Rifle River Recreation Area RV & Campground Guide


Covering a massive total land area of 4,449 acres within Michigan's Au Sable Forest, Rifle River State Recreation Area offers many water adventure options. This recreation area in Ogemaw County includes seven lakes, three ponds, and seven miles of trout streams. Popular activities at Rifle River include fishing, boating, biking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, hunting, and hiking. The area was not a state park until 1963 when the Parks Division acquired the land and repurposed it into what it is today. Formerly, the area had been used as a private hunting and fishing retreat by Harry Mulford Jewett, who owned it at the time. A few nearby cities are Rose City, Lupton, and West Branch. 

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Spring 16-68 F
Summer 48-82 F
Fall 25-72 F
Winter 7-32 F
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Rifle River Recreation Area

A trip to Rifle River State Recreation Area can be a wonderful experience if you equip yourself with the right resources. RVs, for example, provide unmatched levels of mobility for the amount of space they provide. With an RV, you can stay extra comfy when camping at the recreation area's 75-site campground. Remember to check out RVshare to find the best deal as you consider different rentals.

Wilderness RV Resort & Campground by Outdoor Adventures

One great option for an RV park near Rifle River Recreation Area is Wilderness RV Resort & Campground by Outdoor Adventures. It is a family-owned business that has been building relationships in the area for years. It also includes nine different resorts in total, each offering something different than the last. Some of the amenities include swimming, hiking, and boating. The nightly rate to stay here is $20. The address of Wilderness RV Resort & Campground by Outdoor Adventures is 1050 Husak Rd, Omer, MI 48749.

River View Campground & Canoe Livery

Located 35 miles south of the recreation area, River View Campground & Canoe Livery is another great option. The nightly rates on staying at the campground are $18 for rustic sites, $20 for sites with electricity and water, and $22 for sites with a full hook-up. As indicated by the name, canoeing is a very popular activity among those who stay here. Other fun activities to take advantage of include tubing and kayaking. The address of River View Campground & Canoe Livery is 5755 Townline Rd, Sterling, MI 48659.

RV Rentals Near Rifle River Recreation Area

Nearby RV Rentals


What to Do at
Rifle River Recreation Area

Inside Rifle River Recreation Area

At Rifle River Recreation Area, you can participate in exciting activities on the water, some of which include canoeing, boating, fishing, and ice fishing. If you prefer to stay on dry land, you can go for a bike ride or hike on the 14 miles of trails that run through the park. Due to the freezing temperatures that come during the winter, you can even go snowmobiling at AuSable River Scenic Byway. Other fun activities you can take advantage of are snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Outside Rifle River Recreation Area

Once you feel like you have experienced the state park in its entirety, do not forget to explore the surrounding areas. The cities adjacent to Rifle River Recreation Area boast quality restaurants, entertainment venues, and shopping destinations. Whether you want to get the adrenaline pumping at Ogemaw Sport & Trail Center or just enjoy a nice meal, you are sure to find something to occupy your time. 


Sunrise Cafe & Cabins

Sunrise Cafe & Cabins is a popular place to eat in Lupton, Michigan. Their selection includes classic American cuisine such as pie and burgers accompanied by quality service.

Type: American

Location: 3070 Lupton Rd, Lupton, MI 48635

Rose City Cafe

Another great spot for American food near Rifle River Recreation Area is Rose City Cafe. Since it is locally owned, it is also a great place to support business owners of the area.

Type: American

Location: 612 S Bennett St, Rose City, MI 48654

Trapper’s Sports Bar & Grill

Trapper’s Sports Bar & Grill is a local favorite for pub food and watching sporting events. The lively atmosphere can make any game more exciting.

Type: Bar & Grill

Location: 109 N Williams St, Rose City, MI 48654

No Limits Pizza & Pool

No Limits Pizza & Pool is one of the most popular pizza spots in Rose City, Michigan. They are known for crafting their pizzas the right way, “from scratch.”

Type: Pizza

Location: 111 E Main St, Rose City, MI 48654

Cedar Tavern & Grill

The Cedar Tavern & Grill is another locally owned restaurant near the state park. The menu offers great variety with options that range from fish filets to pork tacos.

Type: American

Location: 2246 Shady Shores Rd, Lupton, MI 48635


Fourth Street Gift Shop

Fourth Street Gift Shop is an ideal shopping place for charming souvenirs that reflect the vibe of the region. Visit the store so you can take something home for your loved ones to keep.

Location: 124 N 4th St, West Branch, MI 48661

The Rusty Red Rose

Another great gift shop located near Rifle River is The Rusty Red Rose. Its name is a reference to its home of Rose City, which is five miles west of Rifle River.

Location: 101 W Main St, Rose City, MI 48654

Northland Plaza

Northland Plaza is a shopping center very close to the state park. You can stop here for convenient access to food and general supplies during your stay.

Location: 2761 M-33, Rose City, MI 48654

Pica’s Bait & Tackle

If you plan to do a lot of fishing, you might find yourself at Pica’s Bait & Tackle. The fishing store offers everything from bait to new rigs.

Location: East, 3519 Sage Lake Rd, Lupton, MI 48635

Lovewell’s Corner Store

Lovewell’s Corner Store is a locally owned convenience store in Lupton, Michigan. Here, you can support the local business community as you restock on supplies to get you through your trip.

Location: 005 Wiltse Rd, Lupton, MI 48635


Rose Valley Winery

If you are a fan of wine, be sure to make a stop at Rose Valley Winery. The spot offers a wide selection and even allows you to taste up to 6 wines free of charge.

Location: 3039 Beechwood Rd, Rose City, MI 48654

Green Briar Golf Course

Green Briar Golf Course is a great location to pass the time if you enjoy golfing. You can either hit the driving range or play a full 18 holes.

Location: 3379 Sage Lake Rd, Lupton, MI 48635

Ogemaw Sport & Trail Center

Ogemaw Sport & Trail Center is an exciting destination you can visit for family fun. It covers a whopping 125 acres and includes a track for ATVs and dirt bikes.

Location: 2374 Lentz Rd, Rose City, MI 48654

Valley Mist Vineyards

Another quality winery you can check out in Rose City, Michigan is Valley Mist Vineyards. The place receives great reviews for its polite and experienced staff.

Location: 2742 Townline Rd, Rose City, MI 48654

West Branch Country Club

West Branch Country Club is a wonderful place to spend a relaxing afternoon with the family. You can enjoy the pool or just hang out and have a bit to eat.

Location: 1905 S Fairview Rd, West Branch, MI 48661

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How to Get to
Rifle River Recreation Area

The closest major cities to the state park are Detroit and Chicago. Coming from Detroit, you will initially travel along I-375 N. From the interstate, take I-75 N to Alger and get off at exit 202 when it comes up. Finally, continue along M-33 N until you reach Ridge Road in Lupton, Michigan. Coming from Chicago, you will initially want to get on IL-394 N in Ford Heights, Illinois. Next, you will take I-94 E, I-69 N, and then I-75 N until you reach Alger. Lastly, continue along M-33 N until reaching Ridge Road in Lupton. 

Entering Rifle River Recreation Area

Rifle River Recreation Area stays open 24/7 all year.

Rifle River Recreation Area Per vehicle : $12.0

You'll make memories that last a lifetime when you take an RV adventure to Rifle River Recreation Area. If you don't have an RV of your own, rent one through us! 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.