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Brighton Recreation Area

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General Information

A young cottontail sits motionless
Copyright: Patty Elton - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
A young cottontail sits motionless
Description - This 4,947-acre area has a combination of high, irregular ranges of hills, interspersed with a number of attractive lakes. Oak forest, thick hedgerows and open spaces blend on the uplands, while grassy marshes, shrub masses and dense swamp timber mark the lowlands. This park boasts a variety of wildlife including white-tailed deer, rabbit, woodcock, duck, goose, and squirrel.

Attractions - There are several campgrounds offering a total of 212 sites. Bishop Lake Campground offers 144 sites with modern facilities. Appleton Lake and Murray Lake campgrounds each have 25 rustic sites. The Horsemen's Campground also has 18 rustic sites with an adjacent riding stable, horse rental and access to approximately 17 miles of bridle trail. This equestrian area is rated among the best in the State of Michigan! Camping is available from April 1 to December 1 with modern facilities (Bishop Lake) open April 15 to October 15 only.

There are four family cabins and one frontier cabin. These are rustic cabins located in an outlying area of the park. They are equipped with hand pumps, vault toilets and LP gas space heaters and are available all year. Because they are heated, winter use is quite popular. Cabins may be reserved in advance by contacting the Michigan State > Park reservation call center at 1-800-44-PARKS or online at the reservation link below

Brighton Recreation Area provides 7 miles of hiking trails and 15 miles of designated trail for mountain bikers. Hiking trails range from an easy walk to a moderately difficult hike. Mountain bikers should be novice riders or better. The terrain is 5% steep, 25% hilly, 40% moderate, and 30% flat. Numerous unmarked trails are open for exploration as well.

Nestled amid the rolling hills are a number of fishing lakes and ponds, many of which may be reached via a multi-use trail. Boat launches are strategically located within the park.

Hunters enjoy their sport between September 15 and March 31, with goose hunting beginning September 1. The park forests and wetlands are home to white-tailed deer, rabbit, woodcock, duck, goose, and squirrel. State regulations apply.

Several beaches and picnic areas provide a wonderful summertime retreat. In winter, the park stays nearly as busy with snowmobilers, cross-country skiers, ice fishermen, and ice skaters. Shelters may be rented through the park office.

The park is in close proximity to the Mt. Brighton Ski Lodge and less than an hour to the Silverdome, The Palace of Auburn Hills, Greenfield Village, and Comerica Park.

Recreation - Recreation features of this park include a swimming beach, bridle trails, riding stable, hiking and biking trails, boat launches, a number of campground and cabin choices, group camping, fishing, paddling, hunting, picnicking, volleyball court, horseshoe pits, children's playground, softball diamonds, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing and ice skating.

Brighton Murray Lake-Rustic - (800) 447-2757, 25 site(s), $10
Brighton Bishop Lake- Modern - (800) 447-2757, 144 site(s), $17
Brighton- Equestrian - 19 site(s), $17
Brighton Appleton Lake- Rustic - (800) 447-2757, 25 site(s), $10
Brighton- Group Use Area - (810) 229-6566, site(s), Contact the park
Brighton-Rustic Cabins - (810) 229-6566, 5 site(s), $60/$80

Brighton-Bridle Trail - 18 (Miles), Bridle, Cross Country Ski, Other Information
Brighton-Kahchin Trail - 2 (Miles), Flush Toilet, Vault Toilet, Hiking, Cross Country Ski, Other Information
Brighton-Penosha Trail - 5 (Miles), Hiking, Cross Country Ski, Other Information
Brighton-Torn Shirt Mountain Bike Trail - 5.1 (Miles), Mountain Biking
Brighton-Murray Lake Trail - 9 (Miles), Mountain Biking

The Brighton Recreation area has become very popular with bird watchers. >

Climate - Southeast Michigan is the warmest region in the state with summer temperatures averaging 70 degrees F (above 21 degrees C) but it is not infrequent for days to reach the high 80s. Winter temperatures are warmer as well with averages hovering just below freezing. Yearly moisture amounts range between 18 - 32 inches.

Location - Skirting the southeast edges of Brigton, travel Interstate 96 to exit 147 at Brighton. Go west approximately six miles to Chilson Road, and drive south one and a half miles to Bishop Lake Road.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Yumi
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: My friend and I took the blue trail, which was a 5 mile hike. It is a perfect trail for people that want a easy~moderate hike. The trail we took allowed no mountain biking, so it was nice to be able to hike without worrying about getting in the way of bikers. There was a nice picnic area to have our lunch at as well. The bathroom facilities was bad (porta potty), but overall it was very nice. I would highly recommend the hike to people that just wanna go on a relaxed hike!

More Information

Contact Information:
Brighton Recreation Area, 6360 Chilson Road , Howell, MI, 48843-9451, Phone: 810-229-6566, TTY: 517-335-4623

Additional Information:
Michigan Lakes and Rivers - Michigan is one of the most unique states in the nation boasting not only thousands of acres of interior natural lakes along with miles of waterways but also expansive shorelines that touch four of the five Great Lakes: Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie.
Michigan State Parks and Forests - Everything that makes Michigan special is embodied in the 96 State Parks. Boasting sterling recreation, Michigan State Parks and Forests invite you to enjoy one of their 14,000 campsites, 170 winter-sport areas and infinite rivers, streams, and lakes.
Southeast Michigan - Southeast Michigan, teaming with people also teams with recreation opportunities. Glacial activity left this Great Lakes region lush with hundreds of lakes, ponds, and marshes.

Cabin Reservation - Michigan State Park Reservations
Michigan Department of Natural Resources - Official agency website.


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