P.H. Hoeft State Park


              P.H. Hoeft State Park

              Beachfront Features and Scenes

              Dates of Visit:  July 5-12, 2011


This place not only has clean, gorgeous water and luscious trees of many kinds, but it has dunes, folks! Yep, dunes! This was totally new to me and I didn't realize it was rare for this side of MI. And I'm sorry, but this doesn't make it any easier for me to believe that this is not an ocean…

The author of one of the best books I saw about camping in Michigan's public parks (Jim DuFresne), listed P.H. Hoeft as one of Michigan's Top 5: State of the Parks: Gather Together for some of the same reasons I heard from people camping here: the mile-long, ideal stretch of sand for beachcombing and Luke Huron freight-watching, among other things.

Green flag (good conditions) day at the beach at Hoeft! This boardwalk is an easy walk from the campground…


 …or there's another path that will lead you to being able to climb over the dunes.

 From here you can walk along that mile of sandy, Lake Huron shoreline. At the northwest end you come upon…

…Sacred Rock!  Explorer Guide Beckey (blue shirt) took us on a walk down the beach and told us the facts and legends…

According to geologists, the boulder was probably deposited by the receding glacier at the end of the last Ice Age. The rock is presently about 50' from the shore, but there have been times when the rock was completely covered by water.

The more romantic (and the one I like best) Indian legend explains that The Great Manitou got angry at two "red brothers" who could not get along. While they were arguing, he picked up a big stone and threw it on them, burying them deeply into the ground. Good argument for, "Can't we all just get along???"


On another night as darkness fell, Beckey took us out for a star gazing session. I saw both big & little dipper, Cassiopeia, more stuff I can't spell, but the best part was a shooting star! The moon was half full so it wasn't the best night for star gazing, but still a lot better than city lights!


This was Beckey's first year working at the park, but she grew up nearby on a farm and loves it here. When I remarked that the kids obviously took to her, she shared her ambition is to work with kids who are disabled using therapy horses … very inspired and inspiring, Beckey!

Actually, I found the whole staff here to be great and dedicated from the warm greeting when I arrived to the fond farewell when I had to leave. More park managers should understand the importance of that kind of hospitality and what a difference it can make in a camper's entire stay. Blake, the Park Supervisor here, gives new meaning to that word – more on him in the history of the park page…

As usual, one of my favorite things about RVing are the people. Rod & Mary from Saginaw were my neighbors and Rod was so great from the start, helping me get backed in, telling me about things to do in the area, etc.

After enjoying their company and swapping tales over a campfire at their place one early evening, I went back inside when I got cold. But shortly after that, Rod came and got me and said to bring my camera to see this next shot…you gotta love people like this!

 …they knew I wouldn't want to miss this perfectly beautiful sunset. Thanks for sharing, guys!

Sunrise, Sunset… The East Coast (Lake Huron side) of MI is called the Sunrise Side for obvious reasons, but one of the really neat things I learned about this park is that you can actually see both the sunrise and sunset by the water here. Because of the particular way the park is situated, you are looking north at the dunes, so you can see the sunrise at the east end (Rogers City) and the sunset on the west end (toward 40-Mile Lighthouse). Notoriously not a morning person, I never made it up early enough to catch a picture of the sunrise, though, so I can't swear to that…

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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: