Fort Gratiot County Park

Fort Gratiot Township, MI

Lake Huron



 Are you living in the Metro Detroit area and looking for the Great Lakes experience? Head to the Blue Water area near Port Huron for an easy day trip to one of the Great Lakes. There are a few beaches in the Port Huron area, Fort Gratiot County Park is more natural and secluded than the other Port Huron area beaches if you want to get away from it all. This beach has another advantage over the other Port Huron beaches, It’s free! Plan your next beach day trip here.


Thumb Michigan, Lake Huron

Distance from:

Detroit: 69 miles (1 hour 10 minutes)

Port Huron: 8.7 miles (18 minutes)

Flint: 71 miles (1 hour 8 minutes)

Lansing: 121 miles (2 hours)

Swimming conditions:

I went to this beach in the middle of July, it was in the mid-70s and I would say it was mildly windy that day. It was cloudy to start but cleared up later in the afternoon. It could have been a little bit warmer for swimming, but overall it was a great day for swimming in Lake Huron.  Because of the wind, there were two to three-foot waves, which I enjoyed. Wave height can vary on the weather, take that into consideration when planning your trip. On average the Port Huron area can be about ten degrees cooler than the Detroit area because of the wind off the lake and because Lake Huron is a huge body of water. When going swimming at this beach I would recommend water shoes because water’s edge is very rocky and the rocks extend another three to five feet into the water. Once you get past the rocks, there is a nice sandy bottom free of lake-weed. The water was a little cool at first, but it feels nice once you stick it out.  There are no lifeguards at this beach, so swim at your own risk.

Sand/ Land:

Fort Gratiot County Park has 850 feet of shoreline. The sand is a brownish yellow medium course that extends about 60 feet from the water’s edge. The park is heavily wooded, giving it a very natural feel and a good place to get away from the madness. The beach is an adequate size for a county park, it could be bigger. I went a on a Wednesday and I had plenty of room and it wasn’t too busy, I can imagine, it most likely is more crowded on weekends during the dog days of summer.


They call it the Blue-Water area for a reason with the lake extending beyond the horizon. Near shore the waters are a beautiful teal color and transitions to a nice dark blue far from shore. To the south, you can see Sarnia, Ontario. If you send enough time at the beach, you are likely to see large freighters go by. I enjoy sitting on a beach and staring off into the horizon and thinking about everything or nothing, this is a great beach for that.


The park has a newer and clean bathroom very close to the beach area. I can imagine on a weekend it might be pretty crowded and could be bigger. There are also a number of foot-wash stations for getting the sand off. The beach could use a shower station though.

Parking / Cost:

Parking and entry are free!   There appears to be adequate parking for a park this size.      


Beach Size: 3.5/5

Views: 5/5

Bathrooms: 4/5

Swimming Conditions: 4/5

Travel rating:

Get the Great Lakes experience close to Detroit without the long drive up north. If your drive is less than an hour and a half away, it is worth the drive.

Canada to the South in the distance

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