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Central Lake, MICHIGAN

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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.

Good time

We stayed here last fall for a Halloween weekend. There were a lot of kids, it was pretty full. It was nice of the staff to take us to our site and ask if we needed anything.

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.

Rustic and close to awesome adventures!

Every year I camp on the Green Lake side of Interlochen State Park, and this year was the first year I allowed a guest - my fiance. It's an absolutely beautiful state park, with lots of access to the lakes and in close proximity to Traverse City and Leelanau, without the tourist rush. The only thing I wish is that it was a little more quiet, because it is a very popular campground so they're usually booked up, but that's what we get for it being such a nice spot. I book the same spot every year with a great view of the lake, but the grounds aren't lacking for beautiful campsites! The store on the other side of the park is convenient. It's also Michigan's first official state park, which is neat!

I highly recommend taking the time to travel up the Leelanau Peninsula and visiting Fishtown and the Sutton's Bay Farmers Market on Saturdays during the summer. Also highly recommend St Ambrose Cellars in Beaulah if you like mead.

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

Very nice, well taking care of.

Very friendly!

We were greeted by a very friendly lady at check-in. She had our reservation ready and explained the best route to our site. The owner then pulled up in a golf cart and led us to our site. The sites are nice and very level, but a little close together. There are several trees throughout the campground that are decorated with green LED lights and create a nice ambience. The campground is directly on Lake Leelanau. They have a boat launch and a swimming beach.

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.

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

Beautiful scenery

Stayed in the rustic park, very quiet and if you get lucky you’ll get a site right on green lake

Great sites for a state park

We shared a campsite with my sister and her husband last weekend and had a pleasant stay. We had 2 tents and 2 cars on the site and still had plenty of room. It seemed like the sites all had trees (some campgrounds are so close together there are no trees). The restrooms and water were easy to access and not too busy. The camp store was helpful and the campground is located near a Toms Food Market (we forgot some stuff). We found a lost dog and had to call DNR and they were very responsive. It wasn’t too loud even thought the campground was full. We would definitely go back.

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.

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.

A great way to enjoy TC

While I typically prefer more rustic camping, this was a fantastic and easy way to enjoy Traverse City. The campground was very family oriented and offered plenty of amenities - power outlets, bathrooms (including showers). The camp sites were large and spacious (we fit 3 tents on one) with a picnic table and fire pit. While we didn't have time, the campground is located directly across the street from Lake Michigan. There is a pedestrian bridge for easy crossing. 

I'd highly suggesting bringing your bicycles. There is a paved path right from the campground into downtown TC (about 20-30 min ride). You avoid parking and have access to the fantastic food and breweries in town. 

If you're looking to for more of a more rustic, nature-oriented camping experience this may not be the best option for you. You could hears the cars from the road and the airplanes started flying overhead at 7am sharp.

Wonderful Campground

Was able to check in early…because campers had checked out early and they had time to check the site…very clean…close to all the great sites around Traverse City…the only thing was where our site was….you could hear traffic from a near by road…but not to bad…would stay here again..thanks

Lovey!

Long, level, pull through. A lot of wonderful things to say - but you'll have to see for yourself! Kids love it here!

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.

Not impressed

We were on sight 169 this whole side is next to a busy road cars and logging trucks all day and night way noisy, campground was filthy trash everywhere on the trails and sights! Plus no dogs allowed on the beach.

Camp host ??? Unfriendly set with his back to the road and never even waved

Nice campground

Friendly staff, plenty of space to spread out, really nice not to be so close to your neighbors! Beautiful area you can't go wrong here

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.

Lovely hillside campground

Mother's Day weekend was our first trip to this park, but we'll surely be back.

At check in we got a bag of homemade cookies tied with a sprig of evergreen. It was such a great touch. The folks that operate the campground really take great care & it shows. We spoke to a fellow camper that has been camping there for 50+ years and he had nothing, but rave reviews for the current caretakers.

The sites are beautiful and spacious. The park itself is positioned on a hillside next to a lake. We had a site at the top of the hill which I recommend.

There were bathrooms and showers on site; Tent & RV sites; a small playground; boat launch; hiking trails and fire rings and picnic tables at every site.

Interesting place....

Stayed here for a marathon race because EVERYTHING was all booked up given the time of year. First, it’s an older couple who owns it and they are pretty funny about check in / out times because I’m pretty sure it’s just their yard you are camping on. Either way, we wouldn’t be getting in until SUPER LATE and the husband was really nice and accommodating. They also were cool with our three dogs running around and he made sure to put us as far off the beaten path as possible. So overall, it served its purpose for what we needed. Not really sure I’d call it “camping” but more of a backyard hangout? 🤷🏼‍♀️ The RV sites do have hookups and there is a bathroom. Not sure about showers though.

Great Place!

Great place to stay! Pit toilets and pump water stations. Beautiful lake with cool islands! Campsites are large and fairly separated! Can’t wait to go back!