Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” Because we live in such a technological, fast-paced society, it’s easy to forget to slow down and take in everything the natural world has to offer. Michigan boasts magnificent forests, four Great Lakes, tranquil beaches and picturesque state parks, making it the perfect place to develop a newfound appreciation for the outdoors. And what better way to take in the beautiful sights and sounds of nature than by becoming a part of it? As a way to escape your hectic schedules, we’ve compiled a few of Michigan’s most incredible places to camp. Read on, and get ready to pitch those tents!
Traverse City State Park
Traverse City State Park is the perfect getaway for avid beachgoers. Established in 1920, it contains a quarter-mile of beach on Grand Traverse Bay where you can enjoy everything from sunsets to picnics along the shore. Not to mention, the park is only about a 45-minute drive to the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, and two miles from downtown Traverse City.
Former MSU student Derek Blalock reminisced on his experiences at Traverse City State Park. “For me, it brings back a flood of memories from when my family camped there with my Grandpa when he was alive. It reminds me of the good in life.”
Location: 1132 US-31, Traverse City, MI 49686
Rifle River Campground
Located near Lake Huron, Rifle River Campground and Canoe Livery is a wonderful spot for those who love the water. River trips include canoeing, kayaking and tubing. Each of the grassy, wooded campsites offers fire pits and picnic tables. Visitors can enjoy hiking and mountain bike trails, sandy beaches and taking in the river’s wildlife.
For camper Danielle McCallion, Rifle River Campground makes her feel “at home and happy,” She enjoys tubing down the Rifle River while she’s there, and recommended others to visit. “It is a good, safe place to be with friends and family and get away from everyday life,” she said.
Location: 5825 Townline Rd, Sterling, MI 48659
Spacious and family-friendly, Northern Exposure is a campground/RV and recreational park located on an 1,800 acre lake. It offers attractions such as a sandy beach, a fishing area, walking trails and a playground. If you’re looking for an adventure, you can swim or paddleboard in the lake, kayak down the Manistee River, hike along the North County Trail and explore the Manistee National Forest.
Location: 285 Manistee River Rd, Mesick, MI 49668
Tahquamenon Falls State Park
If you haven’t seen Michigan’s largest waterfall yet, Tahquamenon Falls State Park is your go-to site this summer. It features over 50,000 acres of land, with the Tahquamenon River right at the center. There are two campgrounds throughout the park: the Lower Falls Campground and Tahquamenon Falls Rivermouth Unit. Modern and rustic camping is available, so there is something for everyone. While there, you can enjoy activities like hiking, canoeing, fishing, backpacking, nature studies and of course listening to the cascading sounds of the falls.
Location: 41382 West M 123, Paradise, MI 49768