Friday, February 24, 2012
Rockport becomes the Newest Michigan State Park; expected to develop a campground
State recreation officials have recently 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.
This action was strongly endorsed and promoted through Negwegon State Park, Rockport State Park, and Thompson’s Harbor State Park (NRTH) Advisory Committee, a citizen-focused group established to work with the Department of Natural Resources on planning and management issues related to NRTH. With input and close collaboration of the NRTH Advisory Committee, the Department has developed management plans for all three parks. The Phase 1 and Phase 2 plans for these parks can be viewed at www.michigan.gov/parkmanagementplans under the heading of “Completed Plans.”
The establishment of the NRTH Advisory Committee, and subsequent planning actions, were a recommendation of the Michigan State Park Advisory Committee (MSPAC), which serves as a subcommittee of the Natural Resources Commission. Establishment of Rockport as a State Park was also strongly endorsed by the MSPAC.
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.
Future actions regarding Rockport State Park will be guided by the management plans for the park and with ongoing input from the NRTH Advisory Committee, which is currently engaged in forming a “Friends Group” for this park. Administration of the park will be handled by Harrisville State Park, and questions regarding its management can be directed to 989-724-5126.
According to the DNR's Long Term Plan for the new state park, camping will be a service the park will offer. "Camping. The highly modified quarry area, in general, may offer opportunities for more extensive development with low resource impacts. The quarry also offers other recreational opportunities and any camping development would be respectful of other uses. Designated rustic camping has potential in the Natural Resource Recreation zone."
The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural resources for current and future generations. For more information go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.