Lakeshores lined with dunes and sandstone cliffs, hiking trails with untouched wildlife, and around 20 million acres of forestland make Michigan one of the most topographically diverse states for outdoor adventures. You’ll find some of the nation’s best camping in Michigan, and as the landscapes, the camping opportunities are varied. Find the camping experience you’re looking for from this list of the 15 best places to go camping in Michigan.
1. Warren Dunes State Park
Excellent tent camping at Warren Dunes State Park draws more than a million visitors each year. The park has two campgrounds- one with RV hookups and flush toilets, and another one with rustic campsites for tents and a large group camping area. The park is located on the shores of Lake Michigan, and all of the sites are within walking distance of the beach. Activities to enjoy include swimming, picnicking, metal detecting, and sandboarding on dunes such as Tower Hill, the tallest in the park. It is suggested that visitors book early for summer camping since the park is so popular.
- vault toilets
2. White River RV Park and Campground
White River Campground is located in scenic Western Michigan in a peaceful wooded setting for the perfect rustic RV camping experience. Campers can explore the shores of Lake Michigan and the popular Silver Lake Sand Dunes along with the vast wilderness of the Manistee National Forest. Adventures include hiking and biking trails, kayaking, and fishing. But it’s not all wilderness. Children will enjoy visiting the nearby Adventure Amusement Park. Camping options include vacation rentals, cabins, electricity and water hookup sites, and rustic tent sites with no hookups.
- heated swimming pool
3. Houghton Lake State Forest Campground
Located in the central part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, this campground is on the shores of Houghton Lake, the state’s largest inland lake. Don’t confuse it with the town of Houghton located on the Upper Peninsula. The lake is popular for boating, fishing, and a variety of watersports. The surrounding area has miles and miles of excellent hiking trails. The campground has 50 tent campsites. Some can accommodate trailers and RVs at a size of 40 feet or smaller.
4. Traverse City State Park
Camping at this state park is perfect for those looking for an easily accessible experience not too far from civilization. It’s located on the long, narrow offshoot of Lake Michigan known as Grand Traverse Bay. A short drive away from Traverse City, the park offers tent camping with a host of great amenities. The campsites are a short walk away from the shores of Lake Michigan via an overpass. The 300 or more campsites all have RV hookups. Cabins and lodges are also available. The park is open all year with winter camping offered.
- modern restrooms
group use area
beach and beach house
5. Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park
Michigan’s largest state park, Porcupine Mountain is located on the scenic shores of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula. It’s best for those who are looking for a true wilderness experience. In addition to the beautiful shoreline, the park is near over 35,000 acres of forest and 25,00 acres of wilderness to explore. The Lake of the clouds, one of the state’s most photographed natural features is nearby. Choose from rustic camping areas, cabins, or yurts.
group use area
6. Harvest Village
Park your RV or camper on a farm and avoid the crowds at Harvest Farms, an eco-tourism business and Bed & Breakfast near Mitchell and Wilson State Parks that offers tent camping on the property. You’ll enjoy the fresh air and natural beauty on a small organic farm. A country breakfast made with fresh, local ingredients is included. The White Pine Trail, Manistee National Forest, Pine River, and several lakes are nearby. The property is only an hour from the popular Sleeping Bear National Park. Three sites are available for up to six guests per site. Pets are allowed.
- potable water
7. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Shoreline
If you are looking to get immersed in natural beauty, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is the place to go. In 2011, it was voted as the “Most Beautiful Place in America” by the TV show Good Morning America. Campers can choose from three unique campgrounds and a spacious group camping area. The D.H. Day Campground is popular for rustic tent camping. The Platte River Campground has tent and RV sites, some with electrical hookups. The Manitou Islands Campground has three areas for primitive camping.
