Campground – Brimley State Park

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Campground Pictures and Information

Dates of Visit:  July 26 – Aug. 2, 2011

 

Brimley - Lakesite site

The tent is on the row of lakeside sites that run from Sites 190-237.  Most sites on this lakeside are generally smaller, and as the numbers increase, so it seems does the depth of the sites.

Brimley - lakeside row

Further up the road, the Class C on the left is in Site 228. The rear of the motorhome you see on the right is in Site 233.

Most Popular and Requested Sites:

Site 55 - Brimley State Park

Site 55

Pros: On large corner very close to lake (that's the lake behind the trees to the left). 50 amp electric service.

Cons: It's right next to the public path to the beach. Strong, cold winds sometimes from the lake cut through to the site, also bringing lots of sand into RV.

Brimley - Site 237

The cons listed above for Site 55 were given to me by this nice couple in Site 237. Despite the broad difference in numbering, this site is the next one over from Site 55 on the corner.

Mary & Ford (here with their 5 year old grandson, Dylan) are from Rockford and have camped here for over 10 years. They told me they had assumed Site 55 would be the most ideal, but after being there, learned they prefer Site 237. It's still just as accessible to the lake, but the winds are buffered by the trees between the site and the beach.

In general, they said they've always enjoyed this campground not only because of the great beach and how you can watch the freighters go by, but because they find the location ideal for exploring the Soo Locks, or Tahquamenon Falls, or south to Mackinaw City if they want to ferry hop over to Mackinac Island (all within about 50 miles).

They also camp in Colorado frequently but they think MI has some of the nicest state parks they've ever seen!

Brimley - Site 188

Site 188

Pros: nice sunset view over the lake from this site and you can't get closer to the main beach access than this!

Cons: the largest path to the beach is right alongside by that fence, the main road passes in front, and the playground is in back, so if you're looking for quiet camping, I don't think this is the site for you.

Brimley - Site 123

Site 123

This was my first site and it is considered a pull through on their site map.  But even though it is plenty long, I had to disagree with it being a true pull-through.  To me, that term means you can pull in and out without having to unhook your tow. But this would not have been possible in this site unless the site directly ahead is empty. That's because the electric box is so far to the front of the site (seen here at the front of my RV) that there's not enough room to squeeze between it and the tree ahead.

And as a matter of personal preference, I don't like my dining room window facing and being this close to the road, since that's where I sit and work during the day.

Brimley - Site 81

So I was glad they were so nice about letting me move to another site I liked a lot better – a back-in with the bonus of nice trees, but open in the right place so I got DirecTV satellite signal here!

This is Site 81 and here I'm being visited by camping buddies I met at Harrisville State Park – Doug & Lori! We didn't get to visit very long because a waterfront site opened up at Wilderness State Park the day after they arrived here, so they decided they would prefer that and the extra room there. Short but sweet visit, anyway – I love it when you meet "old" friends in new places!

Brimley - Trisha & Me

 

And one of the things I appreciated most about Brimley was meeting Trisha, a Park Ranger who was temporary manager at the park while I was there. She made sure I was familiar with all the features of the park and campground, but also that I saw nearby local attractions that might be missed, like this view at Mission Hill Overlook.

 

Since Trisha was born in nearby Sault St. Marie but grew up in Brimley, her pride in and affection for this park was really obvious. She's traveled all over, lived in other states, but she came back here for a reason. She said she has fond childhood memories of riding her bike here and playing on the playground, so it's a dream to work here now. In her opinion, it's the "quintessential family beach playground" with its all sandy shores and no riptides on this usually calm and shallow bay.

I was particularly impressed when I asked her my standard question, "What's #1 on your wish list for this park?" In response, I usually hear about needed upgrades to the roads or the bathrooms, but without missing a beat, Trisha said, "I just want my campers to have a good time!" Talk about a great "customer service" attitude – I loved that!

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Icon-internetI stayed connected to the internet with my Verizon aircard here, although the speed was very slow. I usually could not get a cell phone signal when in the campground. You should also check with your provider to make sure you're not connecting to Canadian cell phone towers when you roam, which can be an expensive surprise on your next bill!

 

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Readers have asked for short recaps of pros and cons about the parks I visit. I realize this is subjective stuff and what bothers some people, others won't have a problem with, and vice versa, but here goes:

In general, what I was first surprised by in MI state parks, as are most of my readers outside of MI, there are no water hookups at the individual sites. People in MI seem surprised when I tell them that most state parks I've been to do have water hookups at the site (I'm not talking about sewer hookups here), so it's all in what you're used to. I imagine the cost of retrofitting these sites for individual water hookups would be way too cost prohibitive – plus I would think the issue of the pipes freezing in the winter would be a constant issue, also.

As for the dump stations I've seen, I like that the stations are approachable from both sides, with potable water hookups at each end. Quirk is that even though RVs can approach from either side, there is still only one sewer outlet, so two people can't dump at the same time.

Icon-plusPros: Icon-minusCons:

The most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen!

Whitefish Bay on Lake Superior is sandy (not rocky). Although Lake Superior is generally regarded as too cold, the water here in the bay makes this area warm enough for swimming earlier in the season than usual.

During the time I was here, notices were posted along the beach that the water was being monitored by Chippewa County Health Department as a result of elevated levels of bacteria, specifically E.coli, sometimes found after heavy rains in the area. Updated info is available at the office.

Campground ButtonGeneral Campground and Reservations Information:

Modern showers, toilet facilities, dump station, playground, picnic area

50 amp service: 46 sites have 50 amp service and they cost $2.00/night more. 50 amp sites are outlined on the reservations site or you can call the park for more information on them.

Reservations information. All campsites are reservable up to 6 months in advance of arrival date.

Michigan's Recreation Passport is necessary for entrance and/or camping here.

Reviews from other campers at RVParkReviews.com and StateParks.com

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All Michigan Miles (or Malia's Miles blog) pages on Brimley State Park:

Beach & Sunsets  ♦  Campground  ♦  Nearby Neat Things

Other neat things I did while at Brimley:

Soo Locks – Sault St. Marie   ♦  Soo Locks Boat Tour

Many campers I met here took day trips to Tahquamenon Falls to the north, and also to St. Ignace or Mackinaw City (also to get over to Mackinac Island) to the south (about 50 miles apart either way).

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I'd love to hear your own experiences about places I've been - and what you think are "must-sees" - and I really value any suggestions and feedback from readers, so please let me have your 2 cents in Comments below: