The park at Swains Lake is really nice. There is lake access to fish, playgrounds for the kids, and a nice pavilion. The campground sites are pretty close together. It's a nice place to camp during the week, but it did get really crowded on summer weekends. I will say the shower house is GREAT! Individual showers with locking doors for complete privacy.
The location is great to day trip around the area. We enjoyed a day in Kalamazoo. Jackson isn't far with major grocery stores and shopping.
We got lucky with our site right on the water and the temperature was nice and cool so we did not have to deal with any bugs. We hiked right in and setup camp. This place only allows camping for one night as it's considered a pass-through campground. There is a decently clean outhouse(it appears to be cleaned daily by DNR staff), and each site has its own fire pit. The views are wonderful and the surrounding sites appeared to be enjoying themselves as well. Our site, B6, was equipped with a table, bench, and a fire pit. From what I could tell no other sites had a bench; fire pit and table only. We found another place to park which allowed us to cut down on our hike time because I was not about that 4 miles+ life. Our hike was maybe 15, 20 minutes tops. If staying on the water is not your jam, there were places at a higher elevation to try. There is also a fresh water pump. No electricity. You must hunt for the wood you want to burn in the pit. No ground fires. A great time!
Great park for young children as they have an amazing play set that is great for all ages. We’ve been to 2 other state parks after visiting sleepy hollow and so far sleepy hollow has had the best play set. Sites are also secluded so the children had an idea of what the site boundaries were
After finding our original campground full, we were directed over to Fort Custer. We found a campsite that was large with vegetation separating us from neighbors. I didn't expect to find something this interesting as an alternate to original plans but it worked out nicely.
There are a couple hundred sites and most of them were full. Our site was on the far end of a loop. This meant a longer walk to the restrooms and showers. On the other hand, we were right across from an access trail to the blue hiking trail. Each site has a picnic table and fire pit. It was overcast upon arrival only to have the sun shine down the next day. We soon found out that there was enough clearing in the treetops to give our camp full sun for most of the day. If you camp here, I suggest one of the other sites that would give you a break from the sunny heat.
We hiked on a multi-use trail that the ranger suggested. The blue trail goes around a couple lakes and was wonderful. We did miss a sign or two and ended up turning our 4 mile trip into a 6.5 mile one but there are plenty of spots to rest and enjoy the time. We passed other hikers and bikers and even some people trying their luck at fishing. There are quite a few mountain bike trails on the other side of the recreation area. A horse trail circles around the outside edge.
As a Dyrt Ranger I sometimes get products to evaluate. This trip I tested out the Midland X-Talker two way radio - T77VP5. The kit we used came bundled into a zippered case that is perfect for keeping everything organized. We charged it up before our trip and even tried it out in a school building.
We read reviews that said it might not work well in buildings and thought we should see. I gave them to two high schoolers and asked them to run throughout the place testing them as they went. They came back happy and excited and wanted to keep using them.
The real test came out in the woods. The belt clip snaps on easily and this stayed connected to my pack strap for our entire hike. The X-Talker fits nicely in the hand and the buttons are perfectly placed. Another feature I wanted to try was the weather radio. It scans channels automatically to find a weather channel in range. You just need to listen to the report as it cycles through the days. We had some rain and storms moving in so this proved useful in helping us sneak out of camp really early to avoid the downpour that was looming.
The Midland X-Talker T77VP5 radios worked wonderfully and will certainly see more use on future adventures.
It was only $2 to enter the park. There was three hiking trails to choose from, we choose the “turkey trail”. The trail was well marked but got quite confusing about 3/4 in. Tons of fun things to see here, beautiful stone bridges. Trail was well maintained.
We did not camp here but camp sites were very spread out and most very shaded.
