Manistee National Forest camping is some of the best the midwest has to offer. You do not need a permit to camp on the National Forests or in designated campgrounds. If your campfire will be on National Forest System lands you will not need a wood permit to cut firewood. Dispersed and Primitive tent camping within the Forests is allowed almost anywhere, unless otherwise posted closed and/or "No Camping".
Friendliest people. Amazing staff. Beautiful little campground. Honestly everyone is so friendly. Bathrooms are always clean as are the showers. There's wood and ice on the property. A great little cafet. A small general store. We have so much fun here. Tge owners are amazing. Honestly I hate writing such a great review simply because I don't want to loose my camping site. Lol people find a great place like this it'll always be booked. But honestly you can't go wrong here. The place is sandwiched between the betsie river and a paved bike path. Your 2 mile from a great beach and lake michigan. 20 min from the dunes. 35 or 40 min from Traverse city and it's gorgeous views and fun stuuf to do. Did I mention wine. Wineries are plentiful in this region too. Plus some micro brew. Just awesome. There's a small playground for the kids in this park. It's so safe the kids ride bikes and walk all over the campground with out much concern.
My husband and I grew up in Onekama. It was important for us to spend time with our kids near our favorite places and this park allowed us to do that. My favorite part is that we can see the sunset every night and go right across the street for some hiking! Our kids are grown up, but we have so many fond memories work time there and still enjoy camping there.
This national forest campground is right along the river. A hiking trail goes right from camp. In fact there is also a day use parking area. Peterson bridge is big and crosses right outside camp.
The road in camp twists and turns providing a wonderful layout. Campsites are spread apart and are facing all different ways. There were a lot to choose from when we stopped in on a Thursday. It's nice to have paved campsites in a national forest camp. It wasn't raining when we were here but we still appreciated the pavement.
The Manistee River Trail is not far away either - perfect for day hiking or an a weekend backpack. This is a great spot to spend some time.
This campground is very nice and peaceful (especially during the day when most campers are off canoeing.) I think seeing it was in the middle of the National Forest, I assumed there would be a lot to do, but from what I can tell it’s mostly a campground for people who want to canoe in the area. We did not, so there wasn’t much to explore by foot other than the campground itself. We were able to walk to the river, but from what we saw (the office was closed our first full day there) there weren’t any other trails accessible from the campgrounds. I’d recommend planning your trip and daily activities ahead of time. Our cell service was non-existent which was a great way to disconnect, but difficult when not knowing the area well. We made the best of it, and still had fun walking around the site during the day and enjoying the view from our campsite.
Our plan just to find an inexpensive and wild camp and road trip to explore northern Michigan . Stumble to this camp site at midnight after 7 hours drive ( and we stop in between for few breweries visit). This site is self pay and first first serve concept . We love scenery and lake view just right in front of our tent . It was nice two days stay for our road trip to explore northern Michigan
Great little camp spot right off the lake. You have to hike in to the camp locations but its not bad. Theres no amenities except for a table but the spot is free and clean, there's also decent fishing here. Over all I would come back
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.
This campground is the quintessential fish camp. Regulars have their gear here all season long. Sue, the host, is lovely and accommodating. She made us feel very comfortable and checked on us often. Full hook up at each site, and pit toilets if needed. The fish station was very well done my husband said.
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.
Loved this campground. Very short walk to the beach and very nice bathrooms. Also very close to Nordhouse Dunes (but the beach accessed by the trail in this campground is very beautiful with dunes). Access to hiking trails, which I can’t speak to because we had 2 littles with us,but looking at the map and just being in the area, I’m sure the trails were awesome. Was there from the weekend into the beginning of the week and the crowd cleared out, which was really nice. Far enough from the nearest towns (Manistee, Ludington) that it feels like you’re in the wilderness, but also close enough if it rains and you just wanna go get coffee in town like I did 😉. Very beautiful area! Unfortunately didn’t take any pictures of the campsite itself but it was nice. They had some that were quite spacious. Water was very high this year so not much of a beach, but posting up on the dunes themselves was fun. Water was super cold - but, it’s Michigan :)
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 beautiful park. Well maintained facilities and perfect landscaping. Great pool and other amenities. Conveniently located close to downtown Ludington Michigan. The staff was fantastic and one particular staff member was nice enough to locate a very dear stuffed animal that was dropped by my one-year-old during a wagon walk.
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.
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
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.
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.
Spent 5 nights camping at this hidden gem. It was one of the best campgrounds I've stayed at in a long time. It was clean and spacious, with great access to Lake Michigan. The dunes were great for relaxing and offered speculator sunset and star gazing views. A few trailheads led right into the camp- one trail led right into Nordhouse Dunes, which was a beautiful area.
Although there were no showers, you can easily go for a swim in Lake Michigan or we found a small store a few miles away with a$5 shower room. There is a bathroom though.
While there was no cell service at the campground itself, it was located only a 15-25 min drive from downtown Ludington(south) and Manistee(north).
Already planning another trip back with some friends for the fall.
We arrived at this campground at about 5 pm on a Friday afternoon in August. There were several of the 25 or so sites still available. A quiet place to spend the weekend and great access to the middle stretch of Platte River.
This is NOT the NPS campground associated with Sleeping Bear Dunes NP, but rather a State Forest Campground operated by the Michigan DNR.
We were here over July 4 in mini cabin. We had been back country camping before that so were happy to have a cabin for a couple nights. Mini cabin is at tip of park with nice view of lake Michigan sunsets. Cabin had mini fridge, coffee pot, ceiling fan, and I think a heater for winter. 2 sets of sturdy bunk beds. Camp sites were packed with RVs and tents. I don't think I've ever seen a more crowded camp ground. Many campers brought their own bikes, kayaks, boats so there must be lake access nearby but definitely not from this park. Beach inaccessible due to high lake waters. Outhouse was clean and well maintained. Showers a short walk away.