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Established Camping

Ionia State Recreation Area — Ionia Recreation Area

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About

State Park

Rolling hills, babbling brooks, open meadows, forested ridges, a lake nestled in the hills and a river winding its way through woods and fields -- that's Ionia Recreation Area. The 4,500 acres of flat to rolling terrain is a mixture of open field, mature hardwood forest and pine plantations. Four miles of Grand River floodplain follow the river course on the north border of the park. Dammed waterfowl floodings and other wetlands dot the park. Birding is excellent, with more than 199 species identified by the Audubon Society, and wildflowers abound.

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Location

Ionia State Recreation Area — Ionia Recreation Area is located in Michigan

Detail location of campground

Directions

Exit 64 from I-96. Go N 3 miles to the park entrance. 30 minutes E of Grand Rapids. 30 minutes W of Lansing.

Address

2880 David Highway
Saranac, MI 48881

Coordinates

42.935131 N
85.13427334774914 W

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Access

  • Drive-In
    Park next to your site
  • Walk-In
    Park in a lot, walk to your site.
  • Hike-In
    Backcountry sites.
  • Boat-In
    Sites accessible by watercraft.

Stay Connected

  • WiFi
    Unknown
  • Verizon
    Unknown
  • AT&T
    Unknown
  • T-Mobile
    Unknown

Site Types

  • Tent Sites
  • RV Sites
  • Standard (Tent/RV)
  • Group
  • Tent Cabin

Features

For Campers

  • ADA Access
  • Trash
  • Picnic Table
  • Firewood Available
  • Reservable
  • Showers
  • Drinking Water
  • Toilets
  • Alcohol
  • Pets
  • Fires

For Vehicles

  • Big Rig Friendly

Reviews

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5 Stars

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1 Star

47%
34%
10%
10%
10%

4.0

out of 5

15 Reviews

C
Reviewed Jul. 5, 2024

Walk In

First let me say the rustic area is walk-in only. I was unaware of this until we arrived. Luckily our site was in the front and not a terrible walk. 3 sites in the middle, grouped together, would be nice for a group to book together. Rustic side is right next to the boat ramp. Inside of the state park is a nice beach for swimming, with concessions. A lot of fishing spots, even if you are bank fishing. Check in window is in the back of the park. Wood and ice available.

Month of VisitAugust
Rachel P.
Reviewed Jun. 17, 2024

All Around Great!

We just got back from Ionia State Campground, and we had the most lovely time! First of all, I did some research ahead of time to find a more private camping spot, and ours did not disappoint. After looking around the campground, there were numerous spots that were very secluded and private. There were beautiful walking trails all around, and the lake was very pretty.

I had read other reviews saying that the bathrooms were terrible. I did not find them to be all that bad. They were certainly dated, but I found the bathrooms and showers to be kept as clean as they could be. I have also read that the bathrooms will be completely replaced at the end of this year.

The one downside I did find was the beach. I thought that the infrastructure at the beach needed work, particularly the rinse off station and the benches. We only went over to the beach for ice cream, so this didn't bother me personally.

We loved it and plan to come back!

Site10
Month of VisitJuly
  • Review photo of Ionia State Recreation Area — Ionia Recreation Area by Rachel P., June 17, 2024
C
Reviewed Jul. 10, 2023

Not the best for a family or pets

Very affordable but once arriving and setting up we noticed why. The park is only 4 swings and a single sand pit. The water is very HARD (straight rust and well water) very old water pipes. I brought my parts per million meter and tested the water and it tested at well over 1120 ppm. Quick stop cheap and decent but the water needs a fix.

Site100
Month of VisitAugust
Todd D.
Reviewed Sep. 3, 2022

Great camping stupid bath and shower

When will the nasty shower and toilet facilities get fixed? What will it take. A news crew Or law suits which do you want? Please get it remodeled! No one needs to smell it’s unsafe conditions from walking by it from 30 feet away.

Month of VisitOctober
B
Reviewed May. 10, 2022

Hidden Gem

Wonderful park, great camping sites and lots of trails.

Sitemodern Camping area
Month of VisitJune
Ricky C.
Reviewed Aug. 28, 2021

Ionia Recreational Area

Bathrooms/showers need upgrading . Sites are good size and paved. Our fire pit needs repair. The top is gone so no ledge to put cooking utensils on. Our site number was not reasable.

Site27
Month of VisitSeptember
Joshua E.
Reviewed Jun. 24, 2021

Great activities for outdoors lovers

Ionia has so many great outdoor activities for almost anyone.  There is a disc golf course, mountain bike trail, equestrian trails, hiking trails, a beautiful no wake lake perfect for swimming, kayaking, or fishing.   The beach is fantastic especially for little kids who might not be the best swimmers ready for Lake Michigan or lakes with lots of boats and waves to deal with.  Nice and sandy and a nice store and ice cream shop at the beach. 

