Brimley State Park is located on the southern end of Whitefish Bay on beautiful Lake Superior. It has 237 modern campsites that have 50 amp. service. The park also features a picnic area and shelter, a sandy beach, playground, mini cabins, modern restrooms, and a sanitation station. One of the oldest state parks in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, it was established in 1923 on just 38 acres that the Village of Brimley gave to the DNR. Over the years, more land was acquired through purchase and exchange and the park now spreads out over 160 lovely acres. Outdoor activities are plentiful in and around Brimley State Park, as are stunning landmarks and natural wonders, which makes this park a favorite U.P. destination for campers year round. A Recreation Passport is required to enter the park.
Things to do at Brimley State Park
Fishing is popular in Brimley State Park. Anglers can plan on catching whitefish, perch, northern pike, bass, and walleye in nearby bays and rivers. There are also a number of trout streams within 30 minutes of the park. Although the park does not have designated hiking trails, visitors can use the abandoned railroad corridor next to the park for hiking and skiing in the winter. Lake Superior is the largest, deepest, and coldest of the five Great Lakes, thus earning it the name "Superior." Brimley offers some of the warmest waters in the lake, as well as a nice, clean beach. This fact alone makes Brimley a popular swimming destination during the short summer months in the U.P. Hunting is prohibited in the state park, but it is allowed south of 6 Mile Road on State Forest land. Nearby state and federal land allows the hunting of snowshoe hare, deer, black bear, and ruffed grouse. Geocaching, metal detecting, paddling, and boating are also favorite activities of campers who find their way to Brimley. There is a boat ramp for use at the state park.
When you're ready to head out of the park to experience some of what the U.P. has to offer, there isn't a shortage of interesting and fun activities to choose from. Here are a few of our favorites:
The Pendills Creek National Fish Hatchery& theSullivan Creek National Fish Hatchery (both located in Brimley): While in Brimley, tour the local fish hatcheries to learn about how these two sister locations contribute to the success of the Great Lakes Lake Trout Restoration Program. They help manage and maintain lake trout brood fish as a source of eggs, produce and rear yearlings, and transfer lake trout to offshore sites for stocking into the Great Lakes. A visit to these sites is informative and interesting at any age.
Whitefish Bay National Forest Scenic Byway: For a lovely scenic drive along the shores of Lake Superior, hop on the Whitefish Bay National Forest Scenic Byway in the Hiawatha National Forest. The 27-mile route on Lake Shore Drive travels from Brimley to M123 just south of Paradise. The drive is beautiful as it passes through areas of northern hardwoods, conifers, and wetlands. At times the canopies are so full and lush they seem to extend over the road. There are scenic pull-outs along the route where you can park, read the interpretive signage, and take stunning photos. The historic Point Iroquois Light station just west of Bay Mills offers you the chance to climb its steep, twisted staircase for amazing views of Lake Superior and the surrounding forest, explore the boardwalk, and interact with staff who can answer all your questions. A drive along Lake Superior gives you an idea of just how massive this notoriously temperamental lake is.
Wild Bluff Golf Course: If you're looking to play a round of golf on a championship 18-hole golf course in the U.P., look no further. The Wild Bluff Golf Course in Brimley is a stunning course set on Lake Superior. It offers five sets of tees, a Practice Facility, golf carts equipped with GPS, and a Players Lounge to relax in after you put your clubs away. If you're feeling lucky, go across the street to the Bay Mills Resort & Casino for a night of cards, table games, and slots. Do it up Vegas-style and enjoy free drinks while you're gaming.
Must-See, Worth-the-Drive U.P. Destinations:
While in the U.P., do not miss these amazing landmarks and natural wonders. These awe-inspiring destinations are worth every minute of the drive and will quickly occupy the top spots on your Most Beautiful Vacation Sites Ever Visited list. Don't forget your camera!
Tahquamenon Falls State Park (1 hour west of Brimley): This mostly undeveloped park is almost 50,000 acres large and stretches for over 13 miles! The main draw to the park is the Tahquamenon River with its majestic waterfalls. The Upper Falls is one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi with its 50,000 gallons of water cascading over the edge per second! The Lower Falls are four miles downstream and feature five small waterfalls that flow around an island. The water that flows in the Tahquamenon River has a unique amber hue from the tannins that leaches from the Cedar, Spruce, and Hemlock in the swamps drained by the river. Since the days of the voyager, the Tahquamenon has been known for its large amount of foam as well, caused by the churning action of the falls. Year-round activities include hiking, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, camping, birding, and more. Wildlife is abundant and includes moose, black bear, coyotes, otter, fox, beaver, mink, and more.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (1.5 hours west of Brimley): Prepare to be amazed when you enter Pictured Rocks, America's first National Lakeshore! Stunning sandstone cliffs, beautiful beaches, sand dunes, majestic waterfalls, lakes, a forest, and an expansive shoreline make this area one of the most beautiful and serene destinations on earth. The famous cliffs are stained in shades of red, orange, black, white, and green from minerals. The cliffs stretch for 15 miles from Sand Point to beyond Spray Falls. Year-round activities abound here, such as fishing, swimming, hiking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and more. See Pictured Rocks from the water on a Pictured Rocks Cruise. They are offered from mid-May to mid-October.
The Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie (20 minutes northeast of Brimley): Interested in maritime history? Make the short drive to Sault Ste. Marie to visit the Soo Locks from mid-May to mid-October. Learn about how the building of the first Lock in 1855 changed the way that fur traders, explorers, and Native Americans traveled between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. No longer did they have to brave the rapids in their canoes. There was a new way to travel. Come see how freighters, barges, and tugboats manage this 21-foot drop between the two lakes today. Every year a million visitors flock to the Soo Locks to see this wonder of engineering in action. Come see enormous cargo ships haul their important cargo and wave to the merchant mariners as they go by. Call the Vessel Recording at (906) 253-9290 for the ship schedule.
Mackinac Island (1 hour south of Brimley): Step back in time on the enchanting island of Mackinac. Unique and charming in countless ways, Mackinac Island is automobile free! You'll hear the clomping of horse hooves, the pedaling of bikes, and the pitter-patter of feet, but no horns honking or brakes squealing. The island is a favorite destination of millions every year for annual day trips or weekend getaways. Accommodations range from historic B&Bs and quaint cottages to beautiful resorts. Order a juicy burger at a pub or indulge in a five-course dinner at the iconic Grand Hotel. Shop in the downtown area and take your family on a bike ride around the island. Pack your bags, bikes, and even your pets and catch the next ferry over to Mackinac Island for an unforgettable experience! You'll fall in love with Mackinac before you even step off the ferry.