Take a deep breath, and imagine a camping site on the bank of a pristine northern lake – surrounded by trees and rolling hills. You might not expect it, but you’re actually picturing one of 1,000 campgrounds Michigan has to offer. This gorgeous state is home to picturesque rivers, lakes and national forests that are idyllic camping sites, ready to be explored. Any one of these four parks is a great example of the lush, prime camping opportunities throughout Michigan:
• Sleeping Bear Dunes: Nestled on the north eastern side of the state, this collection of national and private camping sites are varied, but all lovely. The National Park service offers both modern accommodations – with electricity, and fully equipped restrooms – and more basic ones on the mainland and on the island. There are also private camping sites located in nearby communities. Sleeping bear dunes offers sandy beaches, immediate access to Lake Michigan, and diverse hiking opportunities. The adjacent communities have restaurants, wineries, shopping, and art galleries. It’s a beautiful choice for either a day trip, or a week of adventures.
• Port Crescent State Park: On the other side of the state, on the tip of the “Thumb” that juts into Lake Huron, this national park provides access to beachfront sand dunes, dune forests, and the chance to glimpse some rare wildlife. Visitors have raved about sighting wild turkeys, beavers and even the occasional bald eagle. During certain times of the year, parts of this national park are even open to public hunting – and their site sets you up with links to hunting and fishing licenses and campground reservations. There’s also a boardwalk along the mouth of the Pinnebog river that provides stunning views of the lake, and the shoreline.
• Castle Rock Campark: Located just over the Mackinack bridge, this charming park offers lakefront camping, outdoor family activities, and area trips to Mackinack Island, and Macinack city, which is famous for its delicious fudge. The camping sites themselves have electricity, running water, and a built in fire ring. It offers a great view of the Mackinack Straits, and is a excellent birding area, with reported sightings of all sorts of water birds, songbirds and birds of prey. The park’s administration even raises wood ducks, mallards and, for children’s enjoyment, bunnies. If you’re looking for a particularly family and pet-friendly camping site, the Castle Rock Campark lets you make reservations online for almost every kind of camping need.
• Wolverine Campground: Right alongside one of the many inland lakes Michigan is famous for, this area offers around 200 camping sites and numerous lakeside activities. The Campground provides hot showers and full bathrooms, along with electric sites and good-sized campsites. Buttercup beach offers safe swimming area and a boat launch if you’d like to do a little exploring on the lake. It’s a serene, welcoming place with online reservations to make your trip even more convenient.
Michigan camping sites are fantastic getaways for families or individuals looking to get in touch with nature, while still maintaining a few of their favorite amenities – like restrooms and electricity. And if you’re looking for an even more wild adventure, some of the parks above also offer more removed campsites. And, keep your eye out for more campgrounds and national parks throughout Michigan that could meet whatever criteria you have in mind.
Rachel, avid camper and blogger
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