Michigan State Parks: Brimley

Two adults in front of the entrance sign at Brimley State Park

Brimley State Park is in the eastern end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is located on the banks of Lake Superior’s Whitefish Bay, just 11 miles west of Sault Ste. Marie and the Soo Locks.

The village of Brimley donated the land to the state of Michigan in 1923, making Brimley State Park one of the oldest state parks not just in the U.P., but in the overall Michigan state park system.

It’s not a real big state park (only 160 acres). It consists of the campground and a small day-use area. In fact, from our campsite, you could do a 360 and see essentially the entire place.

Camping at Brimley State Park

The campground is the majority of Brimley State Park, with more than 230 sites. And the sites are crammed in pretty close to one another in a relatively open area with multiple rows.

A few of the sites around the outside edge back up to trees, while others back up to the day-use area. A few are technically on Lake Superior but there is a row of trees separating them so it’s not like you’d have a waterfront view.

One of the campsites at Brimley State Park

The sites do come in varying sizes and a few are more pull-in sideways than back in. This helps with so much variation in rig size and type. There also are a few sites with 50-amp service.

There are three bathroom facilities in the campground. I only checked out two of them, so I’m not sure about the age and condition of the third one. Of the two I did visit, one is showing its age, with only 3 stalls and 1 shower each for men and women. The other facility is a newer, modern style restroom with 5 separate gender-neutral shower stalls. I mention this because if you first walk in and see only 1 shower and wonder how that is going to serve the entire park, don’t worry, there are more elsewhere!

There also is one mini cabin and a group organizational campground available to rent as well.

The Day-Use Area

Like most state parks, the day-use area at Brimley State Park has a few charcoal grills and picnic tables, swings, as well as a nice new playscape for kids. The playscape was installed through donations to the Friends of the Park group, so consider helping out when you can. They often accept returnable bottles and cans.

The playground and picnic area at Brimley State Park

There also is a nice enclosed pavilion to rent for events like family reunions. It has great big windows all the way around so guests can enjoy the view.

Brimley State Park technically has two beaches, or at least areas where you can reach the water. With lake levels so high there isn’t much of a sandy beach right now, but there is a designated swimming area.

The beach at Brimley State Park

However, the beach area provides a great view of the St. Mary’s portion of Whitefish Bay where you can watch all the big Great Lakes freighters line up as they prepare to pass through the Soo Locks. Bring binoculars for a closeup view (and to check out the Canadian shoreline across the river!) And, make sure you head down at night, too, as the freighters often are parked offshore overnight and likely to be all lit up.

Activities in or nearby Brimley State Park

During the summer, the Brimley State Park campground fills up fast because it’s a prime location to stay while visiting places like the Soo Locks or Tahquamenon Falls. Also, nearby is the Point Iroquois Lighthouse and plenty of fishing and hunting opportunities.

In the fall, the state park hosts a Harvest Festival/Halloween event that is very popular. Get your reservations in early if you want to participate in that!

A white lighthouse and keepers building
Point Iroquois Lighthouse

We have plenty more adventures to come, so subscribe to this blog and our YouTube channel. We have a video about Brimley State Park here. You can follow us on Instagram, our Facebook page, and Twitter. Plus, you can see each of the parks we visited on this interactive Google Map. You also can keep track of our activities on social media with the hashtags #hikecampgo and #mistateparks100.

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