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Alanson, MICHIGAN

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Great base camp

Close to Leggs restaurant. Mackinac Island. Tunnel of Trees. Upper peninsula Michigan. All this and a great campground.

Tranquil and Great for the fall

This camp site is really cool and makes for a greta weekend escape from reality.  There is a trail network that cuts through the forest of the campground, which is a nice plus and rests peacefully on the shores of Black Lake.  There is a wide variety of tree species throughout the campsite, which is nice, including these towering conifers.  The campsite also features a really nice beach, with a community campfire area, and good showers.  Because of the size and the design/layout of the campsite it really takes you away from reality and puts you right into the wilderness where you can relax, unwind, and hangout with fellow campers.  I would definitely recommend this place, especially in the fall because the trees changing colors really adds a nice element to this campground.  The only thing to not was that our site, site 5, had a really rock ground beneath the dirt which made it difficult to stake our tent down.

A beautiful area with only a few camping options

We were lucky and found an open site but they filled up by mid afternoon. Reservations might be the best way to go here. 

Our site had nice distance between the next camp but others are closer together. We had lots of room- enough so that the dog didn’t even get disturbed by other campers. Our camping area was beyond the car- think a straight line back the opens up into a circular camping area. Some sites are right on the water and provide sunset beauty. Vault toilets and water are available. They had a sign advertising a local place offering showers for a small fee. 

We walked over to the lighthouse. They give tours and have a camp store/gift shop. There aren’t really any trails there but you can get to the water in a bunch of places. 3 miles down the road is another part of the state park. There are some very nice hiking trails here. They are wide and go in loops giving options for distance. We went to the overlook and then down to the beach. Sadly dogs aren’t allowed on the beach so Dakota rolled in the sand at the edge and we continued hiking. 

Make sure you visit the small towns and wineries/cideries. There is a lot to do on this peninsula.

Versatile

The scenery was beautiful in the fall. The leaves really give it a gorgeous picturesque appeal. This trail/campground is very versatile. You are able to kayak to campsite directly on the river but also do through hikes or backpack, and camp in different atmospheres. Hike in and do a 2-3 day hike or hike in for the day and enjoy the beautiful scenery if you’re crunched for time. Though a very popular spot, going on the weekdays allows some solitude but also comraderie when seeing the fellow hiker.

Relaxing rustic

Great park. Sites near water are great. Far enough away but close to town if needed. Great area.

We keep coming back

We have stayed here for years, both camping, and in the cabins, typically in the fall. We enjoy the less busy fall time and seeing the trees change. But this summer we stayed in August and it was packed. Even so, the campground was clean and orderly. We will be back again, just not sure in the summer. Great views of the bridge and fireworks.

Fun Halloween Camping

We were here for the halloween weekend. They did a great job with the trick or treating by shutting down all vehicle traffic and by having a site decorating contest. And we got second place so they gave us a nice goodie bag. Since we were camping in the fall the pool was closed and there were plenty of back in sites available. I would recommend.

All Time Favorite

I've been staying here since the late 60's and consider it one of the best campgrounds anywhere. We usually stay in one of the areas closest to the lake, but decided this time to try the upper campground.Our site was beautiful as are most of the sites. This one was almost hidden in the trees with no one behind us. It was a large spacious site and very quiet since it was after Labor Day. Since this was the first time I had stayed in the upper campground, we took a different path to overlook the Mackinac Bridge. It is awesome to see it from this direction. It's like you're looking straight at it. Most times you see it from one side or the other. The restrooms could probably use some updating, but it doesn't take away from the overall experience.

Nice spread out sites on shore of Lake Michigan

Loved this campground. Quiet and surrounded by lake shore. Not a lot of sites and they are well spaced. Some are right on the lake…bring your kayak! Pit toilets only as I recall. Nice swimming beach and plenty of parks, wineries, brewpubs, and cute little towns to visit in the area. Historic lighthouse at this park as well.

Great stop

Almost like home. Just a relaxing place by the lake if you dress right! Cool in the late summer/early fall but beautiful!

