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Northern Michigan Campground Itinerary Help Please

Chicago, Illinois
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Northern Michigan Campground Itinerary Help Please

Hi everyone,

I'm looking for some recommendations on campgrounds in Northern Michigan. Me and my girlfriend are looking to head up north for about a week while spending a minimal amount of $$ on lodging,, planning on tent camping and still unsure where we are going to stay . We Love Traverse city area/ glen arbor and torch lake, but thinking about heading as far north as Pictured Rocks in the UP? Is it worth it? Any recommendations of campgrounds up that way would be helpful. I've also heard good things about Burt Lake state park and Wilderness State park. Really looking for some helpful trip itinerary suggestions.

We would like to be close to a nice lake as we both love to swim and may do some fishing as well. We definitely want access to a firepit and be somewhere with a good amount of privacy between campsites. Abeautiful night sky view is a must and it would be nice to be close to a town for necessities as we would prefer to keep the driving to a minimum when we are at our destination(s). Any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much!

Tom

Edited: 07 August 2012, 06:07
Thompsonville...
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1. Re: Northern Michigan Campground Itinerary Help Please

I would look at the websites for the State Forest Campgrounds and National Forest Campgrounds if you are trying to be budget friendly. They don't have as many amenities, but you are paying significantly less. Often they are vault toilets with no showers. However, if you are swimming often, showers aren't always a necessity. And if you are moving from park to park, you can alternate one with amenities and one without.

The state forest campgrounds in the Lake Ann area (outside of TC) are very nice. I have also stayed at Wilderness although I found some of the sites to lack privacy for tent campers. There seem to be fewer and fewer of us out there! :)

Northern Michigan
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for Petoskey, Michigan
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2. Re: Northern Michigan Campground Itinerary Help Please

We just spent some time at Barnes Park in Eastport and were quite impressed. We weren't able to camp there as it was full (film fest weekend in TC) but the park was very nice...right on Grand Traverse Bay with several walking/biking trails and nice looking amenities. There were several "walk in" tent sites that seemed to have good privacy and were 100% vacant. If I were looking for a waterfront park with private tent sites, I'd check out Barnes Park. They don't take reservations, but according to the staff, they're rarely booked during the week and if you get there when a site's open, you can stay as long as you like.

Little Rock
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3. Re: Northern Michigan Campground Itinerary Help Please

The "Pure Michigan" website lists many campgrounds ... developed & undeveloped.

michigan.org/places-to-stay/…

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Northern Michigan Campground Itinerary Help Please

Thanks all for your feedback any other input would be appreciated

deadheadcouple- I've heard good things about Barnes park as well, what is the sand and water like there. Is it pretty rocky as you enter the water? How close to the beach are the sites?

Anyone have any thoughts on tent camping in Pictured Rocks?

Thanks,

Tom

Northern Michigan
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for Petoskey, Michigan
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5. Re: Northern Michigan Campground Itinerary Help Please

Tom,

We actually didn't go swimming there, so I can't comment on the sand. We just used some of the trails and checked out some campsites.

We tent camped at pictured rocks a couple years ago and had a blast. We stayed in a private campground though, as we were with a group. I wouldn't hesitate to head up to pictured rocks if you're up for the drive.

Also, wanted to comment on Burt Lake State Park...a nice park, especially if you're bringing a boat, but there's next to no privacy...sites are very small and stacked right on top of each other. Don't get me wrong, I like the park and I can see why it's popular, but I wouldn't camp there if I wanted to "get away" at all.

Bay City, Michigan
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6. Re: Northern Michigan Campground Itinerary Help Please

I think Aloha is better than Burt Lake, personally. Though some sites are very small, and most are not private *if any*, I think the ambiance (as much as a campground can have ambiance-LOL) is much better than Burt Lake. And there are several sites right on the lake (we had 170).

Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: Northern Michigan Campground Itinerary Help Please

Hi DeadHeads, Do you remember the name of the private campground at Pictured Rocks? Thanks!

Bay City, Michigan
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8. Re: Northern Michigan Campground Itinerary Help Please

Could be Wandering Wheels Campground, Siam. We have stayed at that one, pretty nice when we were there.

Midland, Michigan
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9. Re: Northern Michigan Campground Itinerary Help Please

If TC is your destination and you're tent camping consider the park in TC, though it might be a little noisy as it is just off the main drag in Traverse City.. If this is a concern try Interlochen State Park. Just 15 mintues south of TC and likely a lot quieter. If headed to the UP, consider staying at Tahquamenon state park. Good base for trips in the Eastern UP. All parks mentioned have showers and flush toilets at the main bathrooms.

Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: Northern Michigan Campground Itinerary Help Please

Thanks to all who have replied, have definitely decided to camp in the pictured rocks area/ munising or grand marais. Looking for the best campground for tent camping that still has modernish facilities. Looking at Woodland Park , Munising Tourist Park and Bay Furnace? Any thoughts on what campground would offer privacy/near water in the area?

What are some must sees/to do while here?

Thanks,

Tom