Camping Guide: Michigan’s Lower Peninsula

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As a Michigander with an outdoorsy family, I was raised to love camping. When I was little, family vacations consisted of setting up the tent, making s’mores around a campfire, hiking and spending entire days on Lake Michigan. As a young adult, I still love camping. It is a great way for you to take a break from your phone and enjoy nature in some of the most beautiful settings. All that, and it’s affordable! You don’t have to travel far to experience some of the best camping in Michigan, so if you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway, consider these campgrounds.

Muskegon State Park

Located on Lake Michigan with beach access, Muskegon State Park is a great place to camp. The campground has 106 sites, each with plenty of space. Whether you choose to explore the sand dunes lining the beach, spend time in the water or hang out at your campsite, Muskegon State Park is perfect for a relaxing camping trip. An added bonus of this campground is that the bathrooms were recently renovated and are cleaned consistently, so if you’re the kind of person who can’t go 3 days without showering you’re in luck!

Leelanau State Park

My all-time favorite place to camp is Leelanau State Park. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for the campsite in the tip of the pinky finger because I grew up with relatives who lived in the next town over. The campground is rustic, so that means there are only pit toilets on the property, but if you don’t mind roughing it you’ll have a great time here! There is plenty of hiking and sightseeing, and the campground is right on the water between Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay. It’s also in the perfect location for a day trip to the Sleeping Bear Dunes and boasts some of the best stargazing in the state.

Wilderness State Park

Wilderness State Park is located on Big Stone Bay right near the Mackinac Bridge, making it perfect for both summer and winter camping trips. Winter camping trips here are filled with cross-country skiing and building snow forts, while summer trips are perfect for hiking and water activities. Since the park is so close to the bridge, making a trip to see Tahquamenon Falls in the Upper Peninsula is always fun, no matter what season.


Maggie Morgan is a junior majoring in professional writing with a concentration in creative writing. Hobbies include: spending all of her money on concert tickets, trying to convince Green Day to let her be their friend, geeking out about music history and dreaming of writing for Rolling Stone. You can follow her on Instagram at @swaggie_.maggie.

Tags: camping, camping in Michigan, lower peninsula