- showers & restrooms (Platte River)
vault toilets (D.H.Day Campground)
ferry service to Manitou Islands
8. Tahquamenon Falls State Park
This state park is named after the Tahquamenon Falls, dual waterfalls surrounded by 50,000 acres of mostly undeveloped wilderness. The powerful upper waterfall is one of the largest in the eastern U.S. The lower fall is less dramatic but still stunning. As with the falls, the park also has two campgrounds. The Lower Falls Campground (near the lower falls)is near the banks of the Tahquamenon River and is the most modern with flush toilets, hot showers, and potable water. The RV sites have electrical hookups. Campers looking for more privacy should check out the rustic Tahquamenon Falls River Mouth Unit. Fishing is available at nearby Whitehouse Bay.
9. Waterloo State Recreation Area
The Waterloo State Recreation Area has some of the best tent camping in Michigan. It’s also the state’s third-largest park and is notable for having 11 lakes on a vast expanse of wetlands and forestland. The area features over 400 tent campsites and two campsites with RV hookups and amenities. There is also an equestrian campground and a primitive tent campground. You can also rent a rustic cabin.
Popular activities include hiking, boating, fishing, swimming, and horseback riding, Winter camping is available with cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
No amenities are listed.
10. Wilderness State Park
For year-round rustic camping, head to Wilderness State Park near Mackinaw City at the top of the Lower Peninsula. The park is a dedicated wilderness area and a dark sky preserve. Most of the park is located on Lake Michigan’s sandy beaches making it a great option for summer camping. Excellent hiking trails meander through the forests, dunes, and wetlands. Visitors will find one huge campground featuring 250 campsites. They include primitive walk-in tent sites, full RV hookup sites, rustic bunkhouse, and camping cabins.
- vault toilet
11. Harbortown RV Park
Harbortown is a family-friendly RV park midway between Detroit and Toledo in neighboring Ohio. It features 250 full-service campsites including large pull-through RV sites and cabin rentals. The activities available make this a unique campground that’s popular with kids. They include mini-golf, an arcade, go-carts, and an ice-cream shop. The entire family will love the heated swimming pool and themed celebration held all summer long.
This RV Park is great for taking day trips. Nearby attractions to visit include the beaches of Lake Erie and the Henry Ford Museum.
- full hookups
12. Holland Beach State Park
Holland Beach State Park is one of the most popular places to go in Michigan and is a getaway destination for many, bringing in around two million visitors every year. It’s located on Lake Michigan’s sandy shores in close proximity to Lake Macatawa. The iconic Holland Harbor Light, also known as “Big Red” is a must-see while visiting this state park. There are two campgrounds with tent and RV camping. Some have full hookups. No pull-through sites are offered. Cabins are also available.
No amenities are listed.
13. Poncho’s Pond RV Park
Located on the western edge of Michigan, Poncho’s Pond is an excellent RV campground. It’s set in a spacious grassy area around a titular pond stocked with a variety of fish. Poncho’s has a total of 250 RV sites. Most of them have full RV hookups and pull-through sites for larger RVs are available. The park also has some tent camping, some with water and electrical hookups. And all campers have access to a well-maintained pool and hot tub and loads of other amenities.
Poncho’s is located right outside the town of Ludington. A short drive will take you to Lake Michigan, the Manistee National Forest, and Big Sable Point Lighthouse.
- video game room
14. Whelan Lake
Those looking for wild or dispersed camping will find the best camping in Michigan that is free at Whelan Lake. The 13 campsites are located on the lake in the Manistee National Forest. A few of them can accommodate small trailers. The dirt road is rough, especially during rainy weather. There are no amenities including toilets, but for the best in wild camping and to “get away from it all,” it’s hard to beat the sites at Whelan Lake. The nearby Pere Marquette River is popular for canoeing and fishing.
15. North Port Huron Jellystone Park
What used to be Lake Huron Campground is now North Port Huron Jellystone Park and a part of the Jellystone family of campgrounds. The 90-acre park in the middle of the Michigan mitten’s thumb has 400 campsites for every kind of camping from tents to large RVs and pop-ups. There are also 38 cabins available. Cabin Village has clusters of rustic units with outdoor kitchens.
The campground is located on a 20-acre private lake and has a swimming complex with a full-scale waterpark. Other activities include nature trails, miniature golf, gem mining, pedal carts, gem mining, and jumping pillows.
- heated pool
shuttles to the Mackinac Island Ferry