Friday, May 31, 2024

    5 Amazing Michigan Camping Destinations

    When it comes to the outdoors, Michigan brings the heat. With an abundance of inland lakes, the beautiful Great Lakes, and miles upon miles of state and national forests, there is never any shortage of places to visit, camp, hike, and hunt throughout the year.

    While it would be crazy to try to nail down the BEST 5 Michigan camping destinations, we can list 5 of the most amazing Michigan camping destinations around and hear your suggestions in the comments.


    1. Porcupine Mountains State Park – Ontonagon

    Porcupine Mountains Michigan
    Lake of the Clouds in the fall with beautiful autumn leaves on the trees, in Porcupine Mountains Michigan

    At roughly 60,000 acres, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is Michigan’s largest state park. It is home to 35,000-acre old-growth forest, roaring waterfalls, miles of rivers and streams, more than 90 miles of hiking trails, the Lake Superior shoreline, and vistas unrivaled anywhere in the Midwest.

    This park boasts many popular natural attractions, including Lake of the Clouds (ADA accessible viewing area), the Summit Peak observation tower and the scenic Presque Isle River corridor. Other attractions include an 18-hole disc golf course, the Porcupine Mountains Ski Area, and more. In addition, the Wilderness Visitor Center ( three miles west of Silver City on M-107) offers interpretive programs, an exhibit hall, information on trail conditions, a pet-friendly shoreline, wifi, a gift shop, and more.

    2. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Munising

    Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
    Image of Grand Portal Point in Pictured Rock National Lakeshore, Michigan, USA.

    Multicolored sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, inland lakes, streams, forests, and wildlife comprise this scenic area on Lake Superior. Activities include sightseeing, camping, kayaking, backpacking, hiking, fishing, hunting, picnicking, boating, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, a maritime museum, a lighthouse, and a visitor’s center. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore stands out among the rest as having a reputation for being one of the most spectacular parks to give ice climbing a go — whether you are a novice or an experienced climber. Dogs on a leash no longer than six feet are allowed on Miners Beach.

    3. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – Empire

    Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
    Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore from Empire Bluff, Empire, Michigan

    Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore encompasses a 60 km (35 mi.) stretch of Lake Michigan’s eastern coastline, as well as the North and South Manitou Islands. The park was established primarily for its outstanding natural features, including forests, beaches, dune formations, and ancient glacial phenomena. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore also contains many cultural features including an 1871 lighthouse, three former Life-Saving Service/Coast Guard Stations, and an extensive rural historic farm district.

    You will find a wide variety of activities for every age available to you at the Lakeshore. Climb the Dunes, swim at one of the many beaches, or take a hike through the Maple/Beech forest to some beautiful overlooks. Maybe you will want to spend some time in the museums or tour Port Oneida to learn about the rich history and culture of the area. The new Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail provides over four miles of paved trail.

    4. Sleepy Hollow State Park – Laingsburg

    Sleepy Hollow State Park
    Sleepy Hollow State Park

    Sleepy Hollow State Park contains over 2,600 acres including a river winding its way through the woods, fields and trails. Lake Ovid nestled in the middle of it all was developed by damming the Little Maple River and covers 410-acres. The park offers a year-round opportunity for recreation with 181 modern campsites.

    More than 228 species have been recorded in Sleepy Hollow, from the common Blue Jay to the Eastern Bluebird. During migration, look for waterfowl in Lake Ovid. The rarely recorded Bonaparte’s Gull or Bald Eagle also have been sighted.

    Trails that take you through prairie grasses, hardwood forest, and stands of pine trees: 16 miles of hiking/biking, and 6.5 miles for horseback riding and dog sledding. Metal detecting area. In addition to the activities listed above, snowshoeing is a popular activity at the park. Two accessible hunting blinds, one is a ground blind and one is a hydraulic lift blind. They can be reserved by calling the park at 517-651-6217.

    5. Huron – Manistee National Forest – Manistee

    Huron – Manistee National Forest – Manistee
    Lush wilderness forest of the Huron Manistee National Forest with the famed Ausable River flowing through the boreal forest in northern Michigan.

    Lying between the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron in the northern half of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, the nearly one-million-acre Huron-Manistee National Forests are located in a transition zone between forested lands to the north and agricultural lands to the south. The Huron-Manistee National Forests contain rare ecological features, such as dry sand prairie remnants, coastal marshlands, dunes, oak savannahs, fens, bogs, and marshes.

    Whether you are looking to lose yourself in the peacefulness of the forest by straying from the beaten path or if you are looking to stay on the road more traveled, we’ve got something for you.

    Ranging from the tranquility found in the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area, Loda Lake National Wildflower Sanctuary, Hoist Lake, Reid Lakes or Wakeley Lake areas, the quiet found on the Au Sable, Pine, Pere Marquette, and Manistee National Scenic Rivers, to the more developed settings found at Lumberman’s Monument Visitor Center, River Road National Scenic Byway, or on the motorized trails, the Forest provides quality recreation to its visitors.

    Information courtesy of Pure Michigan

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