Permits for White Pine may be obtained at the Platte River Campground Ranger Station during the summer or from the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center the rest of the year. This camp has 6 sites and is located about 2 miles from the Trail's End Road trailhead on the Platte Plains hiking trail south of Empire just off of M-22. The camp is located about 1/2 mile from the Lake Michigan shore where you can obtain fresh water. There is no well water at White Pine, so if you use water from Lake Michigan, it must be treated before drinking it.
Campground Review: What an adorable little “backcountry” camp in the middle of Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. Just 1.5 miles on a very easy sandy trail from the parking area at the Lake Michigan shore is this 6 site campground complete with a reasonably clean pit toilet and group cooking/campfire area with bear box.
Each site has a bit of privacy as they are well spread out from each other and have a good deal of space for multiple small tents, though no tent pads which could be a drainage issue. Nicely wooded, so lots of shade, but also lots of mosquitoes in the late spring/early summer months…bring your bug spray! The trail to the beach is just about ¼ mile across the dunes from the campground.
We ran into a group of young girls from a nearby summer camp who were experiencing their first “backpacking” adventure. They were adorable and having a ton of fun, but if you are seeking to get away from kids and tourists, be forewarned that the kid's camp nearby uses this area throughout the summer months.
In addition to this campground, there are endless options for activities in the area from dune climbing to all types of water sports to cycling to wine tasting to gorgeous sunsets! Lots of good eats in the village of Empire and Glen Arbor as well. The Village Inn in Empire has amazing pizza and Boonedocks in Glen Arbor has good food and fun music on the deck. Don't miss out on Cherry Republic's fun treats, too.
Backcountry permits of $10 per night are required from the Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitor’s Center.
Product Review: As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I was able to test the Klymit Motion 60 Backpack while camping at White Pine. My husband was in the market to update his old backpack when I won the May camping review contest from The Dyrt. I spent some additional money and purchased their top-of-the-line backpack for him to enjoy.
What we like most about this backpack:
- Super lightweight and comfortable…a mere 2.7 pounds. His old backpack weighed at least 2x as much.
- A few well-placed, exterior pockets make organizing and finding things much easier than one large dark tunnel of stuff. The two small hip pockets (one of which doubles as the air pump for the back comfort bladder) is large enough to hold a pocket camera or phone. The brain pocket has a clever diagonally placed zipper that makes accessing your stuff much easier. There is a secret dry pocket in the brain for keys, phone, and wallets. The large and very accessible pocket on the back is great for snacks, lunch, cameras, maps, or anything you want to get to regularly. It too has a diagonal zipper. The two somewhat stretchy neoprene pockets on either side are large enough to hold fuel bottles, tent poles, sleeping pad, water bottles, or a hammock.
- The air frame bladder adds rigidity to the pack and lifts the bag off your back for air flow. This bladder can be pumped up and/or deflated while the bag is on your back to change how the weight of the pack is distributed between your shoulders, back, and hips.
- Multiple compression straps help you can fine tune the backpack for your comfort and gear placement. Also, there are 4 straps on the hip belt to help distribute the weight on your hips.
- There is a Velcro loop strap in which you can hang your water bladder inside the pack, as well as 2 slits for the hose to come through.
- The pack is made from nylon and silicone impregnated nylon, making it durable and relatively waterproof. The zippers open and close easily.
- My husband was used to carrying a pack with a bit more volume, so found it a bit of a challenge to get everything he usually carries inside. With newer technology and lighter, smaller equipment, we look forward to the challenge of pairing down what we really need.
- The only other concern is possibly puncturing the air frame bladder, but patching should be as easy any repairing any sleeping pad.
Product Link: https://www.klymit.com/motion-60-backpack.html
Product Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLq7TQPzPa8&t=8s