Andy B.

Traverse City, MI

Joined March 2017

Second to None

Twelvemile Beach sits along a foredune of Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, an intensely remote stretch of shoreline with Grand Marais to the east and the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to the west.

As you pull in, you find the entrance road winds through a white birch forest. I've been to Twelvemile in the spring, summer and autumn and find the forest enchanting with every season. The road takes an abrupt left turn and runs parallel to the Lake, unseen until now. This begins the loop that is Twelvemile Beach Campground.

There are pros and cons to both lakeside sites ($16/night) and the wooded sites ($14/night) across the road. Bugs, wind, and the freshwater gales ol' Gitche Gumee likes to toss up should all be taken into account when choosing a site, but it's safe to say that a lakeside site is always preferred in my book. They run along the dune ridge with sweeping views of Lake Superior and the constant breeze helps keeps bugs at bay (usually).

Sites are generous in size and quite private, especially if you visit in spring and autumn. Access to the beach is plentiful and the North Country Trail actually cuts straight through the campground. Poison ivy has never been an issue for me here. Sites are first come, first served.

If you're visiting during the summer season, get there early and catch sites in the morning as people leave. It sounds extreme but it's well worth the effort (you'll thank me when you're swinging in your hammock as the poor souls who arrive in the afternoon drive through, again and again, hoping for an opening.) I can't recommend Twelvemile Beach enough. Getting there is a journey, but the destination will become one of your favorite places on earth.