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.
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.