Allison H.

The Dyrt Pro

Traverse City, MI

Joined February 2021

Quirky good campground

This is a quirky little campground tucked away along a large river. It's not large, but half of the sites are directly on a wide fast moving river.  Occasionally a paddleboat goes buy with tourists.  You can fish there, but it's mostly catfish.  The river is pretty, but has brownish water, and I would swim in it.  Beautiful to drink your morning coffee by the water!  They have a small but well maintained pool and playground for the kids.  Their shower and laundry facilities are bright and clean.  We stayed here as a home base for exploring Grand Rapids, which is only a 30 minute drive from the campground.  Would recommend staying here, particularly for folks who like the quiet.

Underrated campground

Most people go to Wilderness State park on the south side of the bridge, but this is an equally wonderful campground.  As with Wilderness, this park has two sections of campgrounds- a higher loop in the woods and a lower loop along the shore of Lake Michigan.  Both are desirable and have decent sized sites.  There is a good hiking trial through the park with multiple vista points for viewing the lake and Mackinac Bridge.  It's a couple minutes away from the ferry to go to Mackinac Island.  Highly recommend this campground particularly when other ones are harder to get into.

Wonderful campground!

One of the best state campgrounds.  This is a very large park and can be hard to get into.  It has wonderful trails around it, good sized sites, an active ranger program for kids. There is the upper campground (Pines), which does not have direct views or water access, but is a great campground.  The lower section is on the water.  There is beach access for all campers along the water and gorgeous views of the Mackinaw Bridge.  It's a great hub for all the activities in the area: the dark sky park, Mackinaw City, Mackinac Island, etc.

Skip this one

We were not a fan of this park, and we're the demographic they aim for (3 elementary aged boys).  There is a small pool that was ALWAYS packed.  One night we were there, they put up a bounce house, but the teens who were supposed to be supervising just sat on their phones.  All of the sites were tiny and crammed together.  I've been to a number of KOA's and this was one of my least favorites. The one part that was great was the bathroom/shower facilities.  They were very private, very clean and great hot water.

Nice Lakeside campground

The sites at this campground are lush with grass, but on the smaller side.  It's right on Lake Leelanau, and they even rent boat slips.  There is a tiny beach, fun for an afternoon dip with the kids. A large number of campers here are seasonal residents, so keep that in mind if that's not your vibe. If you can get a spot along the little creek running through the campground, it provides a nice background noise at night. The campground is a great stepping off point for exploring Leelanau (wine, Sleeping Bear Dunes, small lakeside towns).  There is a wonderful creek to kayak in at nearby Cedar and a little town with ice cream, cafe and coffee shop. The bathroom here is VERY clean and updated -much nicer than most campgrounds.

beautiful, small rustic campground.

This is a smaller wooded campground at the very northern tip of Leelanau Peninsula.  It is rustic, with no electricity or modern bathrooms (pit toilet). Most of the sites are wooded and some are a little smaller. Perfect for tent camping and smaller popups.  Since it's at the end of the land mass, the waves are stronger and always in the back ground.  It's a wonderful way to fall asleep!  There is a lighthouse you can tour and a small maritime museum on the property.  The beach is a fair size but all rocks (no sand).  There are a couple small cabins with bunks, electricity and grills.

Nice State park, Be Careful of Swimmer's Itch

There are lots of advantages to this campground -most sites have big trees and some are along a forest.  It's across the street from the Interlochen Music School, so you can often hear music or concerts on summer weekends.  There are a couple trails to walk (not really strenuous enough to call them a hike), and an active ranger program for kids.   One section of the park can get  loud and sometimes rowdy during the summertime weekends.  The other smaller section is quieter for those who prefer that.  The only caveat to this park is that the lake regularly has swimmer's itch.  If you're quick and through in your toweling off, it can be ok, but we've never been here without getting it.  Stick to the fishing, kayaking and camping rather than swimming!

Good Home base if Tourist

Not one of our favorites.  This is an "urban" campground, in that it's on a VERY busy and noisy road close to Traverse City and all the tourist attractions.  The sites are packed in tightly and have no solitude.  It's also under the flight pattern of the airport, so often has airplane traffic too.  It's a good campground if you want a cheap home base for exploring Traverse City and northern Michigan.  It's well situated to drive to many natural and tourist locations.  They have a very fun Halloween celebration each fall, which is worth the less desirable points of the park.

One of our favorites

Without a doubt this is one of our favorite campgrounds.  It's a bit older, so the campsites are quite large compared to modern campgrounds.  There are huge trees throughout, easily navigable roads, etc.  There are two sections to the park, one a bit smaller with a gorgeous new bathroom.  The other larger section has older facilities, but clean. There are a couple beaches here, some more popular than others.  Since there is a boat launch, kayak rentals, and small café at this state park, it can get busy in the public area during the summer.  The campground is along a paved bike path.  It's not far from the closest town, which has a couple restaurants, shops, etc.  The only drawback to this park is that it abuts a very busy road and can have a fair amount of road noise if you're on that side.

awesome, no frills, quiet

This tiny little family owned campground is one of our favorites.  The sites are smaller, but comfortable with lots of shade trees and a handful of cabins.  There are no activities, pools, etc!  But there is a DELICIOUS little café serving up inexpensive, filling breakfasts each morning. It's right on the local paved bike trail that goes into the town of Frankfort or out in the other direction.  Easy for kids and adults alike.  Frankfort is a few minutes away, which is a cute lakeside town with restaurants, shops, and parks.  There is a large and clean beach there, a favorite among locals.  Nearby there are other natural areas that are wonderful to explore.  If you bring your kayak, there are many places to put into the river.  This is a very popular area/campground for fisherman.

Great for active kids

This is a very large campground that is usually full during the summer. There is no shortage of activities here: a small pond/beach, pool, jumping pillow, dodgeball, bike trails, ATV trails, crafts, parades, etc.  It's great for the active family, particularly those with elementary & middle school age kids.  It can be rather loud at times.  There are some seasonal sites, a small "village" of tiny houses, yurts, and a lot of RV/tent sites.  The location is good, as it can be a good jumping off point to explore Traverse City and the surrounding area.  This definitely isn't a campground for people who like quiet and solitude, but if this is your style of camping, it's a great place.

not the best, not the worst

This campground is a good sized campground, but doesn't have much to do there.  There is a small lake that is fun for short kayak/canoe rides and fishing.  It's called Turtle Lake for obvious reasons- when my kids went fishing, they pulled up large snapping turtles both times. A bit of a surprise to see their size! There are a lot of seasonal campers at this campground, so if that's your thing, this is definitely your place.

Good for kids

This is a very busy and large campground that is typically full in the summertime. It’s great for elementary and middle grade kids, with a ton of activities available. They have a pool, small lake/beach, jumping pillow, bike trails, dodgeball, etc. it’s right next to a dirt bike/atv trail. They have tc and tent fires along with yurts and all kinds of cabins. There is a nice mix of about 1/3 seasonal, rest short term. Definitely not a natural/rustic experience, but fun for active families. Also, it’s a good base fir exploring the traverse city area.