Brighton Recreational Area RV & Campground Guide


The Brighton Recreation Area in Michigan covers 4,947 acres that encompass hills, lakes, oak forests, and even lowland marshes that include swamp timber. You can hike, bike, and ride horses within the confines of Brighton Recreation Area. The park even offers "miniature tanks" that disabled people can ride. They're like wheelchairs, but they have tracks like tanks. These will enable disabled folks to go nearly anywhere in the park, which includes through snow or water up to 8 inches deep.

Nearby Cities:

  • Detroit, MI

  • Ann Arbor, MI

  • Lansing, MI

  • Toledo, OH

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Spring 44-69 F
Summer 77-82 F
Fall 44-73 F
Winter 14-33 F
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Brighton Recreational Area

Campground Accommodations

Bishop Lake Modern Campground

  • Water hookup: No

  • Electrical hookup: Yes

  • Sewer hookup: No

  • Wi-Fi: Yes

  • Pet-friendly: Yes

  • Max RV length: 35 feet

  • Other amenities: Market, potable water, showers, restrooms, fire rings, picnic tables, pull-through sites, firewood for purchase

Equestrian Campground

  • Water hookup: No

  • Electrical hookup: No

  • Sewer hookup: No

  • Wi-Fi: No

  • Pet-friendly: Yes

  • Max RV length: 40 feet

  • Other amenities: Picket posts, horse paddock, vault toilets, manure pit

Murray Lake Rustic Campground

  • Water hookup: No

  • Electrical hookup: No

  • Sewer hookup: No

  • Wi-Fi: No

  • Pet-friendly: Yes

  • Max RV length: 40 feet

  • Other amenities: Vault toilets

Appleton Lake Rustic Campground

  • Water hookup: No

  • Electrical hookup: No

  • Sewer hookup: No

  • Wi-Fi: No

  • Pet-friendly: Yes

  • Max RV length: 20 feet

  • Other amenities: Vault toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, pull-through sites

Seven Lakes State Park

Seven Lakes State Park near Holly will delight you with its 1,434 acres of multi-use woodland and lake area. There is plenty of room along the lake to ramble, wade, swim, and explore. There is a pier for onshore fishing where you can catch bluegill, bass, tiger muskie, catfish, and pike. If you desire to go out onto the water, bring your boat or rent from inside the park from mid-May to mid-September. You'll enjoy renting paddle boats, canoes, rowboats, and motorboats. Whether you own or rent your boat, you must keep the speed to a level that does not produce a wake. The campground offers modern bathrooms and showers, paved trails and roads, electricity, and even an area for metal detecting fun. Overnight prices begin at $16, with full hookup sites running from $29 to $33. There are some pull-through sites if you drive longer vehicles.

Mike Levine Lakelands Trail State Park

If you want a trail-based park running through glorious stretches of woodland and farmland, then Mike Levine Lakelands Trail State Park is for you. The Pinckney area holds this 31-mile long gravel-surfaced linear park, which provides well-maintained trails for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, and wheelchair use. Sample coffee or ice cream at the many stops along the way as you meander from Hamburg to Stockbridge. You may enter at various places throughout the 31 miles of this park. Oak forest surrounds you at some points as you view fish splashing in the Huron River that flows alongside the trail. Look closely, and you may spy a bald eagle hunting its dinner. The trail tunnels under Highway M36 to ensure safety. If you visit in the winter, the trail is plowed. The state recreation passport is not required in this park.

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What to Do at
Brighton Recreational Area

With its own equestrian campground, Brighton Recreation Area is just right for rustic riding. There are trails for horses as well as those for hiking. During the winter, you can use the trails for cross-country skiing, too.

There's an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities at Brighton Recreation Area. Many people bring their metal detectors to search for indigenous artifacts in and around the area. Anything you find, however, must be checked over by the staff to see if it's historically significant or not. During the applicable seasons, you may hunt in certain areas of Brighton Recreation Area.

Inside Brighton Recreational Area

In addition to stellar hiking, biking, boating, and fishing, Brighton offers outstanding horseback riding trails. Try the Brighton Recreation Riding Stable for the perfect mount to ride over well-maintained trails. The stables support all levels of expertise, so you know you're suited to a horse that will provide a unique view of the area's scenery. While you're at the stables, take a riding lesson, go on a hayride, celebrate a birthday, or treat the youngest members of your party to a pony ride. The stables are open every weekend from April 7 to December 8 and open seven days a week from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. 

