Try These 9 Marvelous Campgrounds for the Best Camping in Michigan

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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Photo credit: National Park Service

Nothing incites a longing for nature quite like a long Midwestern winter. Now that the season is slowly coming to an end, it’s a great time to plan an outdoor adventure. For those in the Midwest, and anywhere else in the country, Michigan is a top destination for a nature-packed retreat. Here, travelers can explore national forests, swim in the great lakes, chase waterfalls, hike through national parks and traverse sand dunes. Of course, the best way to enjoy Michigan’s diverse landscapes is by camping. From rustic campsites deep in the woods to modern lakeside campgrounds, that state has something for all types of campers. Read on to learn where to find the best camping in Michigan.

SheBuysTravel Tip: After you choose a campground, consult our complete camping packing list so you have everything you need for your trip!

1. Lakeshore Campgrounds – Wilderness State Park

Near Mackinaw City, Wilderness State Park is a 10,512-acre park that boasts miles of stunning Lake Michigan shoreline. This state park is located at the tip of the Lower Peninsula and is a designated dark sky preserve, so it’s perfect for stargazing. The park also offers countless other recreational activities, including hiking, biking, swimming and, of course, camping.

The Lakeshore Campgrounds are the largest campgrounds in Wilderness State Park. In past years, campers could choose between East Lakeshore Campground and West Lakeshore Campground. However, East Lakeshore campground is under renovation and won’t be open until June 9, 2023. The West Campground has 71 sites, most of which boast beautiful views of Lake Michigan. Sites have electricity and there are showers and restrooms. Reservations can be made here.

a cabin overlooking beach at Lake Michigan
The sun bounces off a cabin at Ludington State Park in Michigan. Photo credit: Pure Michigan

2. Cedar Campground – Ludington State Park

Ludington State Park is one of the state’s most popular parks. Located on Lake Michigan, this 5,300-acre park has a little bit of everything—sandy beaches, sand dunes, marshlands, ponds and forests. Travelers can spend the day at the beach, go on a hike, have a picnic or observe the wildlife.

Cedar Campground is the only campground in Ludington State Park that is open all year round. The campground has more than 100 sites located on two different loops. All but eight of the sites have electricity. The eight that do not are designated for tent camping. There are modern bathrooms with showers and there is a playground. Make your reservation here.

Tahquamenon Falls is one of the best places for camping in Michigan.
Tahquamenon Falls. Photo credit: Michigan Economic Development Corporation

3. Tahquamenon Falls State Park Campgrounds – Tahquamenon Falls State Park

Tahquamenon Falls State Park holds the state’s largest waterfall, standing at 50 feet tall and 200 feet across. This natural wonder is surrounded by endless woodlands as well as five smaller falls downstream. The area is full of trails, where hikers can enjoy the vibrant wildlife.

There are two camping areas in Tahquamenon Falls State Park—the Lower Falls Campgrounds and Tahquamenon Falls Rivermouth Unit. The Lower Falls Campground is the more modern site, and is located below the Upper Falls, near the Tahquamenon River. Each site at this campground is equipped with electricity, a fire pit and a picnic table. There are bathrooms with flush toilets and warm showers. There is also a picnic area, a playground and a concession stand.

Those in search of a more rustic camping experience can stay at the Tahquamenon Falls Rivermouth Unit. This campsite is more secluded and does not have electricity. It is located on the Tahquamenon River, where it flows into Whitefish Bay on Lake Superior. Reservations at either campground can be made here.

Read More: 10 Camping Essentials for Women

The lookout at Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan is one of the top things to check out when visiting
Is this the ocean, mom? The view of Lake Michigan from Pierce Stocking Drive in Sleeping Bear Dunes. Photo credit: Kristin Shaw

4. Platte River Campground – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore can be found in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Marked by towering bluffs, sandy beaches, dense forests and sparkling lakes, this is a popular destination for avid hikers, who can climb the sandy dunes and enjoy breathtaking lake views.

