The best BOAT IN camping near
Carp Lake , MICHIGAN

310 Reviews37 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Carp Lake Camping Reviews
We scored a spot right on the beach

We stayed at Wilderness in October this fall.  The fall colors were just about fully turned and it was just gorgeous.  This park is geared towards the RV camper and they have sites for just about any size rig.  The sites along the lake are geared more toward the sorter rigs.  Ours is a short 5'er and we fit just fine.

The only downside to this trip was the very high lake levels.  On the west side of the park with the more scenic beaches were just not accessible.  Actually, they didn't exist.  The water level completely inundated them.  Even the shore trees were in the water.  That prevented us from hiking where we had hoped to hike.  That really limited us.

The park was clean and the dump station clean and plenty of room  We would camp here again.

A great campground

First off, this place is huge and has a lot to do and take in. It's a great place to take a walk, ride a bike, explore a path, or participate in the many activities they offer or just relax. Different areas of the park have a different vibe but all are good. Views of the bridge at night are simply awesome and you don't need a bridge view site to enjoy it, just head down to the grassy area by the water and grab a bench or light a fire in one of the fire pits. Most staff very friendly/helpful (seems there is always one know it all that isn't 🙂). Pay attention to lot descriptions on the website, they are very upfront that some lots are small. We had a 50a large and had way more room than we could use. Trees/bushes between sites for privacy. Looking forward to going back again in 2021.

Beautiful Park on the Lake

We enjoyed our time at Mackinaw Mill Creek Camping! We stay a week and stayed on two different sites and loved both, but the lake front view was definitely the best. Great view of the bridge and island! Beautiful Sunsets! Biggest campground we have ever stayed at. They pack them in-small sites, but run like a well oiled machine. The store had all the items we needed or forgot. We were close to the bike trail that went into Mackinaw City, it was a 3 miles to town. Definitely worth the drive!!

Hard to get to but worth it

Lime Island Recreation Area is located in the St. Mary’s River at the very east end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It sits in the middle of the river with Canada on one side and Michigan on the other. Raber, Michigan is the nearest shore town, 2 miles across the river. The only way to reach the park is by boat but there are no designated ferries, so the only way to reach it is by using your own boat or finding someone in the area with a boat willing to charter you and your gear. Non-motorized boats are not recommended due to the many freighters and choppy water conditions.

Overnight accommodations include six cabins that can sleep between four and seven guests each, as well as 10 tent sites on wooden platforms that look out over the river. The park is a favorite among fishermen, couples, and large families who like to rent out all the cabins for annual reunions. 

A boat slip comes with your reservation. The island has limited electricity (solar-powered only) and no running water. Portable toilets are provided and there is a pump for a potable-water well. Cabin guests need to provide all their own gear, including sleeping and cooking supplies and equipment.

Approximately 7 miles of hiking trails traverse the island, providing guests the chance to wander, explore and possibly encounter wildlife. With so little human activity you never know what you’ll find.

One of the favorite pastimes of guests is sitting and watching the large Great Lakes freighters pass by at all hours of the day. They pass so close to the island you feel you could almost touch them. It’s quite a sight!

There's a ton of history on the island, some of which is still visible. According to the Michigan DNR, “Lime Island provides a significant representation of early 20th-century industrial and maritime history. The coal dock, fuel storage tanks, Quonset hut with bunker, fuel heating and pumping equipment, other supporting buildings, and scattered industrial equipment, provide a complete picture of the island’s use as a ship refueling depot. The schoolhouse, superintendent’s house (that was brought to the island by dragging it across the frozen river), cottages, and fruit trees remind visitors of island life for the workers that supported the depot.”

It's not an easy state park to reach, but if you can find a way to get there, the seclusion should make for some great camping on the tent platforms (or hanging out in the cabins if you're into that sort of thing.)

Incredible Fall Camping

Came up here to sneak away on a warm weekend in November as this is one of the few State Park campgrounds open year round. We were really impressed.

