Monday, 28 July 2014 13:54

Michigan’s Kick Ass Campgrounds

Written by  Revue Staff and Minions
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Michigan’s Kick Ass Campgrounds PHOTO: Phil Artz and Kim Kibby

Get away and take advantage of some of the natural gifts Michigan has given us. From lakes to hiking paths to dunes and forests, sometimes unplugging has its advantages.


Bowman Bridge Campground
52nd St., Baldwin
(231) 745-4631

Located on the Pere Marquette River, this campsite is a perfect spot for all canoers, anglers or anyone looking to get away. Explore nature on nearby hiking trails or enjoy s’mores by the fire.


Bray Creek State Forest Campground
Merriville Rd. & 40th St., Baldwin
(231) 745-9465

This first-come-first-serve camp may not be big, but it definitely works with what it’s got. With great trout fishing right along the Baldwin River and beautiful hiking trails, there is something for the whole family to enjoy.


Highbank Lake Campground
Roosevelt Dr., Baldwin
(231) 745-4631

Check out the beautiful 20-acre Highbank Lake for a perfect, secluded vacation. Bass and bluegill fishing is just the start of the fun. Note: RVs/campers must be 20 ft. or less.


Interlochen State Park
4167 M-137, Interlochen
(231) 276-9511

Located between Green Lake and Duck Lake, the 187-acre state park offers a mix of rustic and more modern amenities. Boats and kayaks are available to rent.


Lake Michigan Recreation Area/Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area
Forest Rd. 5629, Free Soil
(231) 723-2211

Hike 140-foot-high dunes, take a dip in Lake Michigan, hike or bike miles of scenic trails and experience untamed nature. The area offers a rustic experience in the Ludington Dunes, away from the crowds at the state park. Be advised that public nudity is strictly prohibited, so no skinny dipping!


Leelanau State Park
15310 N. Lighthouse Point Rd., Northport
(231) 386-5422

The 1,300-acre state park features 8.5 miles of hiking trails, many picnic areas, a rustic campground and the iconic Grand Traverse Lighthouse. On the beach, be on the lookout for Petoskey stones, as well as the endangered piping plover shorebirds.


Lincoln Bridge State Forest Campground
State Road and 10 Mile Rd., Luther
(231) 745-9465

Located on the Pine River and Silver Creek, the campground offers nine rustic sites set amid the heavily wooded state forest. Don’t miss hiking or biking the 4-mile Silver Creek Pathway. If ATVs and dirt bikes are more your thing, the campground is also adjacent to the more than 20-mile Lincoln Hills trail.


Old Grade Campground
5190 Forest Rd., Baldwin
(231) 745-7152

With this area completely surrounded by national forest, there are plenty of chances to experience wildlife to its fullest. Try paddling the Little Manistee River or plying the waters for trout. Wind down at the end of the day by sitting by the fire and listening to the sounds of nature at the Old Grade.


P.H. Hoeft State Park
5001 US-23 North, Rogers City
(989) 734-2543

Given all the lakefront beauty in West Michigan, it’s easy to forget about the other nearby Great Lake: Lake Huron. Hoeft State Park offers a true up north experience with accessibility to the attractions at the Straits of Mackinac and Rogers City, but without the crowds. The 300-acre park offers numerous hiking and cycling trails, sandy beaches, nearby Ocqueoc Falls and more than 140 sites.


Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
N8321 Sand Point Road, Munising
(906) 387-2607

Backpack or use a kayak to head out to one of the many secluded backcountry sites along the rugged Lake Superior shoreline. The several drive-in campgrounds in the park do not sacrifice beauty for convenience and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.


Pines Point National Forest Campground
Forest Road 5647, Hesperia
(231) 745-4631

Nothing is more relaxing than combining camping and canoeing along the White River. Enjoy a half-hour float around the peninsula to a secluded picnic area surround by towering white pines.


Sand Lake Recreation Area
Forest Road 5728, Irons
(231) 723-0141

The 43-site Sand Lake campground offers great sandy beaches as well as ample hiking and fishing opportunities. Carry-in boats are allowed. After a long day of camping, refuel at the nearby Dublin General Store with some of their world-famous jerkies.


Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
9922 Front St., Empire
(231) 326-4700

The park offers a range of camping options for drive-in sites with electricity for small campers, as well as secluded backcountry spots nestled around the picuresque dunes. The adventurous types can catch a ferry in Leland and head out to the Manitou Islands for a true wilderness camping experience. One of the most beautiful spots in North America.


Tippy Dam Recreation Area
1500 Dilling Rd., Brethren
(231) 848-4880

Located on the backwaters of Tippy Dam on the Manistee River, this state recreation area provides ample opportunity for canoeing and kayaking, plus it’s smack dab in the middle of some of the best trout and salmon fishing in the Midwest. You’re also within walking distance of the gorgeous views along the North Country Trail. Bonus: Come back in the winter for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

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