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St. Clair Parks, Trails and Attractions





St. Clair is a charming riverfront community. The town has several nice parks, including the very scenic Palmer Park. Boaters and fishermen enjoy the sparkling waters of the St. Clair River and the Pine River. The Bridge to Bay Trail is well used in the area by walkers, joggers and bike riders.

St. Clair Area Trails & Bike Routes

The Bridge to Bay Paved Trail can be used for biking, walking and jogging. The trail segments are asphalt and are 8-10 feet wide. The paved portions of the Bridge to Bay Trail connect several communities along the St. Clair River, including Marysville to Port Huron and St. Clair to Marine City. You can park vehicles at Greig Park or at the small park on Brown Street to access the trail.

The Bridge to Bay Bike Route along M-29 enables cyclists to travel 12 miles from East China Township to Marysville. The route offers nice views of the St. Clair River. If you ride between St. Clair and Marysville, it's approximately 5 miles (one way). Cyclists can use the paved shoulder along M-29, and where there is no shoulder, ride on the outside edge of the road lane.

The St. Clair River Boardwalk at Palmer Park is very popular during the summer. The boardwalk is over a mile long and features beautiful views of the St. Clair River. Palmer Park is a great spot to have a picnic or just relax.

You can see some nice scenery and historic spots in St. Clair by walking on city sidewalks. Using the sidewalks, you can visit the St. Clair Historical Museum and Community Center on Fourth Street or get to restaurants and shops around downtown. Along Clinton Avenue, there are markers near the sidewalk that remember historic ships that were built by Simon Langell's shipyard in St. Clair between 1882 and 1900.

BMX bike riders will enjoy the dirt tracks at St. Clair Bike and Skate Park on Brown Street. They have advanced and beginner tracks with loops and hills for fun and challenging rides.

St. Clair Area Parks

A favorite spot to relax and enjoy the scenery of the St. Clair River is Palmer Park, which is on the east side of Riverside Avenue/M-29. It's an ideal spot for picnics on a summer day. The park has sculptures and several benches.

Fred Moore Highway Little League Park is a large recreation complex with 7 ball fields for baseball and softball. The park has a few picnic shelters and a small playground for very little kids.

Greig Park is on Carney Drive, just north of city hall. The park has a large wooden playscape that is popular with kids. Other facilities include an inline hockey rink, basketball court, volleyball court, and picnic shelter.

Klecha Park is on the south side of town on Palmer Street, adjacent to Hillside Cemetery. The park has three ball fields, a large picnic shelter, and playground.

Rotary Centennial Park is a nice park with flower gardens and sculptures on the north side of the Pine River. It's a quiet spot to enjoy watching the boats that come and go from the St. Clair River and the boat harbor. The park has a pier where you can fish on the Pine River.

St. Clair Bike and Skate Park is on the north side of Brown Street. The park has an assortment of ramps and runs for skateboarding. BMX bikers will like the dirt tracks; there are beginner and advanced courses for riders.

East of the skate park on Brown Street, there is a small park with a ball field. The park is also a spot to access the Bridge to Bay Trail.

Diamond Point Park is a small park along M-29 on the south side of St. Clair.

Alice Woods Nature Sanctuary is an undeveloped, wooded park in a residential area on the north side of town.

Boating and Kayaking

Two rivers, the St. Clair River and the Pine River, are accessible from St. Clair. The sparkling blue water of the St. Clair River is a favorite with boaters during the summer. The river is used for both recreational and commercial use, and you will often see large freighters and boats using the river. The narrower and less-used Pine River is good for kayaking and canoeing.

St. Clair has an excellent municipal boating facility, Charles Moore Boat Harbor, on the Pine River. The location provides easy access to the St. Clair River. It has two concrete launch ramps for boats and a universal access launch for canoes/kayaks, with ample parking nearby. The facility has 120 boat slips with picnic shelters and restrooms nearby. Seasonal and transient boat slips are available for rent at Charles Moore Boat Harbor. The harbor offers fuel, water, electrical service, cable TV, Wi-Fi Internet access, dog run, and playground. The facility is open from April 1 to October 15. For more details, please visit the St. Clair Boat Harbor web site.

