Standard (Tent/RV)
Tent Sites
Drinking Water
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
About Black River Harbor Campground

Black River Campground is adjacent to the Black River Harbor Recreation Area. The recreation area includes a pavilion, harbor and a large picnic area. The area provides for many opportunities for fishing, boating, backpacking, hiking, bird watching, photography and beautiful scenery for relaxation in the outdoors.


The campground is adjacent to the Black River Harbor Recreation Area. The Harbor offers one of the area's few access points to Lake Superior, with boating and fishing being a major summer time activity. Fishing charters are available at the harbor dock area. The boat ramp can accommodate almost any craft trailered in. There is no launching fee. Parking for trucks and boat trailers is ample. The area has many trails that follow the Black River leading you to the many waterfalls along the river. The recreation area has a large grassy area for picnics.


The Black River Campground has 38 available campsites that can accommodate RVs, campers or tents. There are two concrete vault toilet buildings at either end of the campground. There are 10 pressurized water spigots spaced throughout the camping areas for easy water access. All campsites are wooded with partial shade and have a generous area to spread out in. There are five campsites that are within a few hundred feet of Lake Superior.

Natural Features

Known for its spectacular waterfalls, idyllic beaches, scenic hiking trails and tranquil campground, the Black River Harbor Recreation Area is a popular destination throughout the year. Originating in Wisconsin, the Black River flows through forested areas of large pine, hemlock and hardwood trees. The River has a series of scenic waterfalls as it drops in elevation to meet Lake Superior. Tannin (tannic acids) from hemlock trees is what gives it its unique color.

Nearby Attractions

A historic pavilion built by the Civilian Conservation Corps is located in the recreation area next to the campground. The recreation area includes a large picnic area and Black River Harbor that has fishing charters available and in itself is a scenic area to explore. Trails run adjacent to the Black River and lead to several waterfalls. A foot bridge and short walk will take you across the Black River to Lake Superior and the sand beach swimming areas.

ADA Access: N

Fee Info
Registered Black River Harbor Campers are not required to pay the day use fee solely for parking and driving the roads within the campground. No daily fee is required unless you leave the campground and park, launch, or use facilities at the Black River Harbor Recreation Area. The Black River Harbor Recreation Area requires a daily $5.00 per vehicle fee, or a season pass for $30 per vehicle. The season pass covers Lake Ottawa Recreation Area, Sylvania Recreation Area, and Black River Harbor Recreation Area. Parking at the waterfall trailheads does not require the $5 daily fee. 
USDA Forest Service
Drive In
Walk In
Boat In
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Fires Allowed
No Firewood Available
No Market
Pets Allowed
No Phone Service
Picnic Table
No Showers
Trash Available
No WiFi
+ More
RVs and Trailers
No Sewer Hookups
Max Length: 75 ft.
Black River Harbor Campground is located in Michigan
46.6703 N
-90.0497 W
Get Directions
From Ironwood Mi., travel east on US 2 to Powderhorn Road, turn left onto Powderhorn Road and travel approximately 3 miles to CR 513, turn left onto CR 513 and travel approximately 11 miles to the Black River Harbor Recreation Area.
7 Reviews of Black River Harbor Campground
One of the most beautiful and exotic places to stay

Well this is so beautiful and exotic.  It is on Lake Superior but it is up high, so there are beautiful views.  

In the evenings, we followed the trails to the Harbor and caught a gorgeous sunset.  

The campground has adequate bathrooms.  

The sites have sone privacy but not a ton.

Gorgeous place to stay that is near all the waterfalls in the recreation area.

Lovely location off the beaten track

The road that brings you off route 2 towards this campground brings you past the powderhorn ski resort and then past 3 gorgeous waterfall sites, which are clearly marked. Don’t miss the black river harbor where the mouth of the river pours out toward Lake Superior. We didn’t have reservations ahead of time but there were plenty of first come first serve sites which were wooded and somewhat secluded. The sites along Lake Superior itself were reserved but we walked down to the harbor and beach and strolled for almost an hour on the beach without seeing anyone. The water is turned off for the 2020 season so just pack in enough water.

