Michigan Roadside: Jenks Park


When I was growing up we would road trip all over the Great Lakes. Mom would pack a picnic basket and around noon Dad would pull off and have a break and a bite to eat. As poor college students we continued in this fashion. We would pack cold chicken, a salad, chips, some beer and pop and have a picnic feast. I realized that we have not tailgated while on a road trip in many years. It’s gotten too easy to find quick food at a carry out place.

This past weekend I was traveling up to the hardware in Port Austin and spied an official State of Michigan roadside park. I pulled into Jenks Park just outside Port Austin.   

It’s charming. Picnic tables and grills overlook commanding views of Saginaw Bay. It’s not a bathing beach so the water laps right up to un groomed sea grass and poplar trees that grow wild on the waterfront.  

Jenks Park is one of two MDOT roadside parks in Huron County.

 There is bathroom facilities and an honest-to-God hand water pump.  

 It’s worth a stop if only to take in the sites and think of times gone by.

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5 thoughts on “Michigan Roadside: Jenks Park”

  1. When I first moved to the Thumb, this was the beach went to to swim and picnic. It was very rocky in the shallows but the seagrass did not go right to the water, it was all on the hill that overlooked the water. I was surprised the last time i was there at how it had changed (i think due to the lack of use and beach grooming). Still a beautiful place but I miss the sandy beach that it used to have.

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