Incredible Fall Camping

Came up here to sneak away on a warm weekend in November as this is one of the few State Park campgrounds open year round. We were really impressed.

The lake is crystal clear and has beautiful turquoise waters. We were able to take the canoe out and were the only ones on the water that afternoon. Cute beach front and seems like it would be a great family spot for the summer.

We stayed in site 122 but definitely recommend site 126 which had awesome views of the water.

The trails in the park were nice too but not very long. Pretty much only downsides were that the water spigots were turned off for winter (someone told us that there was a hose available back by the office somewhere) and shower house was closed (but vault toilets still open a d pretty clean).

Small with River Views

Cute little campground with basic amenities. The best part is how close you are to the Pine River. Nice bridges to cast a line (though I didn’t catch anything during the one day we spent there!) and access to an EXCELLENT hike. Take the time to hike up to the Lincoln Bridge State forest campground with awesome views high above the river and hike back along the water on the other side. Next time, we’ll drop our canoe at one end, drive back to our site, hike back to the canoe, the paddle our way home.

Great campground but some swampy sites

Being right on the lake was wonderful. It’s close to town (we recommend Paddle Hard Brewing in Grayling) and we used it as a launching site to canoe the AuSable River with a helpful car spot from Birchers Livery.

The sites along the lake are gorgeous and have many little paths down to the water. That said, stay away from the interior sites (#24-28) because they are basically little islands in a marsh. It rained a couple days before we arrived and our site was a swamp.

Great location but some downsides

The campground was on the smaller side and we’ll kept. The host was really friendly as were our fellow campers. Clean bathrooms with firewood and ice available on site.

The location on the river is absolutely amazing. We highly recommend Baldwin Canoe Rental as they were able to pick us up at the campsite (on time too!) and take us straight to the canoe launch. We paddled for about 4 hours before beaching at the access at Bowman Bridge, leaving our canoe on a rack, then making the short walk back to our site. Saved us time and the drive to and from town!

The downsides of the campground:

  • Sites are not very private
  • Traffic noise is noticeable especially in sites near the road
  • There must be some sort of gun range nearby…there was shooting going on all weekend which wasn’t a huge deal but our dog certainly was not a fan
  • Maybe I’m out of touch but $20 a night for non-electric sites seems pricey

Overall solid, especially if you’re planning on paddling the Marquette River but we’ll explore other campgrounds in the area before we return.