Great campground in a beautiful location

We stayed at Black River Harbor Campground last week, in a year that the water supply was never turned on due to Covid. Nevertheless, we had an amazing time. We stayed in one of the many first-come-first-served campsites (which seemed to be available late into the afternoon, but filled most nights) and enjoyed a large site, separated by a pretty dense forest in between our neighbors. We had easy access to nicely maintained vault toilets, and had there been water available this year there were plenty of spigots—no hand pumps here. The fire rings were solid and had cooking greats on each one, and the picnic tables in many cases were new. If you are heading here during the wetter season, know that the ground will likely be soft, but every site we looked at had some effort taken to make sure it stayed dry.

The real gem of this place is the location. The Black River Falls are an astounding bit of Michigan scenery just minutes away by car. We decided to take a 7 mile out-and-back hike that brought us past five of the falls—each one far exceeding the expectations of this downstater. Next door to the Black River Falls are the Presque Isle Falls (though next door still means about an hour drive due to following the valley roads). The Presque Isle Falls are part of the Porcupine Wilderness State Park, and are gorgeous and even more accessible than the Black River Falls.

Beyond hiking we had a great time hunting for agates on the beach and enjoying the marvelous spectacle of Lake Superior, including its unpredictable weather!

One of Our Favorites

Rustic, cliffs of Superior, near an abundance of nature and waterfalls. Not much more you need.


Close to 4 beautiful waterfalls and a nice beach. Very pretty rustic campground.


We went second week of August. Campsite 21 has a small path directly to lake Superior. The real gem here is all the waterfalls nearby. Exhausting but breathtaking. My only complaint would be the flies not the biting kind but the annoy you to death kind. The campsitea aren't really as secluded as they depict online but still pretty private.

First to Review
Great location, but so many flies!

Black River Harbor Campground is a rustic campground on the shores of western Lake Superior. It’s a 38 site campground, and accommodates everything from tents to RVs; however all sites are non electric and there are no pull thru sites or dumb stations, so keep that in mind. It’s part of the the National Forest, so going online and reserving it was super easy. The sites are large and give you plenty of privacy, and we even scored an awesome view of the lake. Unfortunately there’s no lake access, but we weren’t upset by that (Lake Superior is like 10 degrees anyway). The vault toilets were… well typical vault toilets. There were also water faucets around, which was really convenient for cooking and drinking water! Now for the down side: black flies. They. Are. EVERYWHERE. We went early-mid July and it was so bad we left with at least 20 bites each. Deet does nothing. In fact, we were told by a local that “no bug spray works, any spray that says it does is lying.” All you can do is either hide in your car and hope they don’t fly in or buy a solid anti-itch stick. Although we loved the campground setup and location, the black flies alone were enough to dock a star.

As far as things to do around the area, there’s PLENTY! At the harbor, there a place to put a boat in and a large picnic area that was actually kind of busy for such a hidden gem. I’ve read that there are fishing charters that’ll take you out on Lake Superior from there as well, but we didn’t look into them since we were only there 1 night. The main attractions are the 5 waterfalls, each with their own short trail and parking area. There are all along Black River Scenic Byway, so they are easy to find. The NCT also runs through the area, and if you’re looking for a longer hike, it connects all 5 falls. My personal favorite was Sandstone falls, we were able to walk out on the falls themselves. About 20 minutes away is the worlds largest freestanding ski jump, it’s called Pine Mountain Jump and it’s in Iron Mountain. Being in the heart of the Ottawa National Forest, there are plenty of trails and things to see, these are just some suggestions (:

Overall, it’s an awesome campground in an AMAZING area, but don’t forget your anti itch stick for all those flies!