Must go camping

Great camp ground, spacious sites.

Good stop for snowbirds.

Open all year, nice park, big rig friendly, has full hookups. We enjoy hiking here. The old logging museum is interesting to walk around & check out.

Fun.. Friendly

Stayed. For 6 days. Staff was awesome. Sites were neat. Park was clean. Lots do do for kids. Loved it here. Definitely coming back.

Little Rustic Campground

This place was really nice and not very busy. It’s on a beautiful lake that is great for swimming and boating. It has a few walk in sites that have beach access. All sites include picnic table and fire pit. Shared rustic vault toilets available. There is a nice boat launch located within the campground as well.

Phenomenal!

Stayed here during Labor Day weekend & the sites are huge! You don’t have to worry about your neighbors getting too close! Along with that, when we went there were little-to-no mosquitos! That’s enough to make a camping trip the best one yet. Plenty of access to the water as well! They also have the cleanest rustic bathrooms I’ve ever been to!

Empty & Amazing

I was pretty surprised this place was as cool as it was given the area it’s in. It’s kinda smack in the middle of a neighborhood on a somewhat residential lake, but it was a really great campground! We were basically the only ones there other than a family all the way at the end. We had a giant site that had lake view and very clear access. Lots of trees for hammock hanging and shade for the tent. Shared rustic pit toilets and water pump in the middle of the grounds. The morning on the water was amazing. Steamy sunlight kissed the morning while the loons sang their beautiful song. I was very pleased with this campground!

Great views but close to a Hwy

Got into the park late (around 1030) but it was a great clear night. Spacious campsites with both a bench and picnic table. Bathroom with showers was clean. Great views and access to the lake but much closer to Hwy 27S than we thought…could hear cars starting in the AM. Also the Park Ranger Sam was very nice and stayed open a few minutes past close so we were able to register. Thanks!

Amazing rustic

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

A Hidden Gem in a Small Package

A well maintained campground managed by the City of Petoskey, Magnus Park is truly a gem. 

Open to a magnificent view of the sapphire and aqua blue water of Little Traverse Bay,  this park is tucked away below US-31.

Surrounded by trees, yet very few within the campground itself, this simple stop is worth your time.

With 36 Full Hookup sites and 39 Water/Electric sites, you also get a very clean bathhouse with additional showers, so there's no waiting for facilities. A small children's play area is also adjacent to the bathhouse. 

A short walk across the Little Traverse Wheelway bike trail that stretches 23.5 miles from Harbor Springs to Charlevoix, put you on a small sandy beach begging you to find a few of the elusive Petoskey stones. 

Breathtaking sunsets are a welcomed added bonus!

Very well kept KOA

While it was pricey at $65 night, we had a very spacious full hookup site within easy walking distance of pool. Shower house was very nice and modern, with 4 shower stalls. Full coin laundry was helpful too! They had kids activities over the 4thof July weekend, and our kid loved it. The KOA is about a 5 min drive to Otsego Lake and the state park, where there's a nice beach and easy lake access. There's also a newly paved bike trail right by the lake for you to log some miles on. Nearby towns of Gaylord and Boyne provided us with ple ty to do, and only a couple hours to get to Sleeping Bear sand dunes. We thought this place was worth the expense- big, flat, level sites with fire pit and full hook up. Nice pine trees and plenty of space for kids to play. Did not like the additional fee for kid to get wrist band for jump pillow and mini gold, but did it anyways.

Decent mondern state park

A nice park that has a lot of amenities. Basketball court, volleyball net, fishing pier, and bike trails. Bathrooms were kept neat and tidy. Showers were clean and water was hot. Camp staff were friendly and around to answer any questions. Some cons to the state park. The sites are close together, which is to be expected with modern sites. If you want super quite this place won’t be that, there is a busy road old 127. Though the place has a lot of options and things to do. Fishing, biking , boating, and playing at the beach.

There are 2 loops

The loop up the peninsula has spacious sites but have a feeling of close neighbors. The first loop on the left is more spread out and seems more private.

