The best camping near
East Lansing, MICHIGAN

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Most Recent East Lansing Camping Reviews
Ranger Review: Banner and Oak Pathfinder hat at Holly State Rec

As a Ranger the Dyrt sends me products to test. This trip my husband and I tested hats from Banner and Oak. https://bannerandoak.com/collections/hats-ladies/products/pathfinder-blue   I found the pathfinder soft comfortable and it stayed secure on my head on a blustery rainy day. Even with a buff on underneath for keeping my ears warm. I did find the brim to be a little large for my face and I had to turn my head up at odd angles to take a selfie or as you can see in the video below.  My Husband Steve found the Sierra did not fit his head well He felt it looked too tall from the front, and the band was itchy.

First to Review
Nice little county park.

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.

Holly State Rec

Pretty park with several well marked trails. We stayed in the Maple loop which had several semi-private sites screened from neighbors by trees. I think site #1 was one of the roomiest and prettiest. The bathrooms were clean. There were several playgrounds, bench swings, play fields and even a basketball court. The ADA sites had pavement surrounding the fire rings and space at the picnic tables for a wheel chair.

Rustic, beautiful views

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!

Fun with family and pets!

Nice lakes for swimming and can take your pet as well!  Big playground and nice bathrooms

Family

Nice campground for family and activities.  Good dock for the kids to fish

Great for young children

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

Day hiking trip

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.

Disappointing

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.

Great place to go

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.

Lake views

Arrived to a super friendly guy Chris that escorted us to our site. We have a pull thru that was very spacious with a long driveway . Nice lake view across the road. This location has 4 lakes. There is plenty of nature. Lots of trees along a nature trail. Cranes and ducks in the water . The first night was super quiet! The second night was a little louder with a live band near by the campground. Overall nice place . Store has everything you may need at reasonable prices .

Nice place

Take the kids there and they love it. Nice little fishing pier and access to Round lake and Wamplers lake. Decent beach and park.

Beautiful woods

Sites were spacious, we loved the national forest.

Popular Place!

This is a giant recreation area that features a campground, 3 lakes, tons of trails, and even a splash zone for kids. The campground has it all, electric, cabins, playgrounds, basketball courts, etc… The lakes are nice and there are tone of options of things to do and places to explore. Ideal for families and people who like to camp but aren’t into the “rustic” part.

Fun with friends

Great area to be with friends. The round area's with the sites on the outside and common area on the inside make fro a great group type setup.

A Wonderful Winter Getaway

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.

Nice rv campground

Did some car camping on the way to Tennessee, stopped here and set up my tent. Well kept area, mostly for campers/ travel trailers, open not too many trees may have to get creative if hammocking

Flat sites, water, toilet, hike/boat in

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!

Lovely . . . . . Or would have been without the kids ;)

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.

BEST campground in Michigan - true hidden treasure

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.

Nice size sites for a state park

First thing that caught my attention is that sites are larger than most state park campgrounds. The bathrooms are standard state park stuff, but they are clean. Lake is a bit weedy, but trails are great for hiking. Remember, only electric at the state parks.

Beautiful

Sites where huge and the campground was so clean and beautiful!

Did the trick, beautiful walking

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.

Chill, comfortable, beautiful and would definitely come back!

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 rustic camp site

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.

Busy place. Lots to do for the kids.

Great for kids, a little annoying for a couple adults just trying to break in our camper..but the hookups worked fine. Dog area was like a barren wasteland but I still appreciated it. Clean bathrooms.

Pretty lakes!

This place has some great water so bring a boat, board, or kayak. Very popular for fishing and paddling. The campground isn’t overly special but it’s in a great location. Bathrooms, picnic tables, fire pit, the standard accommodations.

Perfectly peaceful

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.

Great local place without driving too far

Island lake really does feel like you’re up north with the hours spent on I-75. There are great hiking trails that give novice and Intermediate hikers a chance to sharpen their skills. Signs are well marked throughout the park. Also, lots to do here swimming, hiking, biking, overall outdoor fun. I’ve biked here and have hiked here several times. Great location without having to drive too far.

OK family campground

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.