THE BEST CAMPING NEAR
Brussels, WISCONSIN
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Best Campground Ever

This is probably the nicest, most well run campground we have ever stayed at. The staff is friendly and welcoming, they are pet friendly, and their sites are spacious and private - unlike so many other campgrounds we visit.

While staying here, you’re a short walk to a great bakery and restaurant. Additionally, you can bring your gear and hike the trails just 5 minutes away at the state park.

Rates are very reasonable and the bathrooms are the best we’ve seen at any campground.

This place can’t get much better…

Clean, Scenic sites

This was our first experience at this park in the southern section of the western part of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Many of the sites are just feet from Lake Michigan.  We listened to the waves all night long.  The park is very well maintained and clean.  We checked in on Labor Day just as the majority of campers were leaving.  The individual sites are grassy with many trees throughout the campground.  The restrooms/showers were spotless and constantly maintained.  While this was our first stop, it won't be our last.  Being that close to the lake is wonderful.

Newport is near picture perfect.

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Well compared to the human petting zoo and three ring circus at Peninsula State Park, and by not settling and pressing on, I found what I consider to be the perfect park. Newport State Park in Elison Bay, WI is secluded, pristine and quiet with just a handful of primitive campsites all on the lakeshore with 30 miles of ungroomed, heavily wooded trails which abound with wildlife (kinda, not really).

There is a stretch of open beach with lots of shoreline and a ranger station unmanned with self-registration. There were only two campsites available for one night only so I went with lucky 13 because it was remote, not near any other campsites and on the rocky cedar grove crowded with rocky shoreline.

It was a four mile loop to backpack to the campsite on Rowley's Bay Trail. I had been walking everyday for weeks leading up to this trip to strengthen my legs and toughen up my feet. The preparation worked as I performed very well even for a fat old guy. My feet are meat.

When you backpack in and out you are thinking about what you need and what will fit in the pack. Efficiency is key unless in this instance you forget to pack a few sheets of toliet paper (luckily I didn't need it). I was able to fit a sleeping bag, Luke's green Northface Nebula Strata tent, Mary's green "tights", Joey's Hulk pillow and blanket, a Pink Floyd shirt from Walmart for the irony, waterproof matches, a hatchet for protection, two cuties, four bottles of water and a bag of trail mix.

More to come…..

Ok, I'm back. I had to find Wifi and a place to charge my phone because my charger in the car is really slow for some reason. I thought going back to Al Johson's Swedish Restaurant and Butik was as good as any other place and I learned a few things from the staff and more experienced patrons while I was there charging my phone. I also ate a proper breakfast for the first time in a long time - it was damned good.

Al Johnson opened his restaurant 70 years ago and ran it up until his passing a few years ago. He rode his bike to work and waited tables, cooked, wiped down tables, hosted and even fed the goats.

There are a total of five goats and they get on the roof using a ramp in the back of the restaurant; there are also two webcams on the roof in caae you want to watch goats graze on a Swedish grass roof top 24/7 or check the weather.

http://www.aljohnsons.com/goat-cam/

The restaurant is packed everyday from open to close, year round. Butik is a Swedish word for the French word "boutique" or small shop. Some of the staff are actually fron Sweden. Swedish meatballs sound relatively easy to make given the simplicity of the ingredients (100% beef, onions, milk, salt and pepper) and they are even more delicious if you haven't eaten anything but fruit and trail mix for days.

Next up, the Washington Island Ferry and staying the night on the island before catching the Rock Island Ferry (the Karfi) tomorrow morning.

Newport State Park is a 2,373-acre Wisconsin state park at the tip of Door Peninsula near Ellison Bay, Wisconsin. Protecting 11 miles of shoreline on Lake Michigan, Newport is Wisconsin's only wilderness-designated state park. In 2017, the International Dark-Sky Association named Newport a Dark-sky preserve.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10157258660192305&id=687117304

Newport State Park, WI continued… I packed my hatchet for protection and from my tent I shouted into the darkness, "I got a gun you son of a bitch!"

With my backpack packed and feeling a little anxious, as if I was up for the two hour hike to campsite 13, it was at the Rowley's Bay Trailhead that I noticed that my phone battery was dead which meant no pictures and no measure of time. Oh well. I didn't see any wildlife along the hike but I did notice a sign for that invasive flowered plant, Garlic Mustard, that I saw at Big Knob Campground in MI (UP).

