About Us

Rockport State Recreation Area was transferred from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Forest and Resource Division to the Parks and Recreation Division in December of 2011 and officially dedicated on June 29, 2012.   It includes the Besser Natural Area and land on Middle Island, encompassing 4,237 acres of property located in Alpena and Presque Isle counties bordering on Lake Huron.


The Friends group efforts and input, in partnership with the DNR, will help implement the Management Plan for the Rockport property to transform it into a unique “must see and experience” destination for local residents, as well as visitors from around the state, country and world.



Some of the goals we will initially focus on include:


- Developing trails for a variety of uses including hiking, biking, horseback

   riding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.  Assisting the

   DNR in mapping and marking these trails.


- Providing education/interpretation of the geology, forestry, marine-life,

   cultural and historical features of the Rockport State Recreation and Besser

   Natural Areas and facilitate the participation of area schools and students in

   these activities.  As these features are documented, with cooperation of the

   DNR, develop kiosk signage so that the information can be shared with

   visitors to the Areass.


- Developing viewing areas leading to and surrounding the sinkholes. These

   sinkholes, karst features and dramatic land forms are educational and of

   interest to geologists, botanists and recreational divers.


- Supporting traditional uses of the area including bird watching, hunting,

   gathering and trapping.


- Assisting development of areas that will promote access to Lake Huron for

   water sports activities including kayaking, canoeing, fishing, scuba diving,

   snorkeling and boating.


- Supporting the development of backcountry camping and other opportunities

   for overnight camping.


- Preserving and protecting wildflowers present on the property that are

   species of special concern, threatened and endangered species, such as  

   Houghton’s Goldenrod, Dwarf Lake Iris and Pitcher’s Thistle.


Our activities support the goals set out by the DNR in their “Long Range Action Goals Plan” for the Rockport properties by creating access to recreational and educational opportunities with consideration for resource preservation.  This plan can be found at the Michigan Department of Parks and Recreation website under Camping & Recreation/Park Management Plans.


Direction’s to Rockport- 101750 Rockport Rd, Alpena, MI US-23 north to Rockport Rd. Park Entrance is 2.3 miles down on left.

Besser Nature Area-5 miles east of US-23 on Grand Lake Hwy. Presque

Isle, MI 49777.