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Sleeping Bear Dunes, MICHIGAN
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Most Recent Sleeping Bear Dunes Camping Reviews
Traverse City

We love Traverse City and being able to camp somewhat near downtown. One of our favorite things is being connected to the bike paths so we can bike to downtown area while staying on bike trails!Campground is busy and small sites but our favorite place to camp is along the back fence with great hammock trees and the fire pit behind our trailer. It makes it feel like your not in a big busy packed campground. The bath houses on the end we like are very dated and are usually clean but still show their age! The other end had nicer newer shower/bath houses. You do need to walk across a bridge to get to the bay but not a long walk.

The Traverse City area has a lot to do!

Peaceful

Great family spot. Awesome for bike riding and site seeing. Bring your kayak.

Beautiful

Great place. Awesome hiking and rock picking. Very quiet and left natural. We will be going again.

Great Location

Not your "camping" quiet being off the main drag into TC. (And always busy) However, it's in the heart of TC right by the bay beach and bike trail. Great camp ground if you want to be convenient on TC.

Lake Michigan Lookout

Not much to do other than looking at the beautiful Lake Michigan. Rocking as well. Off of a busy road. Great campground for landing along a route.

Family favorite

Awesome campground with lots to do. Can check out the lighthouse. Close to Northport with cute shops. A great way to experience Lake Michigan.

Quiet

Nice quiet visit. Close to town but yet feel far enough away. Lovely camp store with local merchandise.

First to Review
Perfect place on the lake

This is a great campground, we always start our camping season here. Hodenpyle Dam lake is a great, quiet area. It close enough to several places which makes it convenient to get in some sight seeing in Traverse City, Frankfort and Manistee. Their rates a reasonable too.

Great and easy

First come first serve sites, but it’s a super awesome place to go when everything else is booked.

Wooded and Spacious

Our first time here, June 2019! We had 7 people and shared 2 sites. The sites in the south loop are very generous and full shade. The people limit per sit is 6, but you can probably fit 8 per site in tents. We had site 381 which was lake view!!! Its steep to the water but there was a view and a great breeze. I docked it one star for the massive amount of gnats and fish flies, they were everywhere. Luckily the mosquitos weren't bad. The sites by the water were the smallest and massive in the back. Working bathrooms and showers, although covered in flies, but they had cleaners in there every morning to wipe them off every surface, they just keep coming back. 

The lake is a good size and a great swimming hole. I saw a ton of fisherman on the lake in the mornings. Each site has a big fire ring with about a 4 inches concrete wall around it and a picnic table. The sites were perfectly flat and had a great sandy/dirt ground which was perfect for our tents and the campers didnt seem to have any problems. Some sites do have pads for campers.

3 Things is all you need

1) the drinking water is fantastic 2) trails galore 3) spacious campsites

Camping with kids, Loop 3

This review describes loop 3 only.

This camp is beautiful with old growth trees and plenty of privacy. Electric sites are paved and clean with a nice fire pit and picnic table. Firewood available at the entrance to the loop (we drove - too far to walk while carrying a bundle of wood) for $5/bundle from a vending machine that only takes cash - $1 and $5 bills specifically. Nearby Riverside Canoe Rental also has firewood available, but theirs was $6.50/bundle and not completely dry; we much preferred the vending machine wood.

Reviews we read mentioned that no bicycles are allowed, which we took to mean not allowed on the grounds. This was not the case - plenty of campers were riding bikes; however, there were signs on the hiking trails banning bicycles.

The hiking trail to Lake Michigan was a disappointment for our family. The trail gives way to sand about halfway in, so it’s a pretty difficult hike to a lackluster beach that isn’t well-maintained. There was a lot of litter and other refuse washed on shore. It was very secluded, which was nice. Next time, we’ll drive to a beach instead.

The bathroom and showers were very nice and clean, and there were a lot of little trails through the woods, shortcuts to access the bathroom without having to walk the paved loop. The girls’ bathroom had three stalls and the boys’ had two stalls and two urinals. Two private showers were on the opposite side of the building, along with a nice deep sink for washing dishes. BYO dish soap and rag.

The company was quite pleasant. Quiet hours started at 10:00 p.m., when the camp became noticeably silent.

The one feature this campground lacks is a playground, which will probably deter us from camping here again with our kids.

Also noteworthy is the Riverside Canoe Rental nearby where you can rent tubes, kayaks, and canoes, as well as stock up on fuel, groceries, beer and wine, souvenirs, and anything else you could probably want. They even have a cute ice cream shop.

Large lots & Happy trails

The space we rented was supposedly big enough for 25 people! I couldn’t believe how big the spaces were. I don’t like how small the private drives to the sites are though, makes it impossible to back out. The dirt roads leading to the sites were hard to navigate as well and made me go in circles. There is no entrance map so I had to use GPS which took me to a dead end. It was a great site however and had small trails around the lake nearby, along with a suspension bridge.

Most beautiful park in Michigan

This is hands down my absolute favorite spot in Michigan (so far). They have primitive campsites too, if you choose to go that route like we do. Right on Lake Michigan, and you can even see the sleeping bear dunes about 10 miles north of the beach. If you go at the right tone in the fall, you will even see salmon jumping out of Platte River which is really cool!

Platte River Campground

NOTE: The GPS location in this app is incorrect, the actual location is 5685 Lake Michigan Rd, Honor MI.

This is a very nice wooded campground in within the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore Park. The sites are wooded and pretty private and provide tree coverage. Bathrooms are nice, but you must pay to use the showers. Campsite isn’t directly on Lake Michigan, but there is a hiking path to the lake.

