Located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, Hoffmaster State Park is 1,200 acres of wooded sand dunes and 3 miles of sandy beach. The park is named for P.J. Hoffmaster, considered to be the founder of Michigan’s state parks system. Located just a few miles south of Muskegon, and 40 miles west of Grand Rapids, this park offers an outdoor reprieve where you can swing in your hammock under shady pine and hardwood forest, and enjoy pleasant lakeside strolls while peeping for migrating sparrows and hawks. One of the park’s must-do activities is climbing the winding wooden stairway to the Dunes Overlook for great views over the lake, and the fascinating dunes that have developed along the lakeshore.
Open from April to October, the campground at Hoffmaster State Park offers nearly 300 wooded tent and RV campsites on either side of Little Black Creek. Sites are equipped with electrical hookups, picnic tables, and fire pits; restrooms and water faucets are located throughout the campground area. Sites can accommodate trailers and RVs up to 50 feet; a dump station is available near the campground entrance. A kids’ playground is located near the creek, between the two camp areas, and there are two trailheads for accessing the beach. There are also several picnic areas and a concession stand inside the park. Dogs are permitted in the campground area and on the trails, but must remain leashed; they are not permitted on the swim beaches. Campsite rates range from $25–$37/night.
If you need a break from sunning and swimming on the beaches at Hoffmaster, you can visit the Gillette Visitor Center. You can learn about the park’s sand dune ecosystem, see exhibits about the park’s flora and fauna, or attend a nature program about native birds, bugs or beasts. The center also offers guided, interpretive bird walks, dune hikes and night prowls. If you’re ready to strike out on your own, pick up a trail map and start roaming the park’s 5 miles of hiking trails. On the 1-mile Dune Overlook Trail you can climb 100 stairs into the park’s “quiet area” for a panoramic view over the dunes and Lake Michigan. Bring your birding guide with you, as the park is known for a wide variety of residential and migrant songbirds and raptors.
Camped here summer of 2014 and 2015 for a football camping trip. I did not arrange the reservation but assume they can accommodate very large groups. We had easily over 40 in attendance. Not a huge amount of amenities at our site but no major problems arose from this.
The state park nearby has a wonderful beach and a huge dune! We made a competition on how fast we could each climb to the top. It must have been a sight watching 40+ football players run down the dune.
Our open space, rustic campsite was perfect and had the ability to create a fire large enough for the whole team with their large rings!
Stayed at hoffmaster with a group of kids. There was plenty to do to keep the kids busy! The playground was up to date and walk to the beach was awesome. There is a campground host/volunteer who runs activities she is very nice. We will definitely stay there again!!
So much to do, you'll wish you had more time
We love Hoffmaster when going with the tin can tourist rally for the weekend but not our favorite for a family camping weekend. The beach is a long hike from campsites. Most campsites are small. The bathrooms are clean and well kept. The sites we were on for a friends camping weekend were very dirty and dusty however when we went back this year I saw they did build them up and add some gravel. We enjoy biking around the campground and waking by the creek. There is a playground area for kids.
Good fun park. Some of the sites are on the small size. Had we not arrived early we would not of been able to get our 30’ trailer in our site. Also had concerns of poison ivy on our site. We had family staying that weekend too so we were able to spend our time at their much larger site. Overall was a fun park with a nice beach. Dump station moved quick which was nice. We happen to be camping same weekend as the vintage camper show so that was a great experience.
It’s not too far of a walk from the beach side and it’s not located too far from town so if you needed anything it wouldn’t be a waste of gas. It’s spacious between other campground sites and very well secluded!
Not my favorite State Park but it has lots of memories. We camp here every year with my wife’s extended family and it works well because we get about 10 sites and they are all open to each other (lots of sites crammed into a small space as is typical of Michigan State Parks). The beach for the camp ground is nice but often time boaters (who are not staying at the State Park) will park their boats off shore and add to the crowded beach. Also there is no dog beach for people with dogs.
Open, family friendly campground. Not a lot of privacy, beach closes at 10pm.
This campground is seasonal and is first come, first serve. They close up mid October. During the school season it is relatively easy to get a spot, September then is a great time to go as it tends to still be warm.
For our campsite not being ‘private’ it felt that way. We were there towards mid-late September and not too many people were there. Our campsite backed up to a creek which was nice for a little nature walk but also connected to trails leading you to the beach and dunes. It was perfect for a short little getaway! Very close to the beach!