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Dispersed Camping Michigan Lower Peninsula

City Of Houghton Rv Park

Dispersed Camping Off-Grid in Michigans Upper Peninsula [Pictured Rocks]

RV camping in the Upper Peninsula doesnt get much betterthan the City of Houghton RV Park.

Located on the outskirts of Houghton smackdab in the middleof the Keweenaw Peninsula, its the perfect staging grounds for your UpperPeninsula camping trip. Dont forget to visit the Keweenaw National Historical Park.

Do note that with just 22 RV campsites, its important tomake reservations early. Do so and youll enjoy the stunning lakeside locationalong Portage Lake and close proximity to Houghtons quaint downtown.

Upper Manistee River Backcountry Campsites

Huron-Manistee National Forests

The Upper Manistee dispersed campsites are primitive campsites on the Manistee River Backwaters of Tippy Dam Pond, located along the banks of the Manistee River between Tippy Dam and Hodenpyl Dam. The Government Landing location includes 7 sites, in which, 5 are located on the water and 2 sites ar…

  • Hiawatha National Forest

    Near Wetmore, Michigan

    Widewaters Campground is remotely located on Michigan’s upper peninsula in the Hiawatha National Forest. It sits on a stretch of heavily forested land between Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, near a series of smaller lakes and the Indian River, making it an ideal getaway for anglers and explorer…

  • What To Bring Camping In Michigan

    Heres a list of supplies that anyone should bring camping in Marquette and Michigan:

    • Bug Repellant Bugs and insects here can be a nightmare. Bring enough repellant!
    • Smores No campfire is right without smores
    • Tent/Hammock Youre probably going to need something to sleep in. Check what area you are visiting to ensure you can hang your hammock from its trees.
    • Sleeping Pad The ground is really not that comfortable.
    • Headlamp Dont fumble with your phone while holding your beer and smores. Use this hands free option to light your night
    • Lighther For extra curiculurs and starting the fire
    • FOOD You GOTTAA eat!
    • Water Stay hydrated especially during these warm, humid days
    • Bear Spray/Canister Depending on location
    • Heres the best bet, IF youre looking for a CAMPER RENTAL in MICHIGAN

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    Holland State Park Campground

    Considered by many as a must-see destination in Michigan,Holland Beach State Park pulls in nearly 2 million visitors each year.

    There are two campgrounds in the state park. Both aresuitable for RVs with full hookups in many spots. Unfortunately, no pull-thrusites are offered. Tent camping and cabin rentals are also available.

    In addition to camping, Holland State Park is famous for its beachside location along the sandy shores of Lake Michigan as well as its proximity to Lake Macatawa. Dont forget to check out the Holland Harbor Light, known locally as Big Red. Its one of the most iconic lighthouses in Michigan.

    Where To Camp For Free In Michigan

    Platte River Campground, MI
    • Upper Peninsula. The upper peninsula is much quieter with lesser major roads. The camping is mainly concentrated in the Hiawatha National Forest and Ottawa National Forest . Besides the national forest, there are 5 state parks in all corners of the Upper Peninsula, starting from Copper Harbor in the north to Tahquamenon Falls in the east, Straits in the southeast, the Porcupine Mountains in the west, and JW Wells near the Wisconsin border.
    • Lower Peninsula, which is also known as Lower Michigan is less elevated and surrounded by Lake Michigan to the west and Lake Huron to the west. Most of the camping can be found in the Huron-Manistee National Forests.

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    The Best Places To Go Camping In Michigan

    Michigan is rife with opportunity for outdoor adventures,including some of the best camping in the United States.

    Touching four of the five Great Lakes, the state has more than 3,288 miles of freshwater shoreline plus more than 11,000 inland lakes. All this in addition to 20 million acres of forest just waiting to be explored.

    Divided into two by the Straits of Mackinac, both the mitten-shaped Lower Peninsula and long, slender Upper Peninsula boast a diverse collection of terrain and natural beauty as well as countless camping opportunities.

    Whether you prefer tent camping at a secluded rustic campground or RV camping in a bustling RV Park, the Wolverine State has you covered. Same goes for free camping, overnight backpacking, winter camping, and so much more.

    Here are 33 of the best places to go camping in Michigan.

    Why Youll Love It

    The campsites along Green Road are easily accessible and only about a mile east of the turquoise waters of Lake Michigan and a short drive from the city of Manistee.

    There is great hiking in the Nordhouse Dunes Recreation area, just about a 10-minute drive away. While youre there, dont miss a visit to Ludington State Park!

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    Michigans Local Forest Service Websites Show Dispersed Camping Options

    Three Michigan USFS parks offer dispersed camping. Through this site, youll find fire alerts, local policies, dispersed camping options, and more.