Hidden Gem

There are campsites here with direct access to the beach. The campsites are relatively close together but there a lot of tall trees and it was nice and quiet. We stumbled upon this campground completely by accident just in time for sunset and it was absolutely spectacular.

Perfect Place To Stop For The Night

We stopped at this place for the night just passing through but I was pleasantly surprised. Not crowded, beautiful swimming area and launch for paddling. Large sites with picnic table and fire ring. Shared rustic vault toilet (only one for the whole campground 😳) which made it a little stinky. Self serve registration ($15 per night) and the perfect location for a stop when driving up further into the UP. Would stay again👌

Great little stay

Campsites are nice and layed out well to camp with friends. We have stayed a couple of times and it has been nice. Nice large pool and clean sites.

Good location

We stayed here on a trip up to visit the Mackinac Island. It was great for that as they offer a shuttle service to the ferries. Site was small and awkwardly set up. But a goo place for the home base of the day trips we took. We had fun playing the mini golf that was offered there. The staff I talked to was helpful with the questions I had.

Great, family friendly vacation spot

We stayed at Wilderness State Park the end of July. It was out second time camping at the the Pines Campground. There are two other camping options in the park, the East and West Lakeshore campgrounds, but the Pines sites are very nice and just a short bike ride away from the beach areas.

This time of year (summer/July), the campgrounds are completely booked on the weekends, but of you're looking for a site for a night or two, I recommend you keep checking the DNR for cancellations or camp during the weekdays.

The Pines Campground has spacious 20/30 amp sites, but no full hookups available. Each site looked pretty level with room for a tent or popup and plenty of extra room for a screen room. There were a lot of big RVs in the campground, but not a lot of room to move around them. I was surprised to see what some folks were comfortable driving in there.

There are several short trails for hiking and biking. The Pondside trail is about a quarter mile with benches to relax and view wildlife around the pond. My dog liked taking a dip there every day while I enjoyed some photography.

The shower house and bathrooms get pretty crowded with all those sites full of people and only one facility to accommodate them all. Expect a wait if you plan to shower just before quiet time.

Don't miss your chance to spend time on the beach while you're there. My kids and I always find a nice selection of fossils along the shore. The beach isn't very wide, so you may want to take chairs or a thick blanket to sit on in the grassy areas.

If you want a good meal in the area, Darrow's and Pancake Chef are two family friendly restaurants with good prices and a great selection. My son was celebrating his 12th birthday the day we left Wilderness SP for the UP and we stopped in Pancake Chef after packing for breakfast. When our server heard it was his birthday, she brought him a 6" cake with a candle to celebrate later. We thought that was pretty cool because he wouldn't have gotten a birthday cake otherwise.

Overall, Wilderness SP is one of our favorite campgrounds and we plan to visit every year possible. There is a lot to do in the city, like shopping and touristy stuff, if you're into that sort of thing, but if you're looking for relaxation, stay in the park and enjoy yourself.

Breathtaking

My wife and I spent the first day and night of Memorial Day weekend at one of the cabins here and absolutely loved it. Private and peaceful with unmatched views of the night sky over the lake. The cabins are simple but perfect for the basics of what you need for a great time outdoors.

Perfect weekend

Great campground. The campground was full, we were expecting it to be loud with so many people. Sleeping in a tent I was worried. It was not loud at all and we were not woken up in the middle of the night by others. The hosts were great, they didn’t disturb us at all and when we asked for advice about things in the area they were very knowledgeable.

Loved the lake👍

This campground was larger than expected and had some very nice lake front sites. It also surprisingly had a campground host, which is rare at state forest campgrounds. There are only about 10 lake front sites, but they were all very nice. A few even had their own beach (but those were taken). The lake itself was gorgeous and had a nice launch for paddling, fishing, and swimming. Campground had all the usual rustic state forest amenities, pit toilets, water pump, picnic tables, and fire rings. I think there might have even been a place to buy firewood near the host.