I reached the shoreline and the cedar groves crowding the rocky shore rivaled those of the ones I've seen at Rock Island. It was only a few more paces until I got to campsite 13. It was tucked away in the woods with a fire pit, two wood benches, two flat areas for tents and a metal animal box to protect food. It was perfect, or so I thought - the plot thickens.

I set up the tent and went to the shoreline to relax in the sun. The view looked east over Rowley's Bay and there were no waves; just ripples lapping up on the rocks. With no concept of time, I sat there until the sun passed over me to the right (west) and I figured it was getting close to dusk and enjoyed the golden hour.

I thought about all sorts of stuff and recognized how noisy my mind was even in such a quiet and tranquil setting. On these solo trips you can cover a lot of ground seeing stuff and you can talk to yourself out loud and disagree most of the time with what you are saying. But I never really win that many arguments with myself, so I did what I always do - walk around, eat and sleep.

I ate half the bag of trail mix and drank two bottles of water saving the rest and the two cuties for tomorrow. I turned in early without using those cool waterproof matches and opted not to make a fire.

I fell a sleep quickly to the sounds of the ripples and in the middle of the night I was startled and woke in a panic. I heard something or someone stalking around the tent. Was it an animal, a ranger, a serial killer, my ex-wife, or worse both my ex-wives or the creepy guy that I met in the parking lot at the trailhead? My mind was racing and I grabbed the hatchet that I always keep in the tent under my pillow for moments exactly like this one.

I must have stayed motionless for 30 minutes running through all the horific scenarios in my head and debated with myself what would be my first move. I definitely did not imagine the foot steps and I was now prepared to seriously fight.

I chose to stay in the tent and maintain a defensive position but I thought I should send a warning. I gripped the hatchet and from my tent I shouted into the darkness "I got a gun you son of a bitch!". There was nothing but silence, however, I could still hear the footsteps pacing further from the tent now but definitely still on the campsite.

I continued to think of my options but leaving the tent to confront the threat was an unnecessary risk. I laid motionless in complete silence with the hatchet in my hand until I fell a sleep.

When I woke up to the sound of the now familiar ripples it was early morning, the hatchet was still in my hand and I was alive. The hatchet is a gun? It's the same thing to me if it scares off a threatening son of a bitch or a imposing walking tree.

I really was scared…

Great park

Great spot to stay on the way home from Door County. Big secluded sites, loved hearing the waves at night from across the road. Best fish fry right down the road.

In TOUCH with wildlife

Really great area of door county with lots to do if you venture outside the park.

So much to do inside the park. Sand beach with playground and concessions/gift shop, bike rentals on big bike trails. Kayak rentals. Hiking trails. 

Our campsites have been super secluded from anyone else. So quiet at night. No one was really even playing music. Nice firepits. We saw deer down a hiking path and while we were driving in the park. 

Pro-tip for this campground: Don't leave ANY garbage or food outside at all! Late-night by the campfire a (HUGE) Racoon came up within 2 feet of me eyeballing my grahm crackers. Then went into zipped up garbage can. It wasn't mean, just hungry. To avoid those visitors visit the garbage cans regularly.

Nice and quiet

Have only been here one time this summer but really enjoyed it. We bought a camper this year and wanted to try as many places as possible. This is a great place to go if you really want to get away and just camp. There is a little arcade, minigolf, indoor pool and lots of playgrounds which is nice but my favorite part was how quiet it was. There wasn't any loud groups and didn't even hear radios playing throughout the campground! We will be going back for sure! Great wooded sites. Not super wooded where you don't see anyone else but just really nice trees and atmosphere.

Great for kids and adults

We have gone here a few times this summer and have loved it every time. We have gone with groups as well as with just our small 3 person family. We have stayed in a field site as well as wooded sites. The field sites are good for groups and going with friends, if you are looking for a quiet low key experience then go to a wooded site. 

There are always themes and activities going on the weekends for our 3-year-old to do which she loves. They have 3 pool areas one for really little ones with a 18" pool and a fun splash pad which are all fenced off so adults can sit in there and not worry about they straying to deeper pools. There are 2 bigger pools also with lots of seating. They have 2 big water slides the kids love going down over and over and even fun for adults to do. There are 2 playgrounds which are a good size and safe. 

They even have a little fishing pond, minigolf, and arcade!

I think my favorite part was the office/bar area. They have fresh donuts in the morning as well as coffee. They have a good selection of apparel and toys/gifts/necessities. There is a bar attached to it that has AMAZING food. I was so pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food. The best part of it is ITS CHEAP! The candy, donuts, food, and drinks are inexpensive which makes it nice to go there. Our tradition is after pumping out going to the bar and ordering buffalo chicken wraps and eating them on their outside tables. 

