Description - Wilson State Park was originally the site of the Wilson Brothers Sawmill and Company Store, which thrived in the late 1800s. The land was deeded to the City of Harrison in 1901 and in 1920 was turned over to the State of Michigan to be used as a state park. The 36-acre park was officially dedicated in 1927. The beach and residence building at the park entrance were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps from 1939 to 1941.
Copyright: Michigan State Parks & Forests
Shady camping and muskie fishing are enjoyed at Wilson State Park
- Wilson State Park is a small public facility boasting a variety of outdoor activities. The campground offers 160 sites with modern bathhouses open April 1 to December 1. The sites are situated on two loops with electric hookup at each site. The area is well shaded with pines and hardwoods. There is a Rent-A-Tipi program that is very popular in the park. One mini-cabin is available for rent as well. It provides bunk beds for four, a table with four chairs, a fire ring, cooking grill, picnic table, and a concrete patio.
The day use area has a sandy beach with a beach house and a picnic shelter. Also, between the camping and day use area, there are two playgrounds for children.
The park is located on Budd Lake, which is a 175-acre lake that boasts great fishing. A large population of muskie, rock bass, pan fish, yellow perch, and walleye inhabit the lake. Besides fishing, speed boating and waterskiing are popular water sports. A modern concrete launch ramp is located outside the park on the south end of the lake and mooring is allowed along the lake's shoreline.
Ice fishing, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing are the major winter recreation activities at Wilson State Park. There is also downhill skiing at Snowsnake Mountain, winter hiking, and golfing at the annual Frost Bite Open Golf Tournament on Budd Lake.
No hunting is allowed in Wilson State Park, but there are thousands of acres of state and federal land that are open to hunting only a few miles away. Grouse, woodcock, squirrel, rabbit, deer, and bear are all popular game animals in the surrounding hunting areas.
The Clare County Fairgrounds are across from the park and host many activities in the summer months including the County Fair, Michigan Bow Hunters Rendezvous, Monster Truck Show, and the Exhibitor's Exposition. Other local activities are miniature golf, arcade games, batting cages, go-carts, canoeing on the Muskegon River, 18 hole golf, biking, and nature observation.
Recreation - Recreations pursued at Wilson State Park include boating, fishing, camping, cabin lodging, water sports, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing.
Climate - Northern Michigan normally experiences mild summers with average temperatures around 70 degrees F (21 degrees C). Winter temperatures average 14 - 22 degrees F (-10 to -6 degrees C). Yearly rain and snowmelt in the region averages 28 - 36 inches but can be dramatically altered by the "lake effect," thus depositing significant amounts of snow within a short period of time causing hazardous road conditions.
Wilson State Park is located on the western shore of Budd Lake one miles north of Harrison along Business Route 27 (off US-27).