    Michigan also features dispersed camping in their state forests in areas at least one mile from a state forest campground. They have a few additional rules for you to follow as well.

    Free Hiawatha National Forest Site

    Dispersed Camping in Michigan’s National Forests

    GPS Coordinates: 46.018146, -84.719897

    This is a single free camping spot in Michigans Upper Peninsula, found off I-75 in Saint Ignace, about 25 minutes north of the Mackinac Bridge.

    This primitive camping spot in the U.P. offers a single fire ring as its sole amenity. Theres a steep trail leading from the campsite to the Carp River found below.

    Although located pretty close to the interstate, the campsite is secluded and all we noticed was more of a constant hum from traffic.

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    Best Free Camping Spots In Michigan

    If you have yet to travel to Michigan, put it on your bucket list like now!

    Michigan is the only state that touches 4 of the 5 Great Lakes, and the only state in the US that is made up of 2 peninsulas. From the turquoise waters and sandy shores of Lake Michigan to the hiking and outdoor activities in the UP Michigan is a must-see state.

    Here are 6 of the best free camping spots in Michigan!

    Warren Dunes State Park

    Over one million people visit Warren Dunes State Park each year and for good reason. Its one of the best places to tent camp in Michigan, bar none.

    The state park has two campgrounds, a modern campground withRV hookups and flush toilets and a semi-modern campground with rustic campsitesbetter suited for tents, plus a spacious group camping area. All campsites arejust a short walk to the beach. Note that Warren Dunes is one of the mostpopular campgrounds in Michigan so book early for the summer months.

    Located on the shore of Lake Michigan, this state park isalso popular for swimming, metal detecting, and picnicking. The large sanddunes are ideal for sandboardingfor those up for the thrill.

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    What Is Free Camping

    Free camping is camping thats free! The free camping were referring to here is accessible to RVers not just tent campers.

    And, since its free, there wont be many amenities like restrooms, electricity, freshwater fill or dump stations. But thats no problem for RVers we carry everything we need everywhere we go.

    Before heading out to enjoy this free camping in Michigan, youll need to make sure youve covered these bases:

    What You Need To Know About Dispersed Camping In Michigan

    D.H. Day Campground, MI

    Michigan does not have BLM land but plenty of forest service land. Most of these public lands are located in the northern half of the lower peninsula and through the upper peninsula. If you are really looking to get away from it all look in the upper peninsula as it is very remote.

    Youll need to follow a few rules to preserve the land around you when dispersed camping in Michigan. Theres usually a limit to how many days you can stay in the same area within a month for public lands. Another general rule is to camp at least one mile away from campgrounds, 100 feet from any stream, and 150 feet from a roadway.

    Once you find your ideal location, use in satellite view to check your route. Have a hard copy map of the area, and arrive during the daytime since your spot wont be marked.

    Read on for additional rules to follow.

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    Michigan Has Plenty Of Dispersed Camping Opportunities

    Ultimately, staying in dispersed camping territory connects you with nature on a new level. Its just you and the big outdoors out there. If youre ready to try your hand at dispersed camping, Michigan offers plenty of opportunities.

    Get ready for the adventure to start!

    Prefer to stay at campgrounds? Check out these10 Great Places to Go Beach Camping in Michigan.

    Porcupine Mountains State Park

    This state park is affectionately referred to by Michiganders as the Porkies.

    Tens of thousands of Lake Superior coastline are included in the scenic mountain views of this park, and most of the tent campsites are nestled high up in the mountains. The breathtaking views, the rivers, and Lake Superior itself is what bring the campers here.

    If you are the type that likes to rough it, there are 63 backcountry campsites here located off the beaten trail.

    Be sure to download a park map and always have it on hand before you enter the park so that you can find your way around. Park ranger stations are present, but they are far between.

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    Some Things To Keep In Mind When Planning Where You Will Be Camping Are:

    • There is no camping within 200 feet of any body of water, except at designated sites.
    • There is no camping within 400 feet of the Lake Michigan shoreline in the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area.
    • Camping is only allowed at designated sites within the river corridors for the designated Wild and Scenic sections of the Pere Marquette, Pine, Manistee and Au Sable Rivers.
    • Camping or leaving camping equipment is allowed in the same location for up to fourteen days. After sixteen days the camp and equipment MUST be moved off of Forest Service System lands.
    • A permit is NOT required to camp on National Forest System lands outside of designated campgrounds.
    • Motorized vehicles may only be operated on designated roads, trails or areas open to that use. To find what roads and trails are open to a particular use, visitors should obtain a Motor Vehicle Use Map.

    Dispersed foot traffic and primitive tent camping within the Forests is allowed almost anywhere, unless otherwise posted closed and/or “No Camping”.

    White River Rv Park & Campground

    Solo Camping in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

    For a rustic RV camping experience in a peaceful woodedsetting look no further than White River RV Park & Campground.

