SAINT HELEN EXPERIENCES
FISHING, BOATING AND SWIMMING
Lake St. Helen, located just a mile west of downtown, serves as the headwaters of the famous Au Sable River’s South Branch. The Township’s lakeside parks provide a boat launch, swimming areas, picnic tables, benches, paved walkways and play areas, plus an ADA accessible fishing pier and canoe/kayak launch. The lake regularly hosts professional fishing tournaments and an annual Bluegill Festival, and is an excellent fishery that maintains an ideal balance of predator and prey fish including northern pike, walleye, bass, perch, crappie, bluegills, and other species. All-sports, paddle and pontoon friendly, the Lake is six miles long with 18 miles of shoreline, 15 of which are undeveloped. Many any other quality lakes and trout streams are located nearby.
Over 200 miles of well-marked and groomed snowmobile and off-road trails near Saint Helen provide four-season fun for our residents and visitors, with two-tracks, twisty single-tracks, and soggy mud bogs welcoming dirt bikes, quads, and other four-wheelers. The Saint Helen Motorsports Area also features the popular “Sand Bowl” and “Rock Climb,” one of only five such structures in Michigan to tempt the most daring operators of 4-wheel drive Jeeps and other properly-equipped ORVs. Our county ORV ordinance allows enthusiasts to ride on the right side of county roadways and community streets to access trails and nearby fuel, food and support services.
Michigan’s new long-distance Iron Belle Bicycle Trail, currently under construction, will pass just a mile east of downtown Saint Helen and near our Township Campground.
Hikers will find numerous area two tracks and wild game trails to explore. The Ogemaw Nature Park, located 3.5 miles northeast of St. Helen, allows children to view and feed deer in a natural setting. The Red Pine Natural Area Preserve and Pathway, located 8 miles north of Saint Helen, contains a former National Champion Red Pine, and provides gentle hiking through a 34-acre grove of virgin red pine forest that is typical of the former pine woodlands which once covered much of Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula.
Birch Pointe Golf Course is located just south of Lake St. Helen on Artesia Beach Road. The beautiful 9-hole course is open to the public and features watered fairways, a clubhouse with a bar, a driving range, and rentals of clubs and carts. Many other golf courses are located in the area, as well.
The Richfield Township Park and Campground is located 1/4 mile east of the downtown traffic light. The park features a picnic area, a playscape, ball diamonds, horseshoe pits, tennis courts and a skateboard park, all available at no charge. The Township’s two adjacent Lake St. Helen lakeside parks located one mile west of the downtown traffic light provide a boat launch, swimming areas, picnic tables and benches, paved walkways, an ADA accessible fishing pier and canoe/kayak launch, and other amenities. Our Veterans Memorial Park, located on Saint Helen Rd. just north of downtown, offers a place for peaceful contemplation to honor those who have served our country.
HUNTING, BIRDING AND WILDLIFE VIEWING
The wilderness around Saint Helen features abundant wild game including deer, bear, coyotes and other furbearers, rabbits, squirrels, turkey, ruffed grouse, and woodcock. The wetlands and wilderness areas around Saint Helen are also home to hundreds of bird species, including Bald Eagles and other raptors, waterfowl, migrating species and songbirds, including the rare Kirtland’s Warbler. The new Au Sable Birding Trail highlights a number of popular birding locations in and around Richfield Township.
Saint Helen is located just three miles north of I-75 Exit 222, and M-55. The Lake State Railway’s railroad line passes through Saint Helen, offering rail freight connections north to Gaylord, and south to Bay City, Flint, and other metropolitan areas. Saint Helen’s airport provides two 2,600-foot runways for small planes and is located by the campground just 1/4 mile east of downtown.