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Monday, September 26, 2016

Harrisville, Michigan / Harrisville State Park

September 2016, Holiday weekend 3-nights, Site 25

I found some of the best park photos for Harrisville State Park on Wikipedia.

Arrival and check-in

We arrived Friday a bit before noon, and check-in time is not until 3:00 p.m. Checkout time is 1:00 p.m., and I had checked online to see if anyone was on our site Thursday evening. The site was open, so we figured it would not be a problem if we arrived early. The agent informed us of the check-in time when we arrived, and gave the impression we could not check-in early. After I inquired further, she said that if there was not anyone on our site, and maintenance was not being performed, then we could check-in. I asked if we needed to drive back there to make sure, and then come back and check-in. She then requested our confirmation information, and said she could check us in.

Site 25

Road into campsite; white truck on site 25
The roads in this campground are narrow with a lot of trees. It was tight backing into site 25, although not overly difficult. We barely fit lengthwise on the 45 x 45 site, as there are a lot of trees around the perimeter of this site. We have a 30' 5th wheel, which is a couple of feet longer including the bike rack on back; still only about 35' total. I did not see 10' to spare after we were parked.
Fire pit on site 25
The only perimeter area of this campsite that is open is by the road and fire pit. Campers on sites 23 and 162 were easily visible when seated at the fire pit on site 25. The rest of the campsite is secluded. There were a lot of trees beside the walkway, so the view out our window toward the walkway was woodsy. The site is somewhat grassy.

Labeled view of site 25
I was surprised to find so much trash on this site when we arrived. Not big pieces of debris, although there were things like bottle caps, a pencil, small pieces of cellophane type wrappers, and a plastic fork. Site 25 was a nice site, although it was kind of noisy. We could easily hear all of our surrounding neighbors. Site 162 is more secluded, and more soundproofed. We met the couple camping on that site, and when we visited with them one evening, we could not hear hardly any activity, like we could from site 25.

All of the waterfront sites in the campground have a beach area. We would have loved a waterfront site, and when we noticed a few people departing on Sunday, I checked online to see if there were any sites available. We would have moved, if a nice site had been available. The online reservation system showed that all of the waterfront sites were rented, and we did not double-check at the ranger station. Later, we wished we would have, because there were five waterfront sites open when we walked through the park that evening.

Carry in boat area at the south end of the picnic area

Recreation: beach, hiking, biking

There is a small beach area by the bathhouse in the campground, and a large/main one in the picnic area. The large beach area had a volleyball net, horseshoe pit, and playground equipment, in addition to the picnic tables. There is an area to launch a non-trailered boat at the south end of the picnic area. A boat launch with a ramp is located in town. We observed a couple of boats on trailers in the picnic area. I assume this is where campers put their boats after taking them out of the water, as there is not room for a boat and camper on the campsites in this park.

Turtle coming out of creek; our beach umbrella and main beach with volleyball net in distance
A creek flowed into Lake Huron at the north end of the main beach. We thought this was a nice, somewhat private, beach area. We were surprised to find it open two of the days we went to the beach. The beach is sandy with a few stones at the water's entrance. The water was a bit murky and stirred up at the time of our stay.

View from our spot near the creek
View from lake looking toward creek











It is a short walk or bicycle ride from the campground to the beach/picnic area, and the main trail is paved. There is one walking trail between the campground and main road (US 23), which is not paved. This trail is less than one mile long. You cannot tell very well in the photo below, but the cattails along the walking trail were some of the tallest I have ever seen - over 5' tall!
Along walking trail

Facilities

The restroom in this state park was the cleanest and nicest looking restroom I have seen in any of our state parks. Because of the large number of campsites in this park, there was always a wait for the shower in the morning.

The sanitation station was a bit chaotic when we left. There were only two lanes, and there are more than 200 campsites in this park. None of the sites have full hook-up. At least in Grayling, where there are more than 100 campsites, many of the sites have full hook-up, which eliminates the congestion, as campers depart. A park ranger was directing the flow when we left in the morning, and we waited about 10 to 15 minutes for our turn.

Misc. and Harrisville area

It is less than one mile to town from the campground. There is an exit at the north end of the park from the paved trail in the park. A big art festival was going on downtown the weekend of our stay. Other than that, there was not much to see or do in town. We observed a grocery store in town, although we did not go inside to see what they had to offer.

Modern Craft Winery tasting room is located across the street from the park, just north of the entrance drive. They offer three complimentary tastes, or you can buy more, which includes a small glass. We thought this was an interesting visit on our way back from the craft show.

Let me know, if you have anything to add. Please share this post for others!