This was our last stop on a trip where we camped in 6 different Michigan State Parks. This may be an older camp or the DNR was trying to save money when it was built. Most electrical posts are designed to accommodate at least 2 adjoining lots, and as many as 4. This in itself is not a concern until you realize the posts are way too far away to reach without an extension. We tried several lots and couldn’t reach any of the outlets. We finally met a couple who saId they had extensions at the office. So, we finally got set up with an extension cord from the camp office and decided to walk to the beach. Our site was adjacent to the path leading to the beach so we figured we could use a little walk. The path led to another path that led to a parking lot for the beach. After crossing the parking lot we still had to cross a large yard/park that finally opened onto the beach on this small lake. It was all very scenic, but we weren’t expecting a major hike to get to the beach. Showers are nice. They also have a neat ice cream vending machine that I had to check out for scientific purposes only. For a Michigan state park we were quite disappointed.
This is lovely place to try out when your short on time. You can try out your new gear or just enjoy being outside. Very easy to get to and if you want to camp overnight you can buy a permit online super easy. This place is open year-round.
This is our 2nd time staying here and we really like it. It has a nice boat launch onto a sports lake that also connects to another larger sporting lake. There is a nice clean beach area, little bit pebbly, but always freshly raked and cleaned every morning.
It is mostly seasonal camper sites, however they do have a few sites for weekend campers like we are. One is a really nice group site that we always reserve and can accommodate 4 or more campers depending on the size. The group site is right next to the boat launch and beach.
The sites only have electricity, no water or sewer, but the amenities station is right near the restrooms and not terribly far away. It also has nicely paved roads and grassy sites. The weekend sites are not shaded, there are no trees on the group site.
The showers and restrooms are very clean and a clean porta-potty is located near the boat launch as well.
There are two very nice and well kept playgrounds as well that also have toddler swings as well as swings for bigger kids.
My only complaint is, the group site always is riddled with goose droppings. We’ve taken to bringing a rake and large outdoor rugs because it can be really bad. But, that being said, there isn’t a ton that can be done about that and we still really enjoy this campground.
We stayed in the Southfork Rustic Cabin at the end of Feb and it was lovely much needed get away. The cabin was semi modern (solar lighting) but only a wood stove for heat. Small kitchen unit with table for eating. You had to hike in about a quarter mile to get there, and it sleeps four people with two bunk beds. There is an outside vault toilet behind the cabin. Lots of trails connecting the cabin to the rest of the park. Cheap too! Only $68 per night.
Absolutely beautiful hiking area. Nice place to camp right on the lake. It's a 7 mile hike in(can also be accessed via boat), part of the Potowatomi loop trail(~18 miles) located in Waterloo-Pinckney recreation area. This place is filled with all sorts of mushrooms, never seen that many different species in one place. Parking for trailhead is at silver lake, be cautious as trail is primarily used for mountain biking. Be sure to walk counter-clockwise if walking the full loop trail, so that you see them coming. Not a big deal, fairly easy to step out of the way quickly. Lots of wildlife and a good bit of elevation change and 2 sections that can be skipped via shortcut if not up for the full 18 miles. Great views and lots of biodiversity, was surprised at how many different landscapes it seems you move through in such a short distance!
Absolutely beautiful hiking area. Nice place to camp right on blind lake. It's a 7 mile hike in (can also be accessed via boat), part of the Potowatomi loop trail (~18 miles) located in Waterloo-Pinckney recreation area. This place is filled with all sorts of mushrooms, never seen that many different species in one place. Parking for trailhead is at silver lake, be cautious as trail is primarily used for mountain biking. Be sure to walk counter-clockwise if walking the full loop trail, so that you see them coming. Not a big deal, fairly easy to step out of the way quickly. Lots of wildlife and a good bit of elevation change and 2 sections that can be skipped via shortcut if not up for the full 18 miles. Great views and lots of biodiversity, was surprised at how many different landscapes it seems you move through in such a short distance!
The camp was small, but lovely. I enjoyed the setting and hiking, but swimming did not keep the kids (ages 1.5, 3, 5 &6) entertained for long. It's my ideal location for a quiet solo camp, maybe next time.
This is a campground of largely seasonal campers. The small but adequate campsite that we were assigned served us well for a two day layover in our travels. Friendly park staff, shower, small lake for fishing. There were people swimming although it looks very inviting with the amount of weeds in the water. Nice general store with hand dipped ice cream. Near town of Coldwater which has everything you would need, including a theater on a rainy day. Electric and water. $30
The campsites are located past the playground and shelter. Just keep driving down the road that looks like an alley. There is a wonderful place set up for just a few campers.
