Emma W.
New Boston, MI
Joined April 2019
environmental studies major, big fan of nature, and an aspiring nat geo photographer🌲
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!

Great summer camping

Tawas Bay is an awesome area to visit in the summer, and this state park is about the best camping you can get in the area. We stayed on site 70, and while it was crowded, we didn’t mind. We were close by to the boat launch, and just a short walk to the bathroom; not too far and not too close either. The bathrooms were clean, stocked, and had hot water for the showers whenever we needed it. On the opposite side of the bathroom, there’s even a full dishwashing sink, something I have yet to see at another campground. The ranger station has firewood and ice for sale, as well as maps and activity lists. As far as things to do at the campground, there are plenty of trails, including one leading to the lighthouse at the end of the point, as well as kayaks for rent at the boat launch. One thing I have to recommend it waking up early to catch the sunrise over Lake Huron. It is amazing! If you’re more of a night owl, sunsets are equally as great looking over the bay.

Locally there are tons of places to eat and things to do. Catch a sailboat race through the bay, head to any of the many beaches, or even walk through the small downtown. If you have a sweet tooth like me, there’s a super good chocolate shop called the Village Chocolatier, and an amazing place for ice cream called Marion’s. Totally recommend visiting Tawas, and staying at Tawas Point State Park!

Great state park in the Irish Hills

Hayes State Park is a great little spot in the Irish Hills. It rained the whole time we were there (boo!) but we tried to make the best of it. Our site was the perfect spot for two tents and a hammock, and I loved the fire pit and table being next to the driveway. There’s electric at every site, and a paved driveway for RVs. One thing is that the sites in the east loop, while a little more spaced out than the west loop, are still real close together. If there had been someone in the spot to our left, it would’ve felt really cramped. The ranger office was nice, clean, and had lots of information ready! Firewood and ice are available there as well for reasonable prices. The bathroom building was right in the center of our loop, and had warm showers that were great after a day of cold mist. They aren’t the cleanest, but with how many people were there it was well kept and stocked. This is obviously a campground geared towards families, with tons to do from the beach, to volleyball courts and horseshoes. The main attraction is of course Wamplers Lake, and you can rent kayaks, pedal boats and canoes to go explore around the lake. Overall, this is a great campsite if you are a family, or attending an event at MIS right down the road. If you enjoy more secluded campsites, this isn’t the spot for you.

Great private campground!

Awesome spot to camp if you’re visiting the pictured rocks. There are no campgrounds in the National Park itself, so it’s about a 15-20 minute drive to see them. The campground had everything I could ask for! The showers were warm and spacious, and they even had WiFi so I could submit some homework (school doesn’t stop for camping unfortunately). They had a camp store with wood and little souvenirs, and the hosts were great and made sure we had what we needed. Only downside was the wood was a little expensive, and they went around collected unused wood to resell it (I like to leave any wood leftover for the next campers!) The campers next to us gave us all their wood before they left though, so that was awesome! The pictured rocks and Munising have tons of trails and awesome waterfalls to explore, as well as the cruise and kayak tours of the rocks. Eh Burger was an awesome spot to go for dinner before our sunset cruise! We will definitely be camping here again when we want to go back to see the rocks.

Ranger Review: Eclipse Equinox Hoodie at Bishop Lake Campground

Campground Review:

Bishop Lake is a great campground located in the middle of the Brighton Rec Area. The upper and lower campgrounds are both modern, with every site including electric. There are two rustic campgrounds as well down the road. When we went to go get a campsite (you can reserve online for an $8 fee) they told us that the upper campground would be the better choice, due to the heavy rain that had come through earlier. It was the perfect choice! Our campsite was spacious, with a few pine trees for shade. If you have a hammock, the outer edge of campsites would be perfect. Only downside to our campsite was the distance between the picnic table and the fire pit. The bathrooms and showers are in the lower campground, but it’s a 5 minute walk or 30sec drive to them. They were clean, stocked with toilet paper and the showers were warm. There’s a ton of hiking trails, a boat launch and boat rental, as well as the beach and inflatable water park. Overall a great little nature spot in the middle of the Brighton area.

