Year 2 Day 217 Grousehaven Campground, Rifle River Recreation Area                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Today we explored our campground here on Grousehaven Lake, within the Rifle River Recreation Area.  It is one of several campgrounds within the recreational area.  This particular campground is composed of two loops, each separated by a bit of woods.  Both are just a short walk from the lake, which has a nice little beach.  Rifle River flows from Grousehaven Lake and is augmented by several springs in the area.  It is a slow-moving river that meanders for 60 miles before emptying into Lake Huron.  While I am not sure of its actual designation, I do know that the State has applied to the federal government for making it a wild and scenic river since no dams or other man-made impedances restricts its flow.  Wild trout fishing, canoeing and tubing makes the river very popular during the summer months.

All of the above makes the area and the campground sound like an RVer’s dream: set in a wildness like setting, situated on a beautiful lake, wild trout fishing, scenic canoeing and a wild and scenic river, wow!

Rifle River REc Area

Rifle River

There is only one problem, the State in its infinite wisdom of creating a campground that can hold as many campers as possible, set it up so that each camper is packed close to one another, stripping privacy from everyone.  Sigh.  I really do not understand it.  We are smack dab in the middle of a large dense forest, with miles upon miles of woods.  Instead of planning and building a campground with each site screened from the next by trees and shrubs like what most other states do, instead Michigan’s Dept. of Natural Resources cleared out an area, paved a narrow lane around it, installed some picnic tables and fire rings such that tents, trailers and motorhomes are packed next to each other.  I feel sorry for those who are tent camping because the trailers and motorhomes carry air conditioning units on their roofs which cycle on and off 24 hours a day.



Plus, the lack of space and privacy forced a group of kids to play kickball on the narrow, paved lane, right in front of our bus. So much for the good life…

Mary Margaret and I tripped over tent stakes, boat trailers, pickup trucks, cars, trailers and motorhomes as we walked over to Grousehaven Lake to check out the beach.  It was a nice sandy beach and the water was nice and warm.


There were a few kayakers but, for the most part, the lake was not crowded.  It is mystery to me as to where everyone in the campground goes for the day.  Maybe they rent a canoe or a tube and float down the Rifle River which flows from our lake.

As you can tell, we both are rather disappointed in our campground here.  This type of camping just is not fun and I am at a loss to explain why this campground is so full.  I talked with the campground host this evening who spoke in glowing terms about how beautiful this campground is.  Really?  I was polite and bit my tongue a lot during our conversation.  It is sited in a beautiful location but the campground itself is just terrible.  Oh well, chalk it up to a learning experience.

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