I camped in one of the rustic campgrounds over a holiday weekend and it got a little too rowdy for my tastes. This was just a stop for us on the way home, maybe if we had planned to canoe or kayak down the river, I would’ve left with higher regard for this campground. I know a lot of people like it, but it’s just not for me.
Amazing views and great riding for all ages!
Pprivate. Modern and Rustic, so tents don't need to be in a Zoo of RVs. Tons of trails, great kayaking and canoeing
I spent four days here summer of 17. Well maintained sites. Lots of hiking opportunities. Both modern and rustic camping available.
This here is one of my favorite campgrounds in Michigan. The facilities are clean and kept up. All access to trails, lakes and the river are close and easy to get to. Great location to bring family and pets.
Rifle River Recreation Area is located directly east of Houghton Lake within the AuSable State Forest, near the city of Lupton.
The RRRA offers several camping areas within its borders. We landed in the Ranch Rustic campsites along the Rifle River, site 153. For more detailed information see: http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?type=SPRK&id=489
The outer rim campsites of Ranch Rustic are along the Rifle and shielded from the next site by conifer and brush, so there is a fair amount of visual privacy…but voices carry from site to site.
Having a site directly on the river offered quick access to water, for cooking or playing. We could put in up river and take out at our campsite, which was convenient. Modern bathrooms can be located in the park…but Ranch Rustic has pit latrines. Pump water is available too.
The kids tossed on their PFD's and floated the river from the bridge to our site. You could hear them having a great time…other than their run in with a territorial beaver.
One of the greatest beauties and draws of this area is the five lakes within the Recreation Area…Devoe Lake, Grebe Lake, Jewitt Lake, Grousehaven Lake and Lodge Lake. Each is unique, offering different sights and sounds. We were fortunate enough to see mink, beaver, muskrat, loons, eagle, osprey and three swan…so it was a treasure trove for us.
We could drag or carry our canoes/kayaks from lake to lake with the exception of Grebe Lake and Jewitt. So we simply tossed them on the van and went to our next destination.
There is a really nice observation tower and fishing pier on Grebe Lake. You can't keep the bluegills and sunfish off your hook. We enjoyed mystic fog on Grebe Lake one early morning which provided some great photo opportunities.
The water is super clean and crystal clear…and usually sand or rock bottom. Devoe Lake has a few islands that we explored. We spent all week in solitude until the weekend, when it swells to its limit….and when we usually say good-bye and move on.
Shoulder seasons would be incredible, especially with the color change.