    Located in West Michigan, this popular RV park is theperfect jumping off point for exploring the shores of Lake Michigan, Silver LakeSand Dunes, and the vast wilderness that is Manistee National Forest. Thosetraveling with children might also be interested in visiting nearby Michigans Adventure Amusement Park.

    As for the campground itself, White River RV Park has 229total RV sites with full hookups, including dozens of pull-thru sites for largerigs. All this in addition to a rustic tent camping area, cabin rentals,restrooms with hot showers, a heated swimming pool, and much more.

    Read Also: Camping Near Harriman State Park

    Best Rv Camping In Michigan

    Most of the campgrounds above welcome RVs in addition totents. Some even have RV hookups and dump stations. But we wanted to round upthe best RV parks in Michigan for those that prefer a less rustic, primitive RVcamping experience with the most amenities possible.

    Dont have your own RV? Weve partnered with Outdoorsy and RVshare to help you find the best RV rental for your Michigan RV camping trip. And dont forget to check out our popular guides: renting your first RV and buying your first RV for more information.

    Where To Find Overland Trails In Michigan

    Where to Find Overland Trails in Michigan

    One of the most common questions on the internet is where can I find overland trails or where can I go overland camping. It can be a bit overwhelming, no one wants to get lost or go somewhere possibly illegal. The best way to approach this is really through self research and self education. We will share some great links that will provide lots of information.

    But First.

    We must first go over Tread Lightly and Leave No Trace. Remember that any state trail or road needs to be treated with respect. These trails are not mud bogs or places to do donuts and tear up the adjoining property. There are places for that but VERY rarely is it legal to do that on state or federal property. This can lead to tickets, fines, and trail closures. Be respectful and good stewards of the sport.

    When you do find a campsite be sure to carry adequate trash bags and storage to take care of your mess. Leave these areas better than you found them. Just think how long it will take for a piece of trash to decompose or be removed from a forest if you left it at your campsite. Check out some great information in the links below.

    Lets Get Started

    What Trails Michigan Has To Offer

    Above is the interactive map that will appear when you click Interactive Maps in the link above. Through these websites you can find interesting trails and roads nationwide.

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    Waterloo State Recreation Area

    Platte River Campground, MI

    Youll be hard-pressed to find better place for Michigantent camping than that at Waterloo State Recreation Area.

    The third-largest park in the state, this recreation area isnotable for its 11 lakes spread out over a vast expanse of forest and wetlands.Popular activities include horseback riding, bicycling, and hiking as well asfishing, boating, and swimming in the lakes. Cross-country skiing andsnowshoeing are also popular in the winter.

    Campers have a choice between four campgrounds with over 400campsites total. Two of these are modern campgrounds with RV hookups andamenities. The others are an equestrian campground for horses and a rusticcampground for primitive tent camping. Several rustic cabins are alsoavailable.

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    Fort Custer State Recreation Area

    Enjoy the peace and quiet of winter camping at Fort Custer StateRecreation Area in the central region of the Lower Peninsula.

    The campground is open year-round to intrepid campers of allbreeds. Not only do they welcome tent campers, but the recreation area is justone of a few public campgrounds in Michigan that provide electrical hookupsyear-round for RV campers.

    Why go winter camping at Fort Custer State Recreation Area?In addition to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, its one of the mostpopular locations for dogsledding in Michigan.

    What Is Dispersed Camping In Michigan

    Dispersed camping is camping on public lands away from developed, paid campsites. Much of the public land in the United States offers dispersed camping for us to use and enjoy.

    These sites are completely free and unmarked. They are dry camping areas, meaning there are no amenities like that of a paid campsite. In addition, you cannot reserve these sites, and theyre available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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    Is It Legal To Camp Anywhere In Michigan

    Where allowed, dispersed camping is permitted on state-owned land for free. The following rules apply: The campsite must not be located in a designated state park, recreation area, rustic state forest campground or game area. The campsite must be located more than one mile from a rustic state forest campground.

    The Popular And Free Camping Areas In Michigan

    How to find FREE CAMPING In National Forests & Public Land in Michigan | Dispersed Car Camping
    • Amanda Williams

    Michigan is one of the best states for camping on the east coast of the United States. With over 3,000 miles of shoreline, 11,000 lakes, and home to 4 of the 5 Great Lakes, it is no wonder Michigan is called the Great Lake State. With such an abundance of natural landscapes, there is no shortage of camping opportunities for you to truly enjoy nature.

    Most campgrounds are developed and thus would require you to book ahead and pay a fee. But what if you are on a budget, or want more flexibility?

    Dispersed camping is your answer.

    On this page, we will share with you where to find some of the best free campsite sites in Michigan.

    Read More :Guide to Dispersed Camping

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