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.
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There are plenty of really rustic pull-offs north and south of those coordinates on Green Rd. There are actually quite a few that are harder to find or even get a vehicle to without 4WD, but most of it is easily accessible in a 2WD vehicle. There are a LOT of ORVers so be prepared for people zooming up and down the road with super loud engines. Other than that, free is free.
For the last 3 years the county has hired a new manager who lives on site. The county put in a new shower house that would make a college locker room look weak. All hookups available, and sewer service is an added perk. The new manager has updated all picnic tables, gravel, docks, signs, and even sells firewood. Set on the biggest inland lake in the U.P., with the best walleye fishing in the Midwest. Swimming beach for the kids, and nearby towns for stocking up. The only negative are the bugs. Early summer can bring black flies , but usually die down by July.
The most convenient campground in the western U.P. $15 per night, electric and water hookup, dump station. Within hundreds of feet of food, gas, diesel, propane, laundromat, and hardware. Easy access and wood available. Showers are clean and flush toilets. Very safe and central to the little town of Bruce Crossing. Owned by the township, money generated funds our roads here.
Fees are $15 in a drop box. Owned by the township and the money generated goes toward a roads. Good showers, accommodates any size rv. Water,Electric hookups, and dump station. Food, gas, diesel, hardware, and laundry all within hundreds of feet to the camp sites. This campground is a perfect place to stop over in the middle of your wilderness trek.
Very expensive, noisy, poor site conditions with both fire pit and table badly needing replacing as both are seriously rotted. Only has 2 shower stalls so be prepared for a long wait at peak times. You can not reserve a site, you're assigned one when you arrive so you'll have to hope you get one that will fit your needs.
New owners in 2019 were very nice and helpful. There is a camp store that has literally everything you can think of needing for camping, and more plus regular food. It’s nice the swimming hole and fishing pond are separated. The bathrooms were always clean and the newer ones are very nice. Highly recommend.
Friendliest people. Amazing staff. Beautiful little campground. Honestly everyone is so friendly. Bathrooms are always clean as are the showers. There's wood and ice on the property. A great little cafet. A small general store. We have so much fun here. Tge owners are amazing. Honestly I hate writing such a great review simply because I don't want to loose my camping site. Lol people find a great place like this it'll always be booked. But honestly you can't go wrong here. The place is sandwiched between the betsie river and a paved bike path. Your 2 mile from a great beach and lake michigan. 20 min from the dunes. 35 or 40 min from Traverse city and it's gorgeous views and fun stuuf to do. Did I mention wine. Wineries are plentiful in this region too. Plus some micro brew. Just awesome. There's a small playground for the kids in this park. It's so safe the kids ride bikes and walk all over the campground with out much concern.
As a Ranger the Dyrt sends me products to test. This trip my husband and I tested hats from Banner and Oak. https://bannerandoak.com/collections/hats-ladies/products/pathfinder-blue I found the pathfinder soft comfortable and it stayed secure on my head on a blustery rainy day. Even with a buff on underneath for keeping my ears warm. I did find the brim to be a little large for my face and I had to turn my head up at odd angles to take a selfie or as you can see in the video below. My Husband Steve found the Sierra did not fit his head well He felt it looked too tall from the front, and the band was itchy.
The park at Swains Lake is really nice. There is lake access to fish, playgrounds for the kids, and a nice pavilion. The campground sites are pretty close together. It's a nice place to camp during the week, but it did get really crowded on summer weekends. I will say the shower house is GREAT! Individual showers with locking doors for complete privacy.
The location is great to day trip around the area. We enjoyed a day in Kalamazoo. Jackson isn't far with major grocery stores and shopping.
Beautiful family campground on the North ashore of Lake Superior. It has RV, tent and back country sites as well as cabins and yurts for rent. Many amazing hiking trails and beautiful waterfalls to explore near by. Campground has large clean bathrooms and showers and a nice camp store. It is also pet friendly and has WiFi, but no playground. We stayed at site 82 which had a partial view of the lake and backed the tree line. It was a nice site. I gave this campground 4 out of 5 stars because some of the sites were a little too close together but overall a great campground and we will be back!
I really liked this campground. The lakeshore was so beautiful and we were literally right next to the water. The lake front sites weren’t super level but worth the trouble to have the view we had. Nice shower house and flushing toilets only a few yards down the road. My husband and I won’t hesitate to stay here again
This was a last-minute stop for us because we didn't want to stay at the campground we had originally intended. I found it here on The Dyrt, but bypassed it for another campground option. However, when we drove past the roadside sign, my husband said he wanted to check it out. And we're so glad we did!