Keep it up quietwoods!

Private and awesome biking and hiking trails

We loved our visit to Door County and biking the state park. The camp spot was private and secluded with trees all around us. The park is so close to restaurants, shopping, and all sorts of fun attractions and fun things to do. Our site was so nice and close to the water!

River rafting trips

Clean showers used their services to get a tubing trip in on Peshtigo River.

Family Oriented

Located right next door to Potowatami State Park we were able to ride bike out of campground and directly only to state park trail. 

Some sites overlook water there is no water access from park, small pool.  Store

Peaceful

Excellent sites wooded and overlooking water.

Beautiful Park

Large campground on shore of either Lake Michigan or Bay of Green Bay in Door County, this is a very popular area with many activities.   Must have State Park Pass plus camping fees. 

Excellent beach area, private wooded campsites. Hike bike all around, golfing near by as well as scenic drives. 

Egg Harbour, ferry to Washington Island, Door County cherries, fishing, rentals of most varieties.

Decent

Couldn’t find any easy access to the water. No maps or signs or anything to tell you about the place. Right behind a housing authority too so was a bit sketchy.

Our 1st pick for Door County Camping! Quiet and Close to Everything!

We absolutely love this campground and it is our first pick when it comes to staying in Door County. It is in the middle of the Door Peninsula and just minutes from anything that you would be interested in doing, including catching amazing sunrises from downtown Bailey's Harbor (Just a short 1.2 mile walk away)! Main road in front of campground is not busy and its very easy to run or walk on without really having to worry about cars.

The campground itself is small (.6 miles of roads if you walk every road in the campground), but the spaces are large with decent space between sites. The entire campground is in the woods, so each site is completely wooded. All roads and campsites are gravel, there is very little grass. If you are looking for grass to play on, they do have a large mowed area in along the road that is perfect. There is also a small playground for kids. Our children have a lot of fun on the playground and just running around our campsite. We don't need a pool, because there is an amazing public beach 5 minutes away in Bailey's Harbor. Other than the playground and very small camp store, there are no other amenities in the campground, but you don't really miss them because there is so much to do around Door County.

There are tent only sites, pull through sites, and sites that will accommodate popup campers up to large pull behind campers. Seasonal sites are interspersed throughout the campground. All seasonal campers that we have met are very friendly. There are two bathroom buildings that have showers, one at the front of the campground and one at the back (which also houses 1 washer and 1 dryer). Bathrooms and showers have always been very clean. There are also porta potties by the tent only camping sites. There are also charging stations by the porta potties, since the tent only sites do not have electricity. Tents are allowed on electric only and water and electric sites. Owners are very accommodating and will allow you to put a camper and tent on the same site also. If needed, there are also sites which allow you to hook up to the septic system or you can drain your tank when you leave.

Campground is dog friendly if your dog is on leash. They do sell firewood for $15 per wheelbarrow full (you fill, so you can get your money's worth on firewood if you stack it right). They do also allow you to bring in your own firewood. Owners allow campers to put charges for firewood and things bought in the store to be put on a tab that you can then close when you check out.

This campground does not fill up too quickly. Depending on the time of year, you don't need much advance notice to book a site. If you would like to book for cherry season they recommended calling 4-6 weeks in advance. Otherwise I generally reserve a few weeks before arrival. They do provide a campground map on their website, so you can look ahead and choose your site. If you want one of the larger sites (pull through ones), I would suggest calling sooner rather than later because it sounds like those fill up faster.

My Favorite Annual Trip

My boyfriend and I have gone camping at Newport the last 5 years in a row. It is ALWAYS a unique experience. We’ve stayed at sites 10, 7, 9, 12 & 4. They were all unique and had their good and bad qualities. In order from my favorite to my least favorite: 12, 9, 4, 10 & 7. This was tough since 10 & 7 were basically a tie. 12 was the longest walk at just under 2 miles. But it had a view of the water through a cove of trees that fit both our hammocks. And the cove it was in was GREAT for swimming. 9 didn’t have as much of a “beach” area, but my BF and I packed some goodies in a dry sack and swam out to the point where we spent the day sunning, swimming, and fishing (caught nothing lol). The privacy here was great. Site 4 was a shorter walk (3/4 mile). Had a sandy beach area and some decent hammock trees. VERY close to site 3. Not very private. 10 provided great swimming past a mucky shoreline. And is the only site we caught fish at! Just a few little smallies, but still… This site was also right ON the trail. Not much traffic but still pretty exposed to anyone passing through. Site 7 was wooded so the shade was nice. But it was a fairly open understory which I don’t necessarily prefer. Not a very good spot for swimming and also a longer walk. Side note- we had A LOT of bad luck staying at site 7 so I’m a bit bias. Examples: tent-pole string broke, BFs backpack frame bent and punctured the pack, hammock string snapped (while in it!), and we couldn’t get a fire going to save our lives!! All the wood was wet and the humidity was about 100% so it was not happening for us at this site. Lol. Fluke year! Overall the sites are beautiful, the lake is cool and refreshing! Great for snorkeling!! A much more scenic/private Door County experience. [photos are of site 12] PSA: watch out for snakes!

