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Camping in Michigan for novices?

Orlando, Florida
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Camping in Michigan for novices?

We're thinking of spending a few days in lower Michigan, doing some river tubing (probably along the Au Sable?), maybe do a bit of fishing. I know most of Michigan quite well, but we're considering using an RV this time and we don't know the campgrounds at all. Can anyone make a recommendation for a quiet, family oriented campground (low on the 'party' factor) with services and local attractions that will keep 16, 13 and 11 year old boys happy? This is an 'extra' vacation, so we want to keep it on the cheap but still make some good memories.

Alternate locations gratefully accepted! We have no fixed ideas.

Orlando, Florida
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1. Re: Camping in Michigan for novices?

Editing to add: we're travelling in mid-August.

new jersey
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for Charlevoix, Michigan
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2. Re: Camping in Michigan for novices?

I remember loving camping at Burt Lake State Park when I was a teen. Lots to do, lots of other teens, great beach and fun towns nearby....I don't think those things have been diminished over the years...only improved. Another idea is Traverse City State Park...lots to do there! Moms

Bay City, Michigan
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for Michigan
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3. Re: Camping in Michigan for novices?

TC would be the ideal destination for lots of different activities. There is tubing on the Boardman, Platte, Crystal rivers within an hour's drive-or canoeing. Fishing in them too, as well as the Bay.

Silver Lake State Park is also popular. However, I am not sure about a tubing river. Lot of sand, sun and beach. Lots of go-carts, putt-putt, etc. Sand dune buggy rides. There are also several private parks within town.

Ludington is also very popular; lots of fishing in the inland lake, river or Great Lake; tubing/canoeing; great beaches; bike trails, hiking trails, nature center, water toy rentals; and Ludington has a lighthouse to hike out to and great public city beach. Shopping, pizza and ice cream...lol. However, it is very hard to get into Ludington and most likely August is already filled to capacity.

Grayling is a great town for canoeing and tubing. We love Hartwick Pines State park. Quiet, family oriented to the T; all the history and nature right there in the nature center and lumbering history visitor center/lumberman buildings/virgin pine forest. Hiking; fishing; playground at picnic area is pretty cool; and Grayling has some minor attractions: a fish hatchery, putt-putt. Gaylord has more and it isn't far up the road...

Indian River...
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4. Re: Camping in Michigan for novices?

The two places I would recommend are previously mentioned.

Grayling - Canoe or Tube either the Au Sable or the Manistee Rivers. State Forest Campground on Lake Margrethe used to be a great family campground. Be aware that they only have pit toilets.

Burt Lake State Park - Sturgeon River for tubing. Rent tubes right across the street and the river empties into Burt Lake at the state park. Putt Putt also across the street. GREAT beach for swimming. Town withing easy walking or biking distance. Great ice cream, homemade chocolates and fudge at Drost's. www.drostschocolates.com

As you can probably tell... Burt Lake would be my choice.

Indian River...
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5. Re: Camping in Michigan for novices?

Here is the link for the tube/canoe rental for Burt Lake www.bigbearadventures.com

Orlando, Florida
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6. Re: Camping in Michigan for novices?

Fantastic! Thanks, all! We'll start by looking at the places you have suggested and will surely find the right spot!

Northern Michigan
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for Petoskey, Michigan
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7. Re: Camping in Michigan for novices?

Burt Lake and the Village of Indian River gets my double thumbs up!! Burt Lake is easily one of the two nicest, cleanest, best swimming lakes in the state...and HUGE! Indian River's a great little town with a lot to offer and the location's perfect...two minutes off I-75, half an hour to Petoskey, Mackinaw City and Gaylord...it'll be tough to beat Burt Lake State Park for what you're looking for.

8. Re: Camping in Michigan for novices?

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