When we pulled in, we were told to use the telephone to call the host and they would come and help us out. So when we did, somebody drove up and gave us our choice of spots. The campground was almost empty, so we had anything we wanted, and majority of the options were on the lake!
some of the spots are closer together so there's not a lot of privacy, but the side of the campground we were on had lots of buffers between the sites in the form of pine trees. each site had a gorgeous campfire ring made out of stones pulled off of the beach. It's a red Rock Beach! The bathroom was in a little house, but it had its own shower and looked like something from a log cabin. Not at all like a campground bathroom! there was another shower house at the opposite end of the campground which had similar decor. There was also dump station and fresh water easily available. not to mention the laundry house! Two washers, two dryers, and a sink for scrubbing plus all of the laundry soap and dryer sheets you needed. It was just payment on the honor system to use them. Very reasonable!
there was no electric hook-up at the site we were in, but we didn't need one. However, they were available.
Great little find in Michigan!
Pretty park with several well marked trails. We stayed in the Maple loop which had several semi-private sites screened from neighbors by trees. I think site #1 was one of the roomiest and prettiest. The bathrooms were clean. There were several playgrounds, bench swings, play fields and even a basketball court. The ADA sites had pavement surrounding the fire rings and space at the picnic tables for a wheel chair.
My husband and I grew up in Onekama. It was important for us to spend time with our kids near our favorite places and this park allowed us to do that. My favorite part is that we can see the sunset every night and go right across the street for some hiking! Our kids are grown up, but we have so many fond memories work time there and still enjoy camping there.
This campground is our home away from home in the summer! It is beautiful & very relaxing especially during the weekdays when it's not as full. The bathrooms are clean & the rangers keep up with mowing & other chores to keep the grounds clean. When it gets crowded the wifi doesn't work great & some of the campers are not very respectful; they cut through lots & don't abide by the rules (no pets on beach & no bikes or skateboards on boardwalk). The rangers get after them when they see it. Gets frustrating because it ruins it for others who care about the park. The only other downfall is there isn't much beach because of the high water table. I wish they could dredge & bring in more sand. Otherwise it's our favorite place to be!
Tubbs island was gorgeous! There is Tubbs mainland and Tubbs island and both you’re welcome to but I recommenced staying on the island. It’s more of a peninsula then an island but it’s wonderfully cut off. You take a narrow dirt road over a nearly flooded over land bridge to a remote circle plot of campsites. There are about 20 rustic sites on the island and all first come first serve so plan to get there early because it fills up.
This place is by far one of the greatest campgrounds we’ve been to that is family oriented! We stay memorial day weekend and the last weekend of the season which is the harvest festival. My grandchildren always have a blast as well as grandma and Papa! Lots of pull through sites lots of tree shaded lots gives you that rustic camping feel with all the amenities.
The Mouth of the Two Hearted River State Forest Campground is located on Lake Superior at the mouth of the Two Hearted River. There are 39 camp sites on a first come first serve basis. This campground is absolutely one of my favorite campgrounds in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. All of the sites are nice and decently level. They are separated into two sections, section #1 and section #2. The sites in section #1 are closer to the suspension bridge that connects the campground to Lake Superior. Section #2 is a little farther from the bridge, down a short dirt road. I picked site 21, which was in section #2 and across the road from one of the pit toilets. There are two well water hand pumps for drinkable water, plenty of trees for hammocks at all of the sites and more than enough to do. The North Country Trail runs right through the campground, there is a boat launch suitable for small boats and kayaks and some of the best sunsets anyone could ask for. The fishing opportunities here are equally amazing with brook trout and steelhead in the river and lake trout, steelhead and salmon in the lake, just to name a few, If I could give one warning before coming to this campground, it would be: DO NOT USE Google maps, Apple maps or GPS to get here. It will be worth every bit to invest in an actual map. There are numerous ORV trails here which come up as the actual roads and I can tell you it can be quite stressful. Even knowing this before coming here I thought I would be able to tell the difference, I can tell you I was absolutely wrong. It was certainly worth it in the end, but if I could go back and avoid that confusion I would. This is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and I would recommend the long trip here to anyone. Make sure to bring everything you need, there is nothing forever which is yet another bonus to this fantastic place.
This camp site is really cool and makes for a greta weekend escape from reality. There is a trail network that cuts through the forest of the campground, which is a nice plus and rests peacefully on the shores of Black Lake. There is a wide variety of tree species throughout the campsite, which is nice, including these towering conifers. The campsite also features a really nice beach, with a community campfire area, and good showers. Because of the size and the design/layout of the campsite it really takes you away from reality and puts you right into the wilderness where you can relax, unwind, and hangout with fellow campers. I would definitely recommend this place, especially in the fall because the trees changing colors really adds a nice element to this campground. The only thing to not was that our site, site 5, had a really rock ground beneath the dirt which made it difficult to stake our tent down.
This national forest campground is right along the river. A hiking trail goes right from camp. In fact there is also a day use parking area. Peterson bridge is big and crosses right outside camp.
The road in camp twists and turns providing a wonderful layout. Campsites are spread apart and are facing all different ways. There were a lot to choose from when we stopped in on a Thursday. It's nice to have paved campsites in a national forest camp. It wasn't raining when we were here but we still appreciated the pavement.
The Manistee River Trail is not far away either - perfect for day hiking or an a weekend backpack. This is a great spot to spend some time.