Gear Review: As a ranger for The Dyrt, I sometimes get sent awesome gear that I could use and try for my upcoming trip. This time I got to try the equinox hoodie from Eclipse Sun Products (https://eclipseglove.com/collections/all-eclipse-sun-products/products/equinox-hoodie-beach-cover-up). This hoodie is super super lightweight, and the open sides allow for a nice breeze on hot days. Of course, their main feature is the 50+ UPF fabric used in not just the hoodie, but all of Eclipses sun products. I am a melanoma survivor, so having something lightweight, but protective, is so great. It’s one size fits all, and while it fits me great at 5’5, I have also heard from other taller people that it fits them great as well. It does the job well, and while I live in Michigan and it only got to about 75°, I could feel it keeping the sun off my skin. Totally recommend the equinox hoodie!!

Great time!

So much fun floating down the river! This camp spot had a rope swing attached, so look out for this spot by mio!

Love the hiking trails!

This is one of the best hiking spots in the area (unfortunately, one of only a few at all). Love the wildlife and all the boardwalks!

Love love love traverse city!

Great place to camp in traverse! I prefer state parks to private campgrounds, and I don’t mind the crowds, but it is a very busy place to camp in the the summer. Basic state park facilities, with a fire ring and picnic table combo at every site, as well as electric. There are three loops with a bathhouse centrally located in each loop. There are lots of places to go see in the traverse area like sleeping bear sand dunes, mission point, and of course getting some cherries! It’s a well maintained campground with nice facilities 😌 will be back!

Beautiful setting

camped here with family and we had an awesome time! it was a smidge loud since it’s next to the road, but nothing we couldn’t handle. The beach is right there at the campground, which is absolutely great. The other campground at Muskegon state park is the Channel campground, but if you’re camping at this one I still would say the channel is worth seeing! The woods surrounding are great for hiking, and we were excited to find geocaches around the park 😁

Good spot to stop for a night and relax

Typical KOA! It was really nice, clean, and the people were helpful! The pool was great for swimming, and mackinaw city is a great place to walk around and explore! Also recommend visiting the Headlands Dark Sky Park about 10 mins away, awesome views of the stars over Lake Michigan 🙂

Crowded, but okay

Tahquamenon falls is a must see… but honestly you don’t need to camp there. It was super crowded everywhere we went, and while we got lucky and got a site that backed into the woods, the firepit and table were right next to the people next to us! The falls were awesome, just wish that it was less packed.

Awesome campground and state park

This campground/state park was absolutely incredible! There’s so much to do between the old fort, seeing the lighthouse, or swimming in the quiet inland lake. The campsite was close to others but felt private with lots of trees surrounding us on 3 sides. Absolute favorite place to camp, and will be back many times in the future!

Amazing!

Such an awesome campground! We came for Kitch-iti-kipi, but we both think that the highlight of the trip was the campsite. Far enough apart from others, but nothing is a far walk either. The lake is awesome, it’s super shallow and warm and there are stairs around the campground to go swimming. We definitely will be coming back!

Crowded, but for great reason

We absolutely loved camping at Union Bay! There were a lot of people, but they aren’t so close that it’s annoying. There’s electric at all the modern campsites, as well as the typical picnic table, fire pit combo. While the site itself was sort of small (ours was not suitable for anything other than tents) I actually enjoyed having all our stuff close by. When you stay here, don’t forget to put your trash in your car! We didn’t and we’re visited by a pretty sassy raccoon 😂 The sunsets on Lake Superior were amazing, and we even saw an awesome storm coming in that ended up just being a lot of wind. Short drive to tons of hiking trails, including the Escarpment trail which is one of the most amazing hikes in Michigan. If you’re hungry, there’s a great diner in Ontonagon that has amazing pizza and breakfast! Totally recommend and will definitely be back! (ps prepare for black flies, deet doesn’t even scare the little vampires and they are literally everywhere. I recommend bringing a good anti itch stick/spray)