Fishing

There are a few different spots in St. Clair where fishermen can casts their lines from shore.
  • A popular spot is a boardwalk that is east at the drawbridge, adjacent to Mike's Voyageur Restaurant. People like to fish over the metal railing, near where the Pine River and St. Clair river meet.

  • Fishermen can fish the Pine River from the pier at Rotary Centennial Park.

  • You can fish over the metal railing along the boardwalk at Palmer Park.
You need a fishing license to fish the rivers and lakes in Michigan. If you don't have a Michigan fishing license, you can purchase one online at the Michigan DNR E-License web site.

Historic Locations

When Fort Detroit was under construction, the British sent Naval Lieutenant Patrick Sinclair to the region to establish a fort where the Pine River and River Huron (now St. Clair River) met. Fort St. Clair was built to help protect British interests in the area. In 1780-81, Patrick Sinclair began the construction of Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island, and Fort Sinclair was the only British fort between Mackinac Island and Fort Detroit. Fort Sinclair operated between 1764 and 1785, and a sign near Riverside Avenue/M-29 now marks the spot where the fort once stood.

St. Clair has several Michigan Historical Markers that describe places and people from the town's past. The green markers are in locations that are considered significant by the Michigan Historical Commission. The historical markers include:
  • Diamond Crystal Salt Company (1886): now called Cargill, marker is just south of M-29 across from the Cargill Factory.
  • First Baptist Church (1873): now the historical museum, the marker is near the entrance.
  • First Congregational Church (1879): marker is on the side of the church along Third Street.
  • St. Clair Inn (1925): marker is near the entrance on Riverside Avenue/M-29.
  • St. Mary's Church (1864) and St. Mary's Rectory (1886): markers are located near the entrances of the buildings on Sixth Street.
The St. Clair Historical Museum is a great place to learn about the history of the area. The museum features a miniature replica of Fort Sinclair and many old photos and artifacts from the town's past. The volunteers that work at the museum are very knowledgeable about the town's history.

Within the St. Clair city limits, there are numerous homes that date back to the 1800s and early 1900s. Along Riverside Avenue, Jay Street, Third Street, and Trumbull Street, you'll find houses that were once owned by ship captains and other noteable individuals from the town's past.

The proximity to a major shipping lane and the availability of trees in the area made St. Clair an ideal spot for shipbuilding. The town had nine lumber mills at one point, and both wooden and steel ships were built in the community. Simon Langell's shipyard built ten cargo ships in St. Clair between 1882 and 1900, including the D.C. Whitney, Kaliyuga, Oscoda, and Ogemaw. Columbia Iron Works built two ships in St. Clair before it was acquired by Great Lakes Engineering Works in 1905. The company built over 500 ships in St. Clair and Ecorse, Michigan, and in Ashtabula, Ohio. The Edmund Fitzgerald was built in Ecorse by Great Lakes Engineering Works in 1959.

More About St. Clair

Murphy Inn on Clinton Avenue opened in 1836 and is one of the oldest inns in Michigan. It has a restaurant that features pizza, burgers, ribs, steaks, and fish. The inn has seven vintage guest rooms that feature antiques and private baths. For reservations, visit the Murphy Inn web site.

The St. Clair Inn on Riverside Avenue/M-29 has been welcoming visitors to the riverfront area since 1926. The inn's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The inn has 38 rooms for overnight stays. For reservations, visit the St. Clair Inn web site.

Other places to eat in St. Clair include Burger King, LaCroix's Riverside Pub, Pepper Joe's, and Tim Horton's on Clinton Avenue. On Riverside Avenue/M-29, you'll find St. Clair Coney Island. Hungry Howie's Pizza and Subway are on Third Street. McDonald's and Buscemi's Pizza are on Carney Drive.






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