Explore Brighton Howell State Recreation Areas

July 30, 2020 | Story by: Shelby Rochowiak

The Brighton Howell Area is home to three separate state recreation areas that provide endless fun. These three recreation areas are unique in their own special ways. Visit them all and enjoy the large variety of outdoor recreation amenities they have to offer.

Let us know which park is your favorite!

Brighton State Recreation Area

Two Bikes parked facing eachother.

Brighton State Recreation Area is a summer favorite for those who enjoy paddlesports and swimming. Bishop Lake is a popular spot to rent stand-up paddleboards and boats. The lake also boasts Jump Island, an inflatable obstacle course in the middle of the lake. Bring children here to bounce out excess energy, or bring adventurous adults to channel their inner child.

In the winter they offer camping, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing. Wildlife is abundant in the park, and hunting is allowed during legal seasons.

Other activities to try here are geocaching, disc golf, biking, metal detecting, and more!

Pinckney State Recreation Area


Pinckney State Recreation attracts avid hikers and mountain bikers. This spot is home to over 40 miles of trails, with magnificent views of pristine nature. Surrounding Pinckney’s trails are lakes with boating, fishing, and swimming access so adventurers can cool down after exploring trails.

The winter season allows for hiking, fat tire mountain biking, camping, and more!

Other activities to add to your itinerary are horseshoes, playgrounds, picnics, and trail horse rides.

Island Lake State Recreation Area

island lake bordered by forest.

Island Lake State Recreation Area is a 4,000-acre park home to mature forest and pockets of open meadows. While this area has many of the same amenities that the other two areas have, Island Lake has a few amenities that are unique to their area. Island Lake is home to one of the nation’s safest shooting ranges. The shooting range offers clay target shooting, rifle, pistol, and archery shooting. During the hunting season, guests are also permitted to hunt here.

Another unique feature is the Meadow Park Area, which is the site of the only hot air balloon port in the state park system. You can come here to watch balloons take off in the sky, usually early morning or late evening depending on the weather.

Other activities to partake in here are volleyball, biking, picnic shelters, hiking, camping, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing.

Use our hashtag #explorebha to show us your favorite recreation area activities in the Brighton Howell Area.

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Brighton Recreation Area

Brighton Recreation Area, 6360 Chilson Road, Howell, MI, USA

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Pinckney Recreation Area

8555 Silver Hill Road, Pinckney, MI, USA

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Island Lake Recreation Area

Island Lake Recreation Area, 6301 Kensington Road, Brighton, MI, USA

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