Set up camp at these lakeside Northern Michigan RV parks and let the waves lull you to sleep.
This family owned and operated campground has 700 feet of frontage on Lake Leelanau, and it certainly caters to water lovers with a large designated swim area, boat launch, gas pump and boat rentals—from pontoons, fishing boats and jet skis to paddle boards, kayaks and canoes. Families also enjoy the wagon rides, movie nights, tennis/pickleball courts and ice cream socials. Plus, free concerts throughout the summer!
Six miles south of Gaylord, one of the oldest state parks in Michigan sits on 62 acres along Otsego Lake. The campground has more than a half mile of lake frontage, a boat launch and a floating pier. It’s a popular fishing spot for bluegill, perch, crappie, bass, walleye and northern pike. Accessed near the park’s entrance, the more than 2,000-mile Iron Belle Trail is an added bonus for bikers and hikers. (Recreation passport required.)
Take M-116 north to find Ludington State Park. Nestled between Lake Michigan and Lake Hamlin (with access to both!) you’ll find three modern campgrounds. The park sits on 5,300 acres of scenic sand dunes, beaches and forests with 21 miles of marked hiking trails. More things to do: climb to the top of Big Sable Point Lighthouse, check out interpretive exhibits at the Lake Michigan beach house and tube Big Sable River. (Recreation passport required.)
Imagine waking up to a view of the mighty Mackinac Bridge. That’s what campers get every morning at Tee Pee Campground located on the Straits of Mackinac. Nightly bonfires and free shuttles to Mackinac Island ferries make this private campground on Lake Huron a family favorite. Just two miles from downtown Mackinaw City, campers have easy access to attractions like Colonial Michilimackinac, and it’s a quick drive across the bridge for day trips in the U.P.
Spring-fed Higgins Lake is home to two state parks. South Higgins’ 400 hardwood-shaded modern campsites make it the second largest campground in a state park in Michigan. North Higgins offers a relaxing setting with a boat launch, popular swimming beach and more than eight miles of trails. Sitting on what was once one of the world’s largest seedling nurseries, it’s also home to a museum that tells the rich history of forestry in Michigan. Both state parks are a 15-minute drive to downtown Grayling and the Village of Roscommon for off-site exploring. (Recreation passport required.)
Located on 1,000 feet of Little Traverse Bay shoreline, Magnus State Park is only four blocks from downtown Petoskey. Campers have quick access to shops, restaurants, the Little Traverse Wheelway and the North Country Trail. Thirty- six sites are full-hookups, and you’ll find both a playground and bike path on the property. Soak in Lake Michigan views from Wayside Park—a beautiful overlook.
Think Airbnb, but for campers. Hipcamp.com lists RV properties across the U.S. In Traverse City, The Riverhouse has four campsites (without hookups) available to rent along the Boardman River. Talk about a great location for kayaking!
Courtney Jerome and her husband, Josh, have two young boys who love to splash in Lake Leelanau. A former award-winning TV producer at WCMU, senior web editor for MyNorth Media and station manager of UpNorthTV, Courtney has now started her own media company. courtneyjeromemedia.com