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Free Camping In The Upper Peninsula

Traverse City State Park

Upper Peninsula Michigan Free Camping

Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Traverse City,Traverse City State Park is perfect for those that prefer an easily accessible,amenities-filled tent camping experience.

Set on the shores of Grand Traverse Bay, a long, narrowoffshoot of Lake Michigan, the state park is most notable for its largecampground. Open all year round, even for winter camping, the campground hasmore than 300 campsites all with RV hookups.

If camping on Lake Michigan is what youre after, youlllove the short walk from Traverse City State Parkscampground to the sandy beach and clear blue waters.

Palms Book State Park

Palms Book State Park is a huge freshwater spring thats certainly worth a stop if looking for things to do on the southern side of the U.P.

This spring is crystal clear, 200 feet across and 40 foot deep, a constant 45 degrees F, and full of really big trout .

And a self-operated observation raft gets Palms Book State Park visitors right out over the top of the water!

GPS Coordinates: 46.004365, -86.381951

Waterloo State Recreation Area

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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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.

Modern Campgrounds Vs Rustic Campgrounds In Michigan

Free Camping in Michigans Upper Peninsula [12 Primitive ...

In general, there are modern campgrounds and rustic campgrounds in Michigan state parks.

You can expect modern campgrounds to have modern bathrooms and facilities , and they generally have hot water showers too. They tend to have electricity, but there also might be some campsites that dont.

Rustic campgrounds tend to only have no-flush toilets, and there are no showers, and there is no electricity.

Most of the campgrounds listed below are modern, but a couple are rustic. Be sure to always look for the details of each campgrounds so you know what to expect and there are no surprises! This information can be found when you do a search for available campsites on the Michigan state park camping reservation website.

You can usually expect there to be drinking water available whether its modern or rustic, but it can always be a good idea to have several gallon jugs of water in your trunk anyway when youre going on a road trip! You can buy such jugs for like $1-3 each at your local grocery store.

Prevent wildfires when you are camping in Michigan!

And also, as a safety note, wildfires are a thing in the UP.

One way you can help to prevent this is to not leave your campfire unattended!

Especially make sure the fire is completely out before you go to bed for the night, or leave your campsite for good. All it takes is a few embers to start a fire, like what happened to this camper here.

This camper story is not from Michigan, but it can similarly happen anywhere.

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Sugarloaf Mountain Hiking Trail

The Sugarloaf Mountain Trail is one of the more popular places to hike near Marquette. Its a short 1 mile round trip hike up to 3 viewing platforms where you can take in expansive views of Lake Superior.

At the trailhead youll notice two routes, one labeled easy and the other labeled hard – neither is considered very difficult though. The easy route has you climbing stairs, while the harder route has you weaving up the mountainside.

We recommend that you take the harder route up and come down the easy way. Head over to this post for a super detailed description of this hike!

GPS Coordinates: 46.603325, -87.459872

Free Camping East Of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

GPS Coordinates: 46.6279, -86.09573

This free camping area in the Upper Peninsula is only 1.5 miles from the Log Slide Overlook and Au Sable Light Station of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, found in the forest right at the border of Pictured Rocks.

Some of the cleared free camping spaces are like a big field and you may be camping near others, all surrounded by tall trees. There are no amenities here, but drinking water is available at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore from an unthreaded spigot.

To get to this camping area, turn south off H-58 onto Rhody Creek Trail . At around .75 to 1 miles down Rhody Creek Trail, youll see cleared areas that are free to camp in. Rhody Creek Trail is a maintained gravel road and any sized RV should be able to comfortably boondock at this free camping spot.

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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Home to some of the best camping in Michigan, Sleeping BearDunes National Lakeshore was voted the Most Beautiful Place in America by GoodMorning America in 2011.

With three individual campgrounds plus a spacious groupcamping area, theres plenty of room to spread out. The rustic D.H. DayCampground is popular among tent campers while the Platte RiverCampground has a mix of tent and RV sites .Three additional primitive camping areas make up the ManitouIslands Campgrounds.

Use these Michigan campgrounds as a homebase for exploringthe miles of sandy beach, peaceful forests, and historic villages, and theisland lighthouse.