Hiking Hiking

There are 9 miles of hiking trails that are designated as "for hikers only." The Penosha Loop Trail is a good example. It's a little less than 5 miles long and moderately difficult. The Yellow Kahchin Hiking Trail is a 1.8-mile loop and is much easier than the Penosha Loop.

Horseback Riding Horseback Riding

The Brighton Bridle Trail is a moderately challenging, 5.9-mile trail that's mostly for riders. You can hike it, too, but keep to one side of the trail to make room for the horses. The Outlaw Trail is an easy loop trail that is 2.9 miles long.

Flora and Fauna

Bird-watchers can see many songbirds in Brighton Recreation Area, and these include red-winged blackbirds, robins, cardinals, and chickadees. You can also spot waterfowl like egrets, loons, and several species of ducks. Raptors include a variety of hawks and harriers.

The plants include marsh ferns, eastern marsh ferns, sledges, and cinquefoil. The oak forest has several old trees, and down below, there are creepers, flowers, and other ground cover.

Geocaching Geocaching

There are at least 12 geocaches hidden throughout Brighton Recreation Area.

Fishing Fishing

There is a fishing pier from which you can catch northern pike, bass, and yellow perch. The Huron River also provides places in the shade for solitary fishing. Because of certain chemicals present in the water of the Huron River, there have been "do-not-eat" advisories in the past for all the river fish. Advisories for the lake fish are less common, but they have occurred. So, it would be a good idea to check with the recreation area's staff to see if such an advisory is in place during your visit.


You can rent paddleboards and kayaks by the day at the rental office at Brighton Recreation Area. Or, you can bring your own canoes, paddleboards, and kayaks.

Swimming Swimming

You can swim in Bishop Lake. The beach and beach house there have been completely upgraded. You can even have picnics there.

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How to Get to
Brighton Recreational Area

From Detroit, take Route 96 west until you reach Route 23. Exit Route 96, and take Route 23 South until you reach Maltby Road. Turn west on Maltby Road, which will lead right to Brighton Recreation Area.

From Ann Arbor and points south, take Route 23 North to Maltby Road. Turn west on Maltby Road, and follow it to Brighton Recreation Area.

Entering Brighton Recreational Area

There is a parking area in addition to the three campgrounds.

Brighton Recreational Area for Residents : $13.0

For a year.

Brighton Recreational Area for Non-residents : $11.0

Per day.

You'll make memories that last a lifetime when you take an RV adventure to Brighton Recreational Area. If you don't have an RV of your own, rent one with RVshare! If you share your trip photos on social media, be sure to tag us, or send them to [email protected] for a chance to be featured on our blog.

Frequently Asked Questions About Brighton Recreational Area

What is the best time of year to visit Brighton Recreational Area?

Because the trails all become cross-country skiing trails during the winter, any time is a good time to visit Brighton Recreation Area. Summer's the best, though, because the temperatures are relatively mild, and you can enjoy all the things Brighton Recreation Area offers.

What kind of wildlife can be found in Brighton Recreational Area?

The wildlife is mostly birds. There are more than 100 species that you can put into your birding notebook.

Are there designated RV camping spots in Brighton Recreational Area?

There are three full campgrounds available that provide mostly rustic camping. In the Bishop Lake Modern Campground, there are some campsites that have electrical hookups, and the Equestrian Campground has an electrically powered communal water pump.

Do you have to reserve a camping spot at Brighton Recreational Area and what is the cost?

Reservations are not required, but the staff recommends them because of how busy it gets, especially in the summer. To enter the park at all, you need to purchase a Michigan Recreation Passport on the Department of Natural Resources website. For Michigan residents, the cost is $13 when you buy the passport when you renew your license. For nonresidents, the cost is $39.

The cost at the three campgrounds ranges from $13 daily to $86 daily and depends on what kind of site you reserve. Contact the staff at Brighton Recreation Area for further information.

Are pets allowed at Brighton Recreational Area?

Yes, you may bring your pets with you. You must clean up after them and keep them on a leash at all times. That leash can't be longer than 6 feet. If you bring horses, then you must clean up after them, too, especially on the trails.