Standard (tent/RV)
RV Sites
Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Unknown
Drinking Water
About Lake Michigan Campground at Manistee

Lake Michigan Campground is perched on the shores of Lake Michigan, 15 miles south of Manistee. The area creates an incredible setting with a scenic overlook of the lake and a sandy swimming beach, perfect for camping in Manistee, MI. This family campground provides an array of hiking and biking trails, plus swimming, fishing and kayaking.


A hardwood forest gives way to a beautiful sandy beach at the shores of the lake with a playground for younger campers. Trout fishing in Lake Michigan is another big draw.

Bird watchers delight in seeing unique species like the piping plover and prairie warbler.

The Arrowhead Trail, a short loop trail created by Boy Scouts, forms a loop between the campground and the beach. A trailhead for the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area is also within the recreation area.


An amphitheater offers educational programs throughout the peak season. Other amenities include flush and vault toilets, beach access and an overlook deck. Campsites are equipped with picnic tables and pedestal grills.

Group campsites can each accommodate a maximum of 50 guests.

Natural Features

The recreation area sits on the eastern banks of Lake Michigan along Porter Creek, due north of Hamlin Lake. As the second largest of the five Great Lakes, Lake Michigan provides stunning views and limitless options for water recreation. It covers a whopping 22,400 square miles and ranks as the fifth largest lake in the world.

The Huron-Manistee National Forests encompass nearly a million acres of public protected land. Nearly 6,000 acres is wetlands that extend over the northern portion of Michigan's Lower Peninsula.

Nearby Attractions

The nearby Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area has abundant trails for hiking and backpacking.

ADA Access: N

Fee Info
Fees for the Group Sites are as follows, $55/night for up to 25 occupants and $72/night for 26-50 occupants.
USDA Forest Service
Drive In
Walk In
Hike In
ADA Accessible
Drinking Water
Fires Allowed
Firewood Available
Picnic Table
Trash Available
Lake Michigan Campground at Manistee is located in Michigan
44.1192 N
-86.4275 W
Get Directions
From the north, take US-31 south 10 miles from its junction with M-55 in Manistee, then right on Forest Trail Road (FS 5629) for 8 miles to the site. From the south, take US-31 north 11.5 miles from its junction with US-10 at Scottville, then left onto Forest Trail Road (FS 5629) for 8 miles the site.
6 Reviews of Lake Michigan Campground at Manistee
Loved it

Loved this campground. Very short walk to the beach and very nice bathrooms. Also very close to Nordhouse Dunes (but the beach accessed by the trail in this campground is very beautiful with dunes). Access to hiking trails, which I can’t speak to because we had 2 littles with us,but looking at the map and just being in the area, I’m sure the trails were awesome. Was there from the weekend into the beginning of the week and the crowd cleared out, which was really nice. Far enough from the nearest towns (Manistee, Ludington) that it feels like you’re in the wilderness, but also close enough if it rains and you just wanna go get coffee in town like I did 😉. Very beautiful area! Unfortunately didn’t take any pictures of the campsite itself but it was nice. They had some that were quite spacious. Water was very high this year so not much of a beach, but posting up on the dunes themselves was fun. Water was super cold - but, it’s Michigan :)

Beautiful and diverse spots!

Awesome beach and/or forest locations for camping! Spots near the parking are but also some spots you can hike to. Beautiful all around. And pet friendly!

Close to lake michigan

lake near by, great staff, clean bathrooms

Clean and Great Campground for Family Camping

I was at this campground back in 2005 and was struck by how dirty the campground was. I took chance and returned to this campground in 2016 and 2017. The campground had been privatized and the new service was much better. The campground was clean. The pit toilets were clean (as clean as pit toilets can be). The grounds were neat and in order. This is beautiful campground with a wonderful beach within walking distance of the sites. The lovely Victorian town of Manistee is about 15 minutes drive away. My children loved hanging their hammocks in the abundant trees.

Practically Your Own Private Beach

Great place to go to introduce someone to backpacking. It's easy, plenty of water around, no predators… it's camping on the beach for crying out loud! We made sure we were the appropriate distance from the shore, but during the day, we'd bring a tent right down to the water to have some refuge from the midday sun. Great place for hammock camping as well. Beach hiking can be a pain, so I recommend walking as close to the water as possible, where the sand has been matted down.

First to Review
Nice place

Clean and enjoyable