Find A Rental Property In Central Pennsylvania From Triple Crown Corporation

Upper Peninsula – FREE Camping – Pictured Rocks, a MUST SEE

With so many great spots for free camping, youll have to spend an extended amount of time in Central Pennsylvania just to get to them all. If youre looking for a home base in the Central Pennsylvania area, let Triple Crown Corporation provide you the perfect rental property to call home.

With rental communities in Camp Hill, Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, Middletown and New Cumberland, Triple Crown Corporation properties are conveniently located close to multiple free Central Pennsylvania campsites as well as numerous other fun activity options. You can check out our wide variety of rental properties and locations to find the right Central Pennsylvania neighborhood for you.

The Triple Crown Corporation team works tirelessly to keep all of the properties within our communities up to date through regular upgrades so you can be confident youre moving into a cutting-edge, modern home. To find out more about top-quality rental properties in the Central Pennsylvania area, contact Triple Crown Corporation today.

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Presque Isle Park In Marquette

If you find yourself looking for outdoor things to do in Marquette, check out Presque Isle Park!

The park is a 323 acre forest-covered peninsula jutting out into Lake Superior and has been left mostly untouched, preserving the natural beauty.

Theres a 2.2 mile paved loop around the peninsula meant for vehicles, bikes, or hiking with multiple places to park and get out to the waters edge. And doing that is a must!

Leaving the main trail, youll find multiple overlooks to watch the Lake Superior waves crashing far below, places to explore beaches and rock formations right at the waters edge, and if you time it right – you can even catch a breathtaking sunset from Sunset Point.

Our favorite part of our Presque Isle Park visit was exploring the rock formations known as the Blackrocks, found on the western side of the peninsula. At Blackrocks Cove you can climb right out onto the rocks and enjoy Lake Superior up-close-and-personal.

And if youre wanting to cool off or are seeking a thrill, do some cliff jumping! Plunging into Lake Superior is super invigorating and a memory worth making!

GPS Coordinates: 46.587034, -87.382537

Discover The Best Free Camping In America

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America .

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, youre contributing to these lands.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site!

Well send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA . Access the list by submitting your email below:

Read Also: Los Angeles National Forest Camping

Why Youll Love Lakeshore Rv Park Campground

Lakeshore RV Park Campground was originally built to be a temporary trailer park for workers building the nearby Mackinac bridge. It is situated on what was once a temporary fortification and trading post for trappers and game hunters in the 18th and 19th century but is now very near to the downtown area of St. Ignace Michigan. Historical plaques and a few artifacts, such as old cannons, are on display at the park. The site makes a great choice for those who enjoy cycling because riverside and in-town paths and bike-friendly streets are available. Spectacular views and regular community events are held on-site with friendly locals who invite visitors to join in on the events.

Pack It In Pack It Out

Free Camping in Michigans Upper Peninsula [12 Primitive ...

If you bring something in, it goes out with you. And of course, leave your site cleaner than it was when you arrived. Research Leave No Trace principles to learn how to best care for the area. Simply put, respect the land, wildlife, and any other campers.

Also, try to camp in sites that already look like theyve been used as campsites. This limits damage to even more natural land. And be sure to leave what you find. Look into specific rules about what you should not touch or remove so you can preserve the natural area.

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Ottawa National Forest Upper Peninsula

Located in Michigans Upper Peninsula, near the Wisconsin border, the Ottawa National Forest covers 993,010 acres of public land. This area is well-known for its high rainfalls in the summer and heavy snowfalls in the winter. Some parts of the forest receive as much as 200 of snow annually making it a popular destination for winter sports.

You can disperse camp at any of the 5 ranger districts. The more popular ones are the Bergland, Kenton, and Watersmeet Ranger District. The maximum stay limit here is 16 days and if you want to continue camping, you will need to move to another area at least 5 miles away.

If you are camping here in the summer, the soil is likely wet on most days, and make sure you use the right stakes to pitch your tent.

Rving In Upper Peninsula Michigan

A forested region bordered by three legendary lakes, Upper Peninsula in Michigan is an adventurous and peaceful destination to visit. Michigan offers many of RV campgrounds as well as free parking areas all around the State.

