Nestled on six miles of immaculate Lake Michigan shoreline, Fisherman’s Island State Park is a 2,600+ acre camping haven, located just outside downtown Charlevoix, MI. Thanks to low lake levels the island from the park’s namesake no longer exists. Over the course of 25 years, water fluctuations lead to the natural formation of a tombolo which now connects the island to mainland Michigan.
The park itself consists of 80 homey campsites, 15 of which are nestled right on the dunes dotting the shoreline. Luckily, the campsites have lots of amenities. Many offer private, secluding camping right on the shore of Lake Michigan. Additionally, fires are allowed here, with firewood available as well. Furthermore, pets are permitted if on leash. Even better, full hookups are available for RVers. There are also showers, bathrooms, WiFi, public trash, and more.
As a result of its wet geography, this region is known for its lush wildflower population. Vibrant flocks of Cardinal Flower, Beach Pea, Broadleaf Arrowhead, and many more varieties can be found all over the park’s rolling dunes and under the aspen and birch trees found scattered throughout.
Even though there aren't specified recreation areas here, you really don’t need them. That’s because the campsites themselves are extremely well maintained, private, and perfect for anyone looking for a short trip away from urban life. Rustic camping is $16/night, and there is a 15 day consecutive night limit. That being said, MI residents can save money by purchasing a recreation passport during license plate renewal, which grants access to all MI state parks for free. Campsite reservations can be made 24/7 up to 6 months in advance on the Michigan State Park Website.
Amazing rustic park, DNR was called on us at 9pm for being too loud even thought it was before quiet hours. So if you’re going you can’t be too rowdy. Views are worth it though
Top three things that are best about this state camp ground are as listed:
Camp sites are huge. Plenty of room for multiple tents. Also all have trees for shade or a hammock.
Camp sites are NOT on top of each other. Usually you only get this in the backcountry. I was very impressed for rustic camping I had privacy and plenty of room.
The beach was fantastic. Lovely shoreline. Lots of cool beach rocks. The day use area is also very accessible.
The only major con is that it is next door to a cement facility. So yes you will sorta see if from the beach and you will see it when you drive up to go into the park. Other than that you won’t really know it’s there. I will say if you like airplanes the beaver island is nearby and A LOT of planes do fly by. So if you’re looking for library quite… this isn’t it but it pretty dang close.
The vaulted bathrooms were fine. There was water accessible as well. A great place and I would totally come back!
This park is so pretty! Some of the beach sites offer walk in wooded areas with their own private trails to the water. There is also drive around and pull up sites available for campers and tents. The sites are not overly close together either, which can sometimes be an issue at state parks. Picnic table, fire rings, and wooded areas at each site. Bathrooms available in the main parts. So many beautiful areas to explore around this park as well. I can’t get enough.
Huge selection of sites between 2 different campgrounds, from a huge RV to tents or hammocks, there are power and non-electric sites for fair prices. We made a last minute reservation, so didn't have a site next to the lake, but the walk from our spot (south campground, site 46) to the beach was easy enough. Once we got to the lake we found Petoskey stones and fossils like crazy! It's unbelievable how many there were. The sand was nice and the campground overall was clean and quiet. Rangers were very nice and test the water pumps every day. Beautiful views. Lots of deadfall for firewood for those who chose to gather. Sites are within viewing distance but not completely on top of each other. Would definitely stay again and spend more time on the hiking trails and looking for stones and fossils!
Fishermans is a rustic campground right on Lake Michigan and is very close to Charlevoix and all the town has to offer. Their rustic waterfront sites look gorgeous! If I had gotten one of those, this would be a 5 star review. As it was, the sites off the water are ok. We had a gravel pull through site, which made it hard to find a spot to pitch the tent. If I could get a waterfront site, I’d be back in a heartbeat!
Great place. Awesome hiking and rock picking. Very quiet and left natural. We will be going again.
Driving in to the campground, wear your blinders as there's a concrete plant right next door. I camped this past week and there were signs the park hadn't been used by many at all just yet. On the sites just a few yards away from Lake Michigan, the fall leaves and winter branch droppings remained on most of the sites, which seemed decent sized, but remember I am a tent camper. Pit toilets and water available. I did not meet or see camp host. There are two campgrounds, north and south, and both have a handful of sites right on Lake Michigan. North lakeside sites you can pull into, South lakeside sites some you park on the road. Not to worry, it's maybe 20 steps to the middle of your site, so really isn't an issue. Loved my Lakeside site and had some neighbors, but the low shrubs made for good privacy. Those with small kiddos may want to opt for interior site as lake sites are RIGHT ON THE WATER. Good time, some noise during the day from the cement plant, stores nearby. I will return.
Rustic sites that are a fair ways apart, some sites have more privacy than others. A few spots offer your own trail to get to the somewhat rocky shoreline. This is probably my favorite place to camp at the moment.
This is a relatively low key park compared to most state parks in Michigan. It is tucked away down an industrial road where unfortunately a power plant of some kind is located, but when you are in the park and on the shores of Lake Michigan, you easily forget about the eyesore you passed to get there. We enjoyed walking the shore and looking for petoskey stones. Found a crab and crawfish while we were looking. The campground was spacious and shaded. Many of the sites were full but it felt mostly private. When we arrived at our site, the previous campers had left us a care package of kindling, newspaper and wood chips to get a fire started, as well as a few logs. We met a woman who was by herself and camping for her very first time. She asked us to teach her how to start a campfire because the YouTube videos she had watched on how to do it weren’t working for her. I hope you keep camping, Molly! The vault toilets were a little run down but clean. Firewood is for sale on the honor system. The wildlife is beyond tame. I know that feeding wildlife is frowned upon, but we had a chipmunk that was relentless. He was bound and determined to eat every Michigan cherry we had, which was a lot. I would return here to camp at any time.
Many sites right on the shoreline, and some of the best rock hunting on the beach.