|An image of Rockport State Recreation Area|
The property’s 4,300 acres include a deep-water protected harbor, a 300-acre limestone quarry with Devonian period fossils and a unique series of sinkholes to explore. The new park also includes the Besser Natural Area and a broad range of land types, vegetative cover, cultural resources and recreation opportunities.
In an earlier post, I mentioned that long term plans for Rockport State Recreation Area included developing a campground.
"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 report said.
Members of the newly formed volunteer group, Friends of Rockport/Besser Natural Area, will host events from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 30, to acquaint visitors with the many points of interest within the new recreation area. Saturday’s events include a hands-on Intro to Fishing program and wagon rides to the sinkholes and throughout other parts of the park. Boat tours around Middle Island will leave from the boat launch. The cost for the rides, provided by a local vendor, will be $25 per person, which is a reduction from the normal cost of $35 per person.
Guest speakers will lead tours and discuss fossils, birding, coastal habitats and other natural habitats. Saturday’s activities take place at the south end of the park near the boat launch area and at the north end of the park at the Besser Natural Area. To get to the Rockport boat launch, take the Rockport Road exit east off of US-23 and drive approximately three miles down the gravel road.
To get to the Besser Natural Area, take East Grand Lake Road north off of US-23 for approximately four and one-half miles to the stop sign. Turn right to follow East Grand Lake Road for approximately one mile to the Besser Natural Area entrance.
The property was maintained by the DNR’s Forest Resources Division from 1997 until December 2011 when it was transferred to the Parks and Recreation Division for future management.
Information on these events will be available at Rockport State Recreation Area the weekend of June 29-30, or by calling Harrisville State Park, 989-724-5126. The events are free; however, a Recreation Passport is required for all vehicles entering the recreation area.