After a day of hiking, rest at the Platte River Campground. This year-round campground is within walking distance of the Platte River and has potable water, cell phone reception, camp sinks and hot showers. There are both flush and vault toilets.

Sites accommodate tents as well as RVs, and include electrical hookups. Some sites are first-come, first-served, while others can be reserved here ahead of time.

Picuted Rocks National Seashore in Michigan Photo credit: Shutterstock

5. Hurricane River Campgrounds – Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Stay in a rustic campground and enjoy beautiful views of Lake Superior while camping at Hurricane River Campgrounds. Located in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the area offers more than 100 miles of hiking trails. There are opportunities to go kayaking and boating on the lake. Explore sand dunes, photograph waterfalls and check out the colorful sandstone formations that the area that the national lakeshore is known for.

Campsites don’t have electrical, water or sewer hookups and reception is limited, so get ready to be fully immersed in nature. There is well water and bathrooms have pit toilets. Campsites have a picnic table and a fire pit. Reservations can be made here.

Hikers at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Michigan
Hikers at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park Photo credit: Pure Michigan

6. Union Bay Campground – Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

Spanning 60,000 acres, The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is the largest Michigan State Park. Located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, this state park is popular all year round. In the winter, the Porcupine Mountains are great for skiing and snowshoeing, while the summer months draw hikers and bikers.

Union Bay Campground is the only modern campground in the park. This family-friendly campground has electricity, full hookups and a concession store with firewood, ice and snacks. There are even bike, canoe and kayak rentals available here. Make a reservation here.

7. Warren Dunes State Park Campgrounds – Warren Dunes State Park

Located in Southwest Michigan, Warren Dunes State Park is 1,952-acre state park featuring three miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and towering sand dunes that overlook the lake. When the weather is warm, there is swimming, kayaking and paddleboarding at the beach. Adventurous travelers can even sandboard down the dunes or go hang gliding. In the winter, the dunes are perfect for sledding or cross-country skiing.

There are two campgrounds at Warren Dunes State Park—Mount Randall Campground and Hildebrandt Campground. Mount Randall Campground is the more modern campground and is equipped with showers, flush toilets, a playground, hookup sites and three rustic cabins. This campground has flush toilets while Hildebrandt uses vault toilets. Both have potable water. Click here to make a reservation at either site.

8. AuSable River Campground – Huron-Manistee National Forest

Planning a rustic camping trip? Head to AuSable River Campground, located in the Huron-Manistee National Forest. Unlike a traditional campground, the AuSable River campsites are not located in a cluster. Instead, they are scattered across a 55-mile stretch of AuSable River shoreline.

There are 102 family campgrounds located on bluffs above the river. Campers can enjoy the area’s natural beauty and spend the day swimming, canoeing and bird watching. Just be warned, the AuSable River campsites have no drinking water, no toilets and no trash, so planning ahead is crucial. Read our full post on everything you need to know for a successful women’s backpacking trip. Make your reservation here.

9. Ahmeek Coppermine Camp – Keweenaw Peninsula

Ahmeek Coppermine Camp is located in the Keweenaw Peninsula in a town called Mohawk. The campground is on a historic copper mine and is the perfect base camp for those looking to hike, mountain bike, ski, stargaze, snowshoe or kayak. There are also tours of ghost towns, shipwrecks, copper mines and lighthouses nearby.

The campground has RV campsites, tent sites and rustic cabins. Each site has a fire pit, and there is a large community fire pit for those looking to meet some of the other campers. There are no electric, water or sewer hookups. The campground does have a store where campers can buy firewood in addition to rocks and copper from the copper mine. Reserve a site here.

Adina Keeling is a freelance travel writer from San Diego, CA. She worked in local news for a year until her wanderlust drew her to Costa Rica, where she is now based while freelancing and traveling the world. She has lived in three different countries and traveled to 27. An avid solo traveler, Adina wants to empower other women to safely travel alone.
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