When you think about camping in Michigan, it’s the water that draws most to the Great Lakes State. Michigan has 3,288 miles of shoreline, the second longest of any state, including 1,056 miles of island coast. Plus, you’re never more than six miles from a natural water source, or more than 85 miles away from a Great Lake.
There are plenty of opportunities for coastal and island camping in Michigan, but it’s more than just water. Michigan has the largest state park and state forest system of any state, with over 100 state parks, recreation areas, and state forests. There are also several national parks, forests, and lakeshores to pitch a tent or park the adventure rig. Needless to say, you have some options, so stick with The Dyrt to help you narrow it down. Consider these main Michigan attractions when deciding on where to go camping in Michigan.
For most campers, the epicenter of natural beauty and outdoor recreation in Michigan is Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Mountainous dunes slope from high peaks and plateaus down to meet with the clear blue waters of Lake Michigan. Hiking, biking, hang gliding, off-roading, kiteboarding, paddle boarding, or just simply sandy beach lounging can all be found in and around Sleeping Bear Dunes. Also, when you take a camping trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes, the nearby quaint towns and rolling inland hills speckled with fruit orchards provide the perfect bonus excursions.
Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state in the country. Michigan waterways have been essential to the growth of the nation, but they’ve also been treacherous for mariners for centuries, and continue to demand respect. When camping in Michigan, touring some of the iconic Michigan lighthouses can be a great way to learn about the history of the region, while also taking in stellar views of natural landscapes and architectural achievement. Check in with The Dyrt for information on camping near some great Michigan lighthouses.
Finally, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is an entire playground of its own for outdoor recreation and exploration. Discover some of the many waterfalls like the impressive Tahquamenon Falls, or kayak on Lake Superior for a memorable view of the famous Pictured Rocks. The power of Lake Superior can be seen across the northern shore with unique rock formations, and remnants of the prominent mining and shipping industry still exist throughout. If you’re thinking about more remote or wild camping options in Michigan, the Upper Peninsula is for you. Whatever your camping style, stay tuned to The Dyrt for inside information on the best camping in Michigan.
We stayed here in 2018. It's a small one loop campground. The staff is super friendly and very helpful. It was quite and clean. They had free WiFi with a strong signal. Dogs are allowed, but must be on a leash at all times. Firewood is available onsite, but it's very green. Showers and bathrooms are clean, but $.75 per shower. I would definitely go back.
This park offers excellent access to two beautiful lakes and Traverse City is a quick 15 minute drive. The Duck Lake camground is very large. The North end is less shaded with more grass on many sites. The south campground is well shaded and has some slopped sites. Both have sites with lake frontage, but you need to book 6 months in advance to get one. Nice Beach area near the camp store. There are two boat launches for Duck Lake. Bath houses are typical of MI State Parks: adequate and cleaned regularly.
We stay in this campground once per year with friends. Lots of the sites are slopped, but the extensive canopy provides lots of shade and the beach is exclusively for camper use. Great place to spend time with old friends. Make sure to try the ice cream shop just outside the North end of the park.
Nice campground with well maintained restroom/shower facilities. The owners were really great hosts! Some tent sites have electric hookups, which is always a must for us. There is a paved trail that runs by the campground, and it's less than a 3 mile walk/bike ride to downtown Frankfort and the lakeshore, which has a ton of things to do.
Pet-friendly. Site was able to be reserved online for overnight tent camping - however, it was labeled a "day-use" or "group" area - not sure if this was a fluke or what. Beautiful site right on the shores of Lake Superior with amazing views. The campsite was really busy, the sites looked packed together offering little privacy. This site is tucked away in a corner so you only have one neighboring site. Flooding would be a concern if expecting rain.
Pet-friendly. Site can be reserved. Shore access & trail access to many waterfalls within a short walking distance.
I stayed here for a week and Loved it! It’s a bit of a drive to get there but well worth it! I can’t wait to go back again! It’s only you and Nature at its Best!! I enjoyed all the Quiet!
Very nice campground, river us nice for swimming, mostly shallow, good for kids, canoeing and kayaking also.
We visited during the government shut down, and this site was perfect! Campsites are in national forest but (single) pit toilet was accessible because it’s on state property!! Was amazing to connect from the site directly to the North Country Trail and fishing access could not have been better.
This is the last Michigan State Park Campground as you are heading south and entering WI.
Beautiful views of the Lake looking east and south to Washington Island and Door County Peninsula. Nice stream and playground for kids to play in and on. Mostly grassy campsites so things get a little wet after heavy rains. Most sites have electricity and water.
This is a beautiful Campground with sites a few feet or a few yards from Lake Michigan. Fantastic south facing views. Close to town and lots to do in the area. Make sure you go to Jack's Market for pasties and pot pies. Eat in or carry out.
We were literally the only people in the camp ground. Showers were hot, but the wall heater was a little scary (propane). The owners were very nice. We came after dark and left early, so we didn’t see too much of the campground. Nice treed setting.
We loved camping here! We were so excited to explore the sleeping bear area and this is on the southern end and 40 minutes from Traverse City. You are near the Platte River which is perfect for kayaking and tubing! The campgrounds were clean and we were near a bath house that was nicely updated. There is a RR grade trail that leads to the beach but I recommend dribing up. Even after apply a ton of bug spray we felt like we were getting eaten alive on the trail.
This campground feels very secluded in the woods. You have many spots to choose from right on the lake or further into the woods. They have a few outhouses, picnic tables, large fire pits and ours even had a clothes line. That's about all the accommodations you will find. We had a great time here. We found a spot with our own little beach front and got to watch the fireflies at night. The only problem we had were the mosquito's! Bring your bug spray!
Connects to a walking and biking trail.
Members and guests only but you can contact the office for a day pass to check it out. Lots of amenities… Multiple pools, both indoor and outdoor. Splash pad. Cabins of multiple different sizes. Sites are a little sparse on trees in places, and the new build side is REALLY unshaded, but we like the older side better. Putt putt golf, shuffleboard, play park for kids, beach, boat/SUP/kayak/paddle boat rentalsv(free, just leave id with the rental guy). Camp store is well stocked. We love this place!
My boyfriend & I were passing through the area and stopped here for 2 days without reservations. They were very accommodating and since we arrived after 7:30 pm, the office was closed but they insured us to pick a spot and we could get checked in the next morning. Bath houses were very clean. Everything well kept up. We enjoyed our couple days here! Wifi on site.
This campground is cheap and easy to access. It has a fire pit, nearby bathrooms, WiFi, and was in short driving distance to the Sleeping Bear Dunes and Traverse City. They have a shop at the entrance where you check in and have food, ice, and firewood available. It’s definitely not remote (you’re close by to neighbors, and close to state routes), but is close to major attractions and trails and gets the job done :) Would definitely go again.