It was just before Labor Day and we had hoped to make it up to the Upper Peninsula before nightfall. This didn't happen, so we tried a couple of state parks, but everything was already full. Then, for $15 a night, we found this beauty along the northwest shore of Burt Lake, one of the larger inland lakes in northern Michigan.
The campground offers lakeside sites as well as forested, more private sites, to enjoy the forest. Unlike many lakeside campgrounds however, the large beach area along the shore is common space, so everyone in the campground gets equal access to the water regardless of where you’re camped. Bathrooms are simple pit-toilets and water was available from seasonal spigots.
The boat launch is right next to the campground so bringing along your toys is easy to do. Burt Lake has a well-developed lake shore with cabins and houses, so local trail opportunities were limited. It is however, centrally located to make day trips to many popular outdoor recreation areas that the north county has to offer.
The popular tourist town of Petosky is within a 20-minute drive, which offers all the services you would expect from a large regional center.
This campground has tiny campsites that are very uneven. We camp in a tent so that was not ideal. There are about 8 lake side sites which are right across the road from the lake. Those were the best sites for size and view. The lake is really large so it is great for boating. The boat launch is right in the campground and it has two launches so it makes for quick access. You can anchor your boat in the water if you choose. If you have a boat you can access the Indian River which takes you to Mullett lake. Also you can take the crooked river to crooked lake but you have to pay a $10 fee for the locks. The water has leeches which was a pain with my 2 year old. She got one every time she went in the water. The campground does not have a host and dnr only came in the morning to check tags. The week we were here we had fireworks and a lot of noisy campers well past midnight.
There are approximately 32-38 campsites on a first come first serve basis. You can moor your boat right at the campground. The public launch was redone a few years ago and its a great one. The view from the front sites overlooking Maple Bay are some of the best I’ve seen.
For tent campers this is a fine weekend spot. Burt lake is beautiful. When we went mayflies were hatching (May). This campground seemed to fill up quickly, it is first come first serve so come before Friday afternoon to get a spot.
Burt lake is such a large lake that finding a good fishing spot can be quite difficult. No one we talked to had luck the weekend we were there. Supposedly a hotspot is on either side of the campground.
This campground had some rustic features. The water pumps here did not drain well, the nearby dumpster did smell like a dead animal. The crowd here seems to get rowdy with frequent sand bar parties from the locals. We love camping so nothing can stop us from enjoying the great sites next to the water where you can anchor your boat. Just understand the bare necessities of this campground with a beautiful view.
Would recommend as an overnight fishing spot not a place for a week long camp. The state forest management did routinely pop in and check tags and clean bathrooms.
Gorgeous without modern conveniences. This is an absolute breathtaking campsite. Yes, it is rustic. Yes, you have outhouses. Yes, you have to use the pump to get water. Yes, you are sleeping but a few feet from the water. Yes, you can hear the waves as you sleep. Yes, you have AMAZING views of the bay. Yes, this place is beautiful if you can sacrifice some modern conveniences…but you're camping, isn't that the 💡