So check our four prime destinations to visit when in Upper Peninsula.

Eric Ramirez shares a Definitive Guide to RVing in Upper Peninsula, Michigan

See more from Eric Ramirez.

3 Places go RVing when in Upper Peninsula, Michigan

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Up Campgrounds In Michigan State Parks With Views: Great Lakes Camping In The Upper Peninsula Michigan Travel Blog

Hi there!

This list includes Michigan state park campgrounds in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan at or near 3 of the Great Lakes: Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and Lake Huron!

This means there are plenty of lake views to be seen, on the way to the campground, near the campground, and AT the campground!

Why Youll Love Country Village Rv Park

Upper Peninsula / Munising MI / Free camping

A year-round park, the Country Village RV Park is open for summer boating or winter snowmobiling and anything in between. The park has a developed and long-standing community of friendly locals, making it a great place for people to hang out and meet new friends. Vehicle rental services are available nearby that offer boats and jet skis in summer and snowmobiles in winter. Hiking and hunting trails lead to and from the site.

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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.

Leave No Trace Principles For Dispersed Camping

Before we get into where to find free camping, we want to take a quick moment to explain the principles Leave No Trace. These are broad principles that can apply to any type of outdoor recreation but are particularly important to follow when dispersed camping.

Following these Leave No Trace principles is the best way to ensure free camping will be available in the future and to minimize the impact on our public lands. To dive deeper, head over to the LNT website.

Plan Ahead & Prepare: Do a little research ahead of time, bring the right equipment, and be prepared to be completely self-sufficient. Forgetting to bring a trash bag is absolutely no excuse for littering. You should also plan ahead to be aware of area-specific rules regarding campfires, limits on how long you can stay in one area, and how far from the roads you should camp.

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces: Do not set up camp on vegetation. Look for barren dirt, rock, or sand to pitch a tent. In the desert environments, become familiar with what cryptobiotic soil looks like and avoid disturbing it.

Dispose of Waste Properly: Pack out all of your waste, including food scraps, toilet paper, etc. In some sensitive and highly used desert areas , you might also need to pack out human waste check with the ranger station.

Leave What You Find: At a minimum, leave your campsite as you found it. Wed really encourage you to leave your site better than you found it by packing out any additional trash you find.

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Pros And Cons Of Dispersed Camping

When youre dispersed camping, you must be well-practiced in Leave No Trace Principles. For the most part, it will just be you, your tent and the landno bathrooms, no showers, no trash cans. Pack out what you brought in, and pick up any additional trash you find for extra credit.

You also have to accept more risks. While there may be USFS Rangers in the area, outside of a designated campground you lose the safety in numbers factor, especially with regards to the elements and wildlife. If youre camping in bear country, bring your own bear canister and spray. If youre in the desert, bring extra water and appropriate shade. If theres a fire ban, its your responsibility to know about it before you go and to obey it at all times.

That being said, there are lots of benefits to camping on public lands. For one, its free! Theres also a good chance you and your crew will be the only ones out thereyoull have lots more privacy than in a developed campground, and a lot more freedom.

: But with that freedom, comes responsibility.

Youre camping on public landyour land. Its your responsibility to take care of both the land and yourself while youre out there. Happy camping!

Dispersed camping not your thing? You can still find greater privacy camping on privately-owned lands listed on Hipcamp. Search for campgrounds Bookable on Hipcamp near you.

Tips: Picking Your Campsite 101

Free Camping in Michigans Upper Peninsula [12 Primitive ...
  • Drive on existing roads to minimize your impact on vegetation.
  • Same goes with choosing where to set up your tent. Ever heard of the saying, Good campsites are found, not made. Sorry, venturing into the wilderness in the 21st century doesnt qualify you as a pioneer. Camp on bare soil where others have camped before.
  • Camp at least 100-feet away from any stream or water source. Plants near water sources are especially fragile.
  • Pick a campsite with good, natural drainage.
  • Use existing fire rings.
  • Review and practice Leave No Trace Principles.

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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.

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