The campground itself is very nice, but you may find the activities are a short drive away from your site to get there.  The sites are all a little bit shallow especially if you have a larger travel trailer you may find it a bit tight.  There is a great variety of shaded and sunny sites.   There is only one bathroom for the campground so it can be a bit busy and it could probably use an update.

Month of VisitJuly
  • Review photo of Ionia State Recreation Area — Ionia Recreation Area by Joshua E., June 24, 2021
  • Review photo of Ionia State Recreation Area — Ionia Recreation Area by Joshua E., June 24, 2021
  • Review photo of Ionia State Recreation Area — Ionia Recreation Area by Joshua E., June 24, 2021
  • (4) View All
M
Reviewed Aug. 28, 2020

Really, That’s Your Signage??

Well if you are arriving here late, good luck.... Pretty much the worst signage I’ve seen in Michigan State Recreation Area. Very good signs to pretty much everything other than Beechwood Campground. Once you do figure out that you have to drive to acolyte back end of park to register then turn all the way back around and find hidden non marked campground, you’ll soon realize they are walk/hike in sites. NO WHERE on DNR website for reservations does it say this. As is if this isn’t bad enough, once you park and find trail the sign then reads “East or west” for sites. Not B1- whatever this way B whatever that way do bring your compass too and flashlight if dark. To say the sites are uneven is putting it mildly. For 15 sites, you seriously can’t level them?? Really lazy considering how nice disc course is and signage for course. I wouldn’t waste your time or money camping here, visit park and use trails or disc course yes. Camp, no way ever again!!

H
Reviewed Jul. 19, 2020

Hiking, fishing, ranger-led activities and those sunsets!

Our kids enjoyed this park every year while growing up. Hunting for mushrooms, fishing, swimming in the lake, building forts, riding bikes. Big sites! This place was the perfect get away.

J
Reviewed Jul. 31, 2019

Chill, comfortable, beautiful and would definitely come back!

5 friends and I drove out from Chicago to this campground and were pleasantly surprised by how great the campground and site were. I booked this site a month in advance during the summer so I must have just gotten really lucky! The site was cozy, not crazy spacious but enough for two tents and two cars. 

The campground had a lot of motorhomes, families, and larger groups around us but it was still very quiet and peaceful. The rangers were really nice and you could buy ice and firewood at the campground. 

There was a great 3.5 mile hike around the lake with really beautiful lake views and a great beach for swimming. We had an awesome time and would definitely come back here.

Sitesite 15
Month of VisitAugust
  • Review photo of Ionia State Recreation Area — Ionia Recreation Area by Jenna M., July 31, 2019
  • Review photo of Ionia State Recreation Area — Ionia Recreation Area by Jenna M., July 31, 2019
  • Review photo of Ionia State Recreation Area — Ionia Recreation Area by Jenna M., July 31, 2019
Jami M.
Reviewed Jun. 15, 2019

Great get away

Clean, family friendly, beautiful. Take a walk through the equestrian to check out the horses.

J
Reviewed Mar. 9, 2019

Beautiful no wake lake! Great for kyaking.

Nice camping. Great lake for fishing, swimming, kyaking or small boating. Scenic views on trails around the lake. Not too far so the kids can fallow along.

L
Reviewed Oct. 30, 2018

Quiet with lots to do

There are many things that my family enjoys doing at the Ionia State Rec Area. Some of our favorites are hiking, camping, fishing, and the beach. We try to get here a couple of times each year.

  • Review photo of Ionia State Recreation Area — Ionia Recreation Area by Linsey D., October 30, 2018
Alexxus S.
Reviewed Aug. 21, 2018

beautiful state park

could spend hours just adventuring around this park, its so beautiful. love camping here tons, its always nice and quiet and everything is well taken care of

Nick B.
Reviewed Apr. 20, 2018

Fun Family Retreat

This is great campground for family's it's peaceful and for the most part a quiet campground. A short walk or bike ride to the beach of Sessions Lake or even to the peninsula to fish from dock. This is also a great place to watch sunsets.

Site62 and 64 are our favorites
Month of VisitAugust

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to camp at Ionia State Recreation Area — Ionia Recreation Area?

Camping at Ionia State Recreation Area — Ionia Recreation Area can starts at $24.00.

What is the max vehicle length at Ionia State Recreation Area — Ionia Recreation Area?

Ionia State Recreation Area — Ionia Recreation Area allows vehicles up to 45 feet.

Are fires allowed at Ionia State Recreation Area — Ionia Recreation Area?

Yes, according to campers on TheDyrt.com, fires are allowed at Ionia State Recreation Area — Ionia Recreation Area, although make sure to check current fire restrictions in the area.

Does Ionia State Recreation Area — Ionia Recreation Area have wifi?

No, according to campers on TheDyrt.com, Ionia State Recreation Area — Ionia Recreation Area does not have wifi.