Located along beautiful Lake Huron on the sunrise coast of Michigan, Harrisville State Park is one of Michigan’s oldest state parks. It was established in 1921 on just six (6) acres, but over the years it has grown to its current size of 107 acres. It is in Alcona County and is 40 minutes south of the charming city of Alpena and 40 minutes north of beautiful Tawas Point State Park.
Harrisville state park offers a campground with 195 campsites that accommodate everything from tents to large RVs. There are also two (2) mini cabins and one (1) rustic cabin that are available to reserve year round. The mini cabins have electric heat, a microwave, and a small refrigerator. The rustic Sunrise cabin does not have electricity, but it does have propane heat, a propane refrigerator, and a propane cooking stove.
The park also offers a day use area for swimming in the beautiful waters of Lake Huron, playing volleyball, softball, and basketball on the designated courts/fields, picnicking in the picnic areas where you’ll find grills and fire pits, and exercising your dog in the pet-friendly area that is located at the north end of the camper’s beach (via a foot trail near site #103).
Other activities available at Harrisville State Park are metal detecting, biking (bike rentals available), hiking along the wooded 2-mile Cedar Run Nature Trail, exploring the natural features and resources in the park through the Michigan State Park Explorer Program, and cross country skiing and snow shoeing in the winter.
The park has a great 4th of July fireworks show and every September they have a Hunter Education Weekend.
Things To Do in and Around Harrisville State Park
The City of Harrisville, MI: The Harrisville State Park is within walking distance of the city of Harrisville. Harrisville is a quiet resort town in northeast Michigan and has more forest than concrete. The town has charming antique and gift shops and a relaxed pace of life. During the summer months, there is a summer concert series on Wednesday nights at the harbor in Harrisville and a Labor Day Weekend Art and Music Show as well. A DNR boating access site in Harrisville offers direct access to the amazing offshore salmon and trout fishing on Lake Huron. Also, the beaches in and around Harrisville have been designated as being among the “top ten in Michigan.” This quaint town offers a quiet, relaxed getaway.
Sturgeon Point Lighthouse and Museum: In the fall of 1870, the Sturgeon Point Lighthouse was completed to help sailors navigate around the treacherous coastline of Lake Huron that included rocks and reefs. One such reef reached 1-½ miles out into Lake Huron and was a major hazard to sailing vessels and early steamers of that time. The 70’ 9”-tall lighthouse, located within the Sturgeon Point State Park, has been in continuous service for 145 years and is still operational today. The light on the lighthouse is a 3.5-order Fresnel lens made in Paris, France, and the lighthouse sits on a limestone block foundation. In 1876, the U.S. Life Saving Service established a Life Saving Station at the lighthouse to provide 24/7 rescue capabilities for vessels in distress. When the Coast Guard was formed in 1915, Sturgeon Point became a Coast Guard station. It became fully electrified and automated in 1939 and the last employee left in 1941. The keeper’s house is now a maritime museum that is open to the public on weekends from Memorial Day-Labor Day. Visitors can climb the tower for a small fee. The grounds are open all year long.
Bailey School: Step back in time and visit one of the last remaining one-room schoolhouses in Michigan. Built in 1907 of Norway pine, it was located in Mikado (25 miles southwest of the lighthouse) at a logging camp for the children of the logging crew. It was moved in 1913 to a site on F-30 where area children attended it until 1941. When it closed, the students were transferred to Oscoda schools. Then in 1973 it was disassembled and moved to Sturgeon Point, where it sits today. Restored in 1998, it’s furnished with period pieces, such as a recitation bench, blackboards, desks, a drinking pail and dipper, and a coal stove. The historical society’s annual Log Cabin Day and Strawberry Social are held here every year on the last Sunday in June.
Lincoln Train Depot: For all the railroad fans out there, a stop by the Lincoln Train Depot in Lincoln is a must! The wooden structure, built in 1886, features a real caboose and a switching engine. It was built by the Detroit, Bay City, and Alpena Railroad and served the area until 1929. It received the designation of being a Michigan Historic Site in December of 1998. Now serving as a museum and historical site, it is open for visitors from July 1-Labor Day and group tours can be arranged by request.
Negwegon State Park: Nearby Negwegon State Park offers great opportunities for hunting deer, turkey, rabbit, duck, geese, and more. It is located about 40 minutes north along Lake Huron and is a rustic, undeveloped state park. This 3700+ acre park has a beautiful sandy beach along Lake Huron, but a four-wheel drive vehicle is advised for travel inside the park due to its sandy terrain.