open meadows and patches of dense forest, Island Lake Recreation Area is surrounded by several smaller lakes. These lakes, along with the Huron River that meanders through the grounds, are the park's main features. So, when you rent a camper in Island Lake Recreation Area, there's no doubt that your time will be spent either on the water, in the water, or next to the water in some way. Should this sound like something, you'd enjoy, then book an RV rental in Livingston County now!
It's worth bringing a sturdy pair of walking boots with you during your Island Lake Recreation Area camping trip, as the park has more than 18 miles of multi-use trails to get stuck in to. Although hiking is the preferred method of exploration here, some of the trails are open to biking and horse-riding too. Just pop into the park office before you visit to check which ones allow your preferred method of transport. Trails here are differentiated by colors, with the blue and yellow paths being the most popular. While the yellow trail is around six-miles long, the blue trail is a little more challenging at nine-miles. Both hikes reward walkers with scenic paths through dense forest, speckles of wildflowers during spring, and views along the riverbank.
Keen fishermen camping with an RV at Island Lake Recreation Area, should not miss the opportunity for an afternoon of angling here. With so many ponds and lakes as well as a lengthy river to fish from, the possibilities are endless. Easy-to-access boat launch ramps make it easy to access the Huron River and larger lakes, while smaller ponds are ideal for fishing from a shady spot on land. If you're not motorhome camping with your own boat in tow, there's a handy kayak and canoe rental service available in the park too. Spring Mill Pond, Island Lake, and Kent Lake all offer up varieties of bass, including largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass.
Something unique to Island Lake Recreation Area is its hot air balloon port. In fact, the park is home to the only hot air balloon port in the whole of Michigan. If you're feeling brave enough, join one of the sunrise or sunset flights to see the park as you have never done before. Rides last just over an hour and romantic packages with champagne can be organized too, if you're looking to treat that special someone.
Unfortunately, RV camping at Island Lake Recreation Area isn't possible. However, there is a well-equipped RV park around a ten-minute drive away, not far from the town of Novi. The Hass Lake Park RV Campground provides visitors with a selection of scenic campsites not far from the water's edge. Campers can choose from 494 pitches, all of which have electricity and water hook-ups, and a small handful of which have sewer hook-ups too. Those traveling without a self-contained vehicle can make use of the well-maintained washrooms, and potable water stations around camp. Additional amenities include a small golf course, basketball courts, free WiFi and laundry facilities.
Alternatively, head to Brighton State Recreation Area, home to four relatively basic but extremely tranquil campsites, one of which is set up for your horses too. You'll find partial hook-ups for your RV rental at the Bishop Lake Campground only, so make a beeline for these sites if you're someone who prefers their creature comforts. All other campsites have washrooms complete with flushing toilets and hot showers, along with dump stations and drinking water taps.
Camping with an RV at Island Lake Recreation Area puts you in the perfect place to explore some of Michigan's biggest and best cities. Detroit is around a 40-minute drive away and is where you'll find a large concentration of museums, galleries, restaurants, and cafes.
Those with a keen interest in history should pay a visit to the Detroit Historical Museum. Here visitors can learn about the last 300 years of the city's fascinating past, from its involvement in the fur trading industry in the 18th century to how it became the town it is today. Travelling exhibitions also regularly grace the museum's walls and, in the past, have included posters from World War II, a look into the state's role in the Civil War, and a collection of classic cars.
Families renting an RV nearby might want to consider a visit to Detroit Zoo. Children and adults alike will love discovering more than 2,000 animals, ranging from aardvark to giraffe, kangaroos to red pandas. As well as daily feedings and close encounters in the petting farm, Detroit Zoo runs a varied schedule of events throughout the year. Lots of these aim to raise awareness of the importance of animal conservation amongst the general public and include fun workshops such as wildlife photography, sunset viewings, and a, adults-only, Zoo Brew Festival.
Creative types might want to check out The Heidelberg Project, an outdoor art project designed to inspire creativity and curiosity in the local neighborhoods. It's possible to visit the art installations by yourself. However, a guided tour will allow you to understand the meaning behind the pieces, and even meet some of the artists involved.