My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Rockport State Park, Michigan’s newest!

Michigan State recreation officials announced that the “Rockport Property,” previously managed as part of the state forest system, was transferred to the Parks and Recreation Division to become the newest state park in Michigan.

There isn’t much information available about the park yet, for that matter, there isn’t much there yet except for an abundance of natural beauty, and the remains of past uses of the land by man. Here’s what the DNR website has to say about our newest park.

“Rockport State Park offers many unique and special features. With 4,237 acres of land located on the shores of Lake Huron, north of Alpena, the property includes a deep-water protected harbor, an old limestone quarry of approximately 300 acres, a unique series of sinkholes, a dedicated Natural Area (Besser Natural Area), and a broad range of land types, vegetative cover, cultural resources and recreation opportunities. At the harbor, the Department has a boat launch facility, and there is a small park developed by Alpena Township on land leased from the State.”

Located between Thompson’s Harbor and Negwegon State Parks this new park will be a perfect fit. This is an incredibly beautiful area, and as luck would have it, I visited it late last summer and of course, took a few photos which I am about to share.

The old deep water dock at Rockport State Park in Michigan

Lake Huron shoreline at Rockport State Park in Michigan

Middle Island, part of which is part of Rockport State Park in Michigan

A Lake Huron marsh at Rockport State Park in Michigan

A wildflower at Rockport State Park in Michigan

A dragonfly

Daisies and butterfly

Fringed gentian

Fringed gentian

Wildflowers

Unidentified hawk

Wildflowers

There’s an existing boat ramp for kayakers and fishermen there, and a very nice small park that has been leased to Alpena Township. I am hoping the DNR will map out some hiking trails soon, but the area is open to hiking now for those who don’t need a developed trail system. If you go, and I would recommend it to any one, please tread lightly, the marshes and many of the wildflowers are very fragile. I can’t wait to go back, I was there at the “wrong” time of the year, spring and early summer is the best for viewing the wildflowers.

The area is also rich in history, there are a number of shipwrecks in the waters of Lake Huron not far from the boat ramp, including one in the Besser Natural Area.

To get there, take US 23 north from Alpena to Rockport road, turn right to go east, and follow it to the end.

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20 responses

  1. If I ever get back to Michigan, this is one place that I would love to check out. Thanks for sharing this info.

    February 12, 2012 at 6:33 am

    • Not that we wouldn’t want you to return, at least for a visit, I’ll be returning there, possibly this spring, and I’ll take every one on a photo tour of the area.

      February 12, 2012 at 12:33 pm

  2. rork

    Last one might be rough blazing star.
    After the daisy, perhaps fringed gentian.
    wonderful.

    February 12, 2012 at 10:37 am

    • Thanks for stopping by! You are correct about the identifications, I was too lazy to look them up last night.

      February 12, 2012 at 10:51 am

  3. Love the wildflowers!

    February 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    • Thank you Cee, but mine don’t come close to the photos you take of flowers!

      February 12, 2012 at 5:40 pm

  4. I was thinking fringed gentian also for the two pictures after the butterfly and daisy. They are quite rare (in NH) and beautiful wildflowers. I’ve only seen one in my lifetime, so that’s a great find.
    You’re lucky to have such a beautiful place to play.

    February 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    • You’ll have to visit northeastern Michigan some summer, they aren’t all that rare in that part of the state. I kept stumbling over them in the Pigeon River Country, and thought that they were “escaped” domestic flowers. Finally, I looked them up and found out that they were indeed wild, and somewhat rare. I hope to go back in the late spring and find some dwarf lake iris, those are so rare that they are on the endangered species list.

      February 12, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      • I’d love to visit that area someday. I looked up the dwarf lake iris-it’s a beauty.Since it only grows around 2 of the great lakes, it’s no wonder I’ve never heard of it. Hope you can get some shots of it this spring.

        February 12, 2012 at 6:00 pm

      • Well, like I told Bob, I’ll be going back there, hopefully this spring so that I can take every one on a photo tour of the area.

        February 13, 2012 at 10:19 am

  5. Is that a red-tailed hawk? Just my 2 cents. Can’t wait til you go back and bring us along with you!

    February 13, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    • It was a very small hawk, I think an immature one from that year. It sounds funny, but I really didn’t get a good look at it. That shot was taken through the sunroof of my vehicle, and I was fumbling around trying to get shots with both cameras. I really have no idea which species it was.

      February 14, 2012 at 2:58 am

  6. Yeah, I think it’s an immature red-tail. May I use one of your Rockport pix, with a credit back to this blog, on getoffthecouchnews.blogspot.com?

    February 18, 2012 at 8:02 am

    • Thank you! It’s fine if you use a photo as long as it’s credited. If you let me know which one, I could Email you a better version of it.

      February 18, 2012 at 10:12 am

  7. It will be smaller, so what you have here is fine. I’ll be checking your blog regularly. Great to find a fellow MI adventurer

    February 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    • I was thinking the same thing about your blog, very nice. I had no idea the Rockport property was even being considered for a state park, or I would have taken many more photos of the area.

      February 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm

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  11. To all the folks that make the rules for the new Rockport state park,as a land owner that borders this land we’ve been riding atv for over 30 years and have made all the trails that exist now. You’ll never have a better time then now to open this land up to the people and there ATV’s bringing in the tourist dollars this town needs to get back on our feet. Jobs,hotels,food joints,would all be boosted to a point that Alpena would be the place to go to really see what has been hidden from most of the people for far too long. The trails allready exist and all you have to do is put up the signs. The horses,and hikers,and people on bikes will never ever bring the money that atv’v would bring. And the people of this state deserve to enjoy all this land. You have DNR riding atv’s to go look for atv’s on really nice trails that the people have allready made,so clearly there are trails.You need to stop harrassing all the people that need a place close to home to ride atv’s year round and go find something better to do. Larry Coleman

    August 19, 2012 at 9:27 am

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