The real draw of this campsite (which fills up extremely fast, so reserve early) is the Sleeping Bear sand dunes and surrounding areas. When you are consider doing any of the following: Tubing the Platte River Hiking The Empire Bluffs Trail Visiting the Dune Climb Driving the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive Swimming at any of the beaches in the Empire area

Great campground, close to so much to do!

We spent most of our time at the pet friendly beach. So many places to hike and so much fun to swim. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. We hiked or swam, visited and attempted to climb the dunes lol, saw some shows at the amphitheater and saw a historic cabin on site. A firewood vending machine? Pretty basic camping but very nice.

Great family place!

Great sites and fun activities!

Great place!!

Owners are the best!! Quiet and clean campground

Basic Campground not far from Torch Lake

We enjoyed our stay, not much going on when we were there but it seems that this is a great spot for large groups and I have seen that sometimes they have live music or small festival type activity. Bathrooms were large and clean, water and electricity available. If you go by the bath house you can get Wifi. Little playground for my 4 yr old, not so much for 11 year old. Minus one star because despite the name, there is no access to any river. We stayed here not wanting to be in the tourist trappy areas nearby and it worked out great. Spots were not huge and also not very grassy. Geocachers, this is not far from a cache in a cemetery where the grave of a bearded lady is! Took a day trip up to Torch Lake and Petoskey to look for stones. Be sure to make sure beaches are dog friendly if you have one with you. Had we stayed in the camp, there was not a whole lot to do when we were there but not a bad place.

The Best Michigan Has to offer

One of my Favorite places in Michigan to camp. Out of the way without being out of the way. The walk in sites are a very short walk and well away from the other sites. The drive in sites are the same. Very nice maintained sites throughout the park. Showers and running toilets when you need to feel civilized again. Nice hike Lake Michigan. Short distance and great paddle down platte river. Lot's of stuff to do in the area including Sleeping Bear Dunes, Glenn Arbor, and my favorite, the Cherry Bowl Drive In. Perfect for the Novice Camper to the most experienced bushcraft camper.

Walk-in sites

Walk in sites were awesome! Short walk, but definitely felt isolated from civilization. Could see neighbors tents, but no one was on top of each other. Bear vaults shared between 2 spots, which was nice not to have to walk back to the car a million times. Bathrooms were clean, did not use shower but heard good things about it. Little store and burger stand just outside the campground too! Walk to beach was quick and easy and although it was Memorial Day weekend we had the beach to ourselves!

Nice and quiet with amenities

Website to check is www.northwesternmichiganfair.net/campground-information/

Campground is closed July 28th - August 11th

They have electric on all sites, both water and electric on some sites and a dump station. There's a bathhouse with limited individual showers

Awesome for Families & Big Groups / All Ages

This campground is perfect for campers of most experience and age levels.  If you are looking for rugged, wilderness / secluded camping its probably not your place but for everyone else it's a hidden gem.  

Nice spots both on the river show and across the road.  Easy water access for very little children and non-motorized boats / Kayaks, etc.  Nicely equipped playground and evening activities at the Camp Store/Office on special weekends.  

This campground has the cleanest restroom/shower facilities of any campground I have been too.  Also the staff is very friendly and helpful.

One tip, fire pits do not have grill tops attached and the pit opening is pretty wide.

So awsome

Very rustic, loved it here !

Excellent spot!

So much fun! Easy to explore the Leelanau District of Sleeping Bear from here. Bike path runs through and easy boardwalk to a picture perfect Lake Michigan beach. All types of rustic spots. Clean bathrooms and friendly staff. Fire rings and picnic table at each.

Fine for a night

Trail camp but no horses the night I was there. Lots of open space, spots aren’t really numbered. A couple nice hike/bike trails spur off the campground. Lots of traffic in the area through the night (ORV and mudding trucks). Bathrooms are nice. Only a few water front spots.

Spring camping in Lake Michigan

Driving in to the campground, wear your blinders as there's a concrete plant right next door. I camped this past week and there were signs the park hadn't been used by many at all just yet. On the sites just a few yards away from Lake Michigan, the fall leaves and winter branch droppings remained on most of the sites, which seemed decent sized, but remember I am a tent camper. Pit toilets and water available. I did not meet or see camp host. There are two campgrounds, north and south, and both have a handful of sites right on Lake Michigan. North lakeside sites you can pull into, South lakeside sites some you park on the road. Not to worry, it's maybe 20 steps to the middle of your site, so really isn't an issue. Loved my Lakeside site and had some neighbors, but the low shrubs made for good privacy. Those with small kiddos may want to opt for interior site as lake sites are RIGHT ON THE WATER. Good time, some noise during the day from the cement plant, stores nearby. I will return.

Excellent campground on Elk Lake

We just visited this campground this past weekend and it was beautiful! I loved the clear blue water down the big dropoff hill and how heavily wooded this entire park was. Made it perfect for hammock camping! Will definitely be staying here again in the near future.

Quietest park in the Lower Peninsula.

Really. Really. Quiet. Quiet hours all day and night. So nice not to hear everybody's musical selections. This park is, after all, right across the road from Interlochen Arts Center, so there's a whole lotta class that just rubs off geographically. Nice lake, good beach.

DH Day and Sleeping Bear Dunes

One of my favorite parts of MI. 35 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. The campground is 4 miles from Glen Arbor and barely a mile walk to Glen Haven. The Heritage trail runs right through the campground. The sites are rustic and wooden and farther apart than normal sites. The campground is between Glen Lake and you can walk to the shore of Lake Michigan. Nearby the dune climb, Empire bluffs and North Bar Lake as well.