Michigan’s Newest State Park: Rockport

By Allie Jarrell

On February 10, state recreation officials announced that Rockport State Park, formerly known as the “Rockport Property,” is Michigan’s newest state park.

The move from property to park was endorsed and promoted by the Michigan State Park Advisory Committee as well as the Negwegon State Park, Rockport State Park, and Thompson’s Harbor State Park (NRTH) Advisory Committee. The NRTH committee consists of a group of citizens and was established to work with the Department of Natural Resources. Management plans for all three parks (Negwegon, Rockport and Thompson’s Harbor) have been developed by the DNR and the NRTH Advisory Committee.

MNA's Julius C. and Marie Moran Peter Memorial Nature Sanctuary

MNA's Julius C. and Marie Moran Peter Memorial Nature Sanctuary Photo: Katherine Hollins

Rockport State Park is located on the shores of Lake Huron just north of Alpena, and includes 4,237 acres of land. The park features a deep-water protected harbor, 300-acre limestone quarry, unique series of sinkholes, dedicated Natural Area (Besser Natural Area) and various recreation opportunities, such as a boat launch facility.

About 11 miles south of Rockport is MNA’s Julius C. and Marie Moran Peter Memorial Nature Sanctuary. This 95-acre sanctuary in Alpena County is home to Grass Lake, which is surrounded by beautiful flora such as the dwarf lake iris, bird’s eye primrose and white cedars. In addition, Hamilton Road, which runs through the area, was declared the first Michigan Natural Beauty Road in 1971.

For more information on Rockport State Park, please visit the MI DNR website. To learn more about the Peter Memorial Nature Sanctuary and other sanctuaries throughout the state, check out MNA’s website!

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5 thoughts on “Michigan’s Newest State Park: Rockport

  1. I’ve been roaming around Rockport for over 50 years. While a camp counselor in the early-1960s, I worked with a man who was a blacksmith at the Rockport quarry “back in the day”. The quarry ceased operations in 1949, in plenty of time for the construction of caissons that anchored the Mackinac Bridge’s two towers. The caissons were built on barges that were then towed to the Straits. Anyone wanting a map of the trails leading to the sinkholes can contact me through the MNA office.

    • Going to Alpena soon and would like to the sink holes. Also watched a TV show a couple of weeks ago and they showed and talked about being able to find fossils. Any info on that?……………..thanks chuck nolan

      • Yes, the “Under The Radar Michigan” segment was great! I’ve been informed by the DNR that taking ANY amount of fossils out of the Rockport quarry is technically illegal but everyone does it …and… Mary Beth indicated in the tv segment that people can take up to 25# so maybe the policy has changed. I’d be glad to show you around. The best place for fossils in the quarry is the NW corner where a 10-15′ cliff slowly erodes each year producing a treasure trove of fossils at the bottom of the cliff for easy picking. BTW, the publication date for my book “Grand Lake and Presque Isle” is April 27th and it contains never before published photos of construction of the caissons which anchor the two towers of the Mackinac Bridge. The book is available in a pre-publication sale thru amazon. Did I send you the map of the trails to the sinkholes? – John porterjm17@gmail.com The only website I maintain is for my vacation rental in Petoskey.

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