A couple sites are for tents only and the others are standard sites. There are a few trees by the sites but it’s mostly open area. Portable toilets are at the end of the camping area and in the playground area. The playground is a day use area for town so expect to meet some locals.
Driving just down the street takes you to the police station. This is where you register for the site. Town is around you and ready to explore. There are a few train tracks and industrial businesses which provide a bit of noise along with traffic. For us, the noise just slid right into the background.
This is a great place for a low price.
This is a small campground with fairly good size sites. There is a playground in the center which was very handy for our little ones. They could play and we could watch from our site. The area was beautiful. The beach was clean and even had a snack shop where you could get a realest and rent a canoe or kayak.
The office was nice. It had a lot of good items, which I really appreciate when I come in late and needed to grab something quick to make (hotdogs!). There is also a candy shoppe in it. My kiddos could take a quarter to the office and pick out a treat.
The sites were very shaded and the bathrooms were very clean. If there is a downfall, it would be that the pieces of wood hat can be bought were huge! They had to be cut smaller to use well.
It has great nature opportunities too!!
Rob and Vicki are the owners and are absolutely phenomenal! They are so attentive and focused on their campers and the experience of each camper. Rockey’s is clean and have nice showers and bathrooms. They store us anything you would need - even worms. Rockey’s is on a chain of 5 lakes and has some of the best fishing! Rob and Vicki do so much for the kid campers too! We go every year for Memorial Day and they remember us every time. We call to make our reservations every February when the office opens up. They are so responsive to phone and email. Rockey’s is by far our favorite campground! I highly recommend to all looking for an off the map, relaxing outdoor experience.
They overcharge for EVERYTHING! While there we over heard them planning a craft event (horse pool noodles) they said they paid $3.00 for all supplies combined and planned on charging each child $4.00! 🤬 They could careless if people drive the wrong way on their roads. The only plus to this place is the playground right in the middle of the park, oh and the $1.50 wagon ride! We’d never stay here again.
This campground was really nice and peaceful and there were lots of trees. We didn't have the best weather the weekend we went so there were a lot of tarps rigged up to provide shelter from possible rain.
There is a lake and really nice hiking trails that we took advantage of. The rangers were constantly patrolling (even at night) which was kind of weird. We couldn't buy firewood at the campground when we arrived.
Overall - good for a couple days, not our favorite.
5 friends and I drove out from Chicago to this campground and were pleasantly surprised by how great the campground and site were. I booked this site a month in advance during the summer so I must have just gotten really lucky! The site was cozy, not crazy spacious but enough for two tents and two cars.
The campground had a lot of motorhomes, families, and larger groups around us but it was still very quiet and peaceful. The rangers were really nice and you could buy ice and firewood at the campground.
There was a great 3.5 mile hike around the lake with really beautiful lake views and a great beach for swimming. We had an awesome time and would definitely come back here.
Great location. The view of the lake is stunning. I really like having a campsite where you don't have to worry about setting up your tent next to a motor home.
One potential issue is that every campsite has at least one other site that it is very close. If you have considerate neighbors like we did, it's a dream. If you are unlucky, you get the campers who get drunk and rowdy until 2am.
This is a rustic campground right on beautiful blind lake. It is only accessible by foot/bike/or boat. The hike/bike is about 7 miles or 4 (depending on where you park). The paddle in works out to be about 2.5 miles from the Halfmoon boat launch. The campground is simple. Vault toilet, water pump, and a fire ring, nothing too crazy. It is however very quiet and relaxing due to the fact it is not easily accessible. You have to reserve ahead of time and there is a one night maximum stay too. Kinda weird, but those are the rules. I would recommend this place to anyone looking for a quiet night on the water.
It’s a really fun place for kids with lots going on over the weekend. There’s a decent pool, with a TON of rules. Free putt putt. Nice place for them to ride bikes. But, there are also a lot of seasonal campers. Us common folk are put in the back, which is fine, but the only golf carts allowed are seasonals, so they ride around and it almost feels like you’re being gawked at. It was fun for a weekend, but you’re right on top of your neighbors.