Awesome views

We used a tent set up with a couple of friends and found it to be a good time. There’s a ton of trails with some good views of Sturgeon Bay. The proximity to town makes it super convenient and acts as a good jumping place to see the rest of the Door County Peninsula.

Peaceful, lovely, mosquito-y

Camped at site 1. Easy hike in. We were there with a younger child and for 4 nights so decided to pull some of our stuff in via a cart which was no problem so we could have a cooler, table, small chairs, etc. So peaceful. Did not encounter anyone except when on hikes. Short walk to beach which we had to ourselves nearly the entire time. Beach was covered in crushed shells so shoes a must. Water shoes even better if you want to wade in. Wild flowers and butterflies were amazing as was night sky;  mosquitos not so much. They were intense. Bring alot of repellant. Next time we go we'll probably permethrin our clothes to help. Pit toilet was fine but bring your own toilet paper. Only place we found garbage receptacles was in parking lot of service building. We didn't find showers anywhere so went to peninsula state park to shower one day.

Nice Campground

Sites are big, lots of room with fire ring and picnic table. Easy access to the lake with miles of lakeshore and some beach areas. Hiking wasn’t the best, mosquitoes own the trails. We were there mid August, early in the week, so it was fairly quiet…most noise was barking dogs from campers.

Love Wagon Trail

I have stayed in this campground twice now and have loved it both times. The campground staff is super friendly. Location is beautiful. Bathrooms are great and always clean. Mosquitoes can be annoying in the more secluded tent sites. Get up in the middle of the night, the stars are amazing here! I will keep coming back here.

Wonderful park

It was a clean, busy park. We had a nice shaded site along the woods great for tent camping. The bathrooms are kept up nicely, the only downfall of the trip was the rain and our leaky tent!!

Ok

Most of the spots are set up for RVS with little privacy. Right on the river with access to the water for kayaking and stuff.

Nice place large

For a modern campground it’s clean nice beach grassy campground clean showers and restrooms playgrounds for kids horse shoes Plus 22$ a nite with electric we stayed in # 33 nice view of the lake not obstructed by other campers

NOT PET FRIENDLY

Tranquil Timbers advertises pet friendly but they ARE NOT pet friendly. If your dog makes any kind of noise whatsoever, they are NOT welcome. Motorcycles and noisy kids however, park approved!

Great isolated tent spot

We stayed at rustic site 151, about a mile from the main campground. This site has easy lake views and multiple lake access points.

Camping area was clean and large. Has space for two large 6 person tents easily.

Surrounded by trees with a path to the lake. It is very quiet and peaceful.

Small family run campground

We stayed here for memorial day weekend. We had a grass non hookup spot next to the pond. It got super hot but we had a nice breeze come in from lake Michigan that made it tolerable. It was a nice clean campground. They had wagon rides for the kids and a chainsaw carver come in and make statues. It was really neat to watch that. Small store to but necessities.

Good family campground

Very children and family oriented, some shorter trails, fishing area, playground, beach (always full of weeds). Spots were pretty open

Great place!!

Great place with plenty of services. Yet sites still feel private and spacious! Close to everything you could want in Door County!

Summer camping and kayaking

A very nice beach, plenty of campgrounds, relatively clean bathrooms considering you’re camping. Very pretty, lots of hiking and biking trails. If you are planning on kayaking in the lake, our little kayaks could barely take it it was difficult paddling. Very nice park overall, but I wish the boat launch was more kayak friendly. Steep and a lot of gravel. The park overall was also very crowded, but that’s expected with a popular state park like this.

Lots to do and convenient location

Love the pond and water park, lots to do at the campground and around the campground!

My all time favorite place!

So much to do between the pools and entertainment provided. Awesome restaurant/bar and camp store!! Nice big sites, wooded or in the field. Hands down my all time favorite campground.