The lake is crystal clear and has beautiful turquoise waters. We were able to take the canoe out and were the only ones on the water that afternoon. Cute beach front and seems like it would be a great family spot for the summer.

We stayed in site 122 but definitely recommend site 126 which had awesome views of the water.

The trails in the park were nice too but not very long. Pretty much only downsides were that the water spigots were turned off for winter (someone told us that there was a hose available back by the office somewhere) and shower house was closed (but vault toilets still open a d pretty clean).

Long dirt road to swimming beach

Camping is here pretty good overall. I have stayed in Teepee #9 twice now. The first time was very comfy, but the second time we had a lot of rain, and things inside the teepee got pretty wet. We tried to cover things with ponchos and that helped, but I could feel the rain bouncing from the wooden floor on to my face as I was trying to sleep. Meanwhile my son in a little tent stayed completely dry! I also realized this trip that chipmunks could possibly get in where the teepee walls meet the floor. Very pleasant hiking. I didn't like it that that it is a long distance from the campsites to the swimming beach. We ended up driving every time we wanted to swim and it was like driving over a washboard.

The campsites weren't huge, it felt kind of busy to me. Overall it was good, but not amazing.

Respite when all the state parks were overflowing!

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.

Sandy Beaches and Good Times

We stayed here toward the end of October, I believe we were the last folks on our section of the park. The park is located a short 5 min drive to Mackinaw City and about 15 from the UP. The spaces were level, large and well maintained. Wi-Fi was great ($8 per day for 4 devices). Bathrooms and showers were ok. The beach front sites looked amazing but windy and it was getting cold so we did not spend much time there. Staff was great and very accommodating. AT&T cell signal was very good. They had a lot of bikes to rent and a camp store, unfortunately it was all closed for the season while we were there.

Decent base camp

It is a municipal campground so we didn't expect much but the access to the Little Traverse Wheelway and views of Lake Michigan were awesome - and full hook ups for the price was great.  It has a small bathhouse and the sites are pull-though with back to back setup (so utilities are at the same post as one of your neighbors) but we scored that the 2 sites in front of us cancelled (it was wet, cold, windy and in general miserable weather but we lucked out day 2 and got a bike ride in to Petoskey State Park and a stop at Burnt Marshmallow Brewing before rain rolled back in) so we had a big open space for the kids to bike around on and allowed a view of the lake.

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PROS: was really quiet, our neighbor is a regular and was extremely friendly and helpful.  The bike path to Petoskey State Park is right in front of the campground and takes you by the harbor and can branch off into town too.  Really close to downtown (which we did not explore but looks really nice).  We originally planned on staying at the state park but the campsite was half closed due to construction (so it will probably be really nice next year) but this worked out great.  Full hook ups on long pull thru sites for the price was great.  Firewood was available at the check-in kiosk and there is a playground on site.  Bathhouse with showers.  Less than 1 hour from Mackinac Island.  I read mentions of the hospital noise and while trucks unloading during the day was noticeable during the day, we didn't hear anything from there at night - the camp ground did have a transformer that was loud the first night but it was fixed by the next night.

CONS: it is no-frills and could be packed in during summer, but that should be acceptable for the price if you are looking for an easy base camp with access to everything in Petoskey.  The bathhouse was clean but dated.  The campsites look like they did not get a lot of cleanup - I filled a grocery bag full of trash from our site and the 3 open ones next to us.  

Ideal site would probably be as close to the lake as possible - the road in front is not travelled much since it dead ends at the campground.  There was a city facility at the end but it was not open on the weekend and we were told is pretty quiet when it is open.

NOTE: This was our first MI campground as part of out trip from GA to MN via TN-KY-IN-MI-WI-northern MN before staying in MSP for a week, then return via MN-IA-MO-IL-KY-TN-Home.

Great space!

Wilderness was great, not what you are looking for if you are tent camping more of an RV park. Beautiful views though