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During our trip through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan this was one of my favorite campgrounds. The only reason we didn't stay longer was fear of our rig not starting up again and leaving us stranded. This campground had LARGE campsites with 2 separate loops and plenty of room between campsites. There was only one other group at this campground on the second loop which we never saw. The road to this campground is gravel and is a very pretty drive winding through the woods. At night it is very surreal as the only sounds you hear are the ones you make and an empty night sky. The canopy tree cover makes it tough to see the night sky but there are openings where you can see the sky full of stars. The lake was very peaceful and calm. There were a couple of small docks at each of the campground loops. If you have dogs beware the lake bottom is heavy dark mud and can be troublesome getting off your dog if they decide to take a dip. They also have clean vaulted toilets which is always nice(just beware of large spiders). We would recommend staying at this campground for an extended stay!
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I will be totally transparent and say I definitely prefer rustic or dispersed campsites.. however, I always give state parks an honest chance.
Baraga State Park… I have tried. Ohh, have I tried to like you over the years.
However, this is the WORST example of what a Michigan DNR campground can be. They squeezed in WAY too many sites in this place. You can hear the campers next to you fart in their sleep.
Not even a stones throw from US-41 makes for constant road noise… and sites that have been submerged in water a day following rainfall. You always see campers here moving their tents, RV’s, etc… to drier portions of their sites.
The only reason I give this TWO stars is because of the well-kept and nice bathhouse.
I stop here solely to shower during my travels. I will stay on the side of the road before I set up camp here again.
Like previous reviews say, this place is kinda just “there”…
Absolutely no privacy between sites, hardly any tree cover, ground was thick mud when I arrived. Not to mention the lake access isn’t really enjoyable.
If you wanna pay for a spot to sleep in your car- that’s about all this place is good for.
TL;DR: VISIT THE SYLVANIA WILDERNESS
I absolutely fell in love, head over heels for this place. This Cedar "Campground" as The Dyrt calls it is just a campsite within the larger Sylvania Wilderness. The wilderness actually has a couple dozen different sites to choose from. The Cedar campsite we stayed at is one of two in fairly close proximity (Cedar 1 and Cedar 2). Other than that, you can't see another campsite at all from Cedar and I think that might be true for the rest of the sites as well. This is rustic, backwoods camping for sure. The only "luxuries" you're provided are a wilderness latrine that both Cedar campsites share and a fire ring at each site as well. You can either hike to your reserved site, or you can do what we did and paddle. I believe all the campsites in the Sylvania Wilderness are accessible by water.
The first thing I noticed upon arriving to the wilderness is the aroma of pine and cedar and hemlock trees galore. It's an unforgettable smell and it immediately brings you to a state of calm. The second thing I noticed once I got out of the car was how quiet it is. The wilderness is pretty far off the beaten path (duh, it's the wilderness) so there's nothing at all to hear other than the wind blowing through the trees and the calls of the animals. I think that's what shocked me the most. Then, we brought the kayak down to the launch and Clark Lake revealed all it's beauty to us. It is a stunning view. Photos and words simply do not do it justice. You truly have to come here to experience it first hand. Between the smells, sounds and sights, I was hooked from the start.
The paddle from the canoe launch on Clark Lake to the landing at Cedar 1 was about 20 minutes (30 minutes when the wind was howling). As far as things to do, we were busy for 4 days straight. There's miles and miles of trails to hike. There are trails that go around the lakes and trails that go into the wilderness. The fishing up there is fantastic. Loads of smallies! And by far my most favorite thing to do was paddle around all the lakes in the wilderness and take in the beauty and serenity.
We were there in early September (Labor Day weekend) and it was pretty chilly. I think it was unseasonably chilly, but just be prepared for any weather conditions at this time of year. My biggest complaint of the whole trip was we woke up pretty dang chilly most mornings, but that was on us for not planning that properly.
I cannot recommend the Sylvania Wilderness enough. This was my first time here, but I will be back again and again.
The Michigan State Forest Campgrounds continue to delight us. For $15 a night you can experience camping like I did as a child – simple, unelectrified, and in beautiful outdoor locations. Lots of space in between most sites gives you a good deal of privacy. In mid-October, we woke up to full on winter one morning, so be prepared for anything in the shoulder season. Also, the entrance to this campground is not for low clearance vehicles…it is full of HUGE flooded potholes (small ponds really). Not recommended for 2 wheel drive, low clearance vehicles.
Getting to Big Lake leads you through some marvelous pine meadows and wetlands with browsing deer and pheasants. The North Country Trail (long distance backpacking trail) winds through this part of the UP, and the Big Lake campground would make a perfect starting or ending place for a section hike. Within 10 miles back on the highway is a large gas station/convenience store and café where you could get a hot meal or stock up on a few essentials.
Opportunities for hiking, biking, paddling or fishing abound in this area, so plan to bring your gear with you. There is a small craft launch right in the campground to access the lake, which as it turns out isn’t very big when you compare it to nearby Lake Superior. I imagine that this might be a popular deer hunting campground during rifle season. Bathrooms are simple pit-toilets, and water is accessible year-round with the hand operated well pump.
Great little campground. It's small, clean and quiet. You self register for check-in, there's a bathroom building with 3 stalls and two showers(women) and hot water. We purchased an RV site($20) even though we were camping in a tent so our truck and trailer would fit and it comes with water and electricity at the camp site. Each campsite comes with a picnic table and fire ring. The ORV Route is right outside the campground entrance and you can ride to the trail. You can also get ice and gas at the gas station in town by taking the alley. We stayed again in 2020 in Our RV. They have 4 pull through sites with full hook-ups;$25 a night. 50/20 amps, high water pressure.