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Sleeping Bear Dunes, MICHIGAN

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Twisty campground layout makes for a beautiful place

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.

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.

Relaxing rustic

Great park. Sites near water are great. Far enough away but close to town if needed. Great area.

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.

Great Host

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.

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.

Nice Little Campground

Nice campground that was well kept. Sites were a little bit close together and small but they were nice and grassy. Very nice bike path and easy ride into beautiful downtown Frankfort.

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.

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!

My wife and I's favorite place

Lots of room, and fishing along with peace and quiet not terribly busy. Overall nice place to get away for a few days, the water is clear and beautiful along with trophy size fish!

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

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!

Great, secluded sites in a quite setting

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.

Beautiful views

Went camping with family and friends this weekend and we loved it here. Had two sites on the hill and our view was the lake and beautiful sunsets. I haven’t been camping since I was little, over 20 years, so I haven’t been to a lot of campgrounds. Staff was very nice, bathrooms weren’t bad, had two small showers but they get the job done.

Stayed in cabin in this heavy RV park

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.

Beautiful camp sites!

Top three things that are best about this state camp ground are as listed:

  1. Camp sites are huge. Plenty of room for multiple tents. Also all have trees for shade or a hammock.

  2. Camp sites are NOT on top of each other. Usually you only get this in the backcountry. I was very impressed for rustic camping I had privacy and plenty of room.

  3. The beach was fantastic. Lovely shoreline. Lots of cool beach rocks. The day use area is also very accessible.

The only major con is that it is next door to a cement facility. So yes you will sorta see if from the beach and you will see it when you drive up to go into the park. Other than that you won’t really know it’s there. I will say if you like airplanes the beaver island is nearby and A LOT of planes do fly by. So if you’re looking for library quite… this isn’t it but it pretty dang close.

The vaulted bathrooms were fine. There was water accessible as well. A great place and I would totally come back!

Peace

I love going around September so quiet a few people there loads of trails to walk on and people are very respectful I keep going every year

Weather put a damper

I only stayed here because it was really close to a race I was running. To be Honest, this place wasn’t overly impressive. The sites were really small and not wooded, the beach was really rocky and difficult to get to, and also it down poured majority of our visit. I’d give this place 3 stars at best, even if it hadn’t rained. There are so many better places to stay in the area, opt for one of those.

Very nice campground near many attractions.

The spaces are tight unless you get into the back rows set back sites. This is a terrific way to solve the tight spacing. The staff is great. The bathrooms are clean and the pool is decent. Lots of trees. Will likely be returning.

All You Need

I absolutely love this campground. I’ve camped there twice this summer and each time I enjoy it. Lake Dubonnet Trail Camp has the basic rustic camping necessities. Outhouses near each circle, spickit with really good water, hiking trails, boat launch and even a nearby island you can kayak to and let the dogs roam free! (Mine sure loves it) The campsites themselves have lots of space, privacy and a fire pit. This place is the bees knees. I’ll be back. :)

Small sites at a rustic camp

Smaller sites can be found here. Some flooding has occurred leaving some sites waterlogged and not comfortable for camping right now. This campground might have a higher rating if the waterlogged nature was different. A hand pump is available for drinking water. The vault toilet is just ok - it’s not very clean. 

Lots of atv/snowmobile trails are in the area. A nice dirt road goes past lots of homes. We saw a group of locals walking along the road down to the campground to see the lake. This told us that the road was the best hiking option (perhaps because of the extra water?). 

Not as much for us here but it might  be better  if you had a boat for the lake.