7 Best Michigan State Parks and Campgrounds for a Summer Getaway
Picture this – catching fireflies with the kids followed by s’mores roasting over a low campfire under a starry sky. If spending a few days bathed in fresh air and picturesque scenery sounds like an ideal family (or couples) vacation, now’s the time to check out some Michigan camping hot spots.
Our top picks:
Tahquamenon Falls State Park | Paradise
Located in the Upper Peninsula, the park stretches 13 miles. You can canoe and kayak along the Tahquamenon River. The Upper Falls drop 50 feet and are more than 200 feet across. There is a 4-mile hiking trail along the Lower Falls. Families enjoy hiking, canoeing and nature study. Modern and rustic camping are available.
Ludington State Park | Ludington
This scenic park’s top-ranked campgrounds offer access to ponds, marshlands, forests and sand dunes. Located between Hamlin Lake and Lake Michigan, Ludington offers a variety of outdoor activities and a choice of three modern campgrounds.
Silver Lake Campground and Resort | Mears
Guided tours and a playground keep families coming back. The campground even has a pool. Here, you’re just minutes away from sand dunes (including dune buggy rides), beaches and a lighthouse.
Leelanau State Park | Northport
Experience the beauty of Lake Michigan from the tip of the little finger on the Leelanau Peninsula. The park offers tent and RV camping, as well as two mini cabins. You can hike 8.5 miles of foot trails and search for Petoskey stones along the shoreline. Be sure to check out the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum.
Petoskey State Park | Petoskey
Pick from two modern campgrounds at this park at the end of Little Traverse Bay. Hiking, biking and swimming are the main attractions here. But at nearby inland lakes, you can hop aboard a boat, enjoy water skiing or test your fishing expertise. Top off your day by exploring the quaint towns of Petoskey and Harbor Springs, perfect for outings that include an ice-cream cone or freshly made fudge.
Watch the sunrise across 723 acres of sandy beach, forest and wetlands here – near the tip of Michigan’s Thumb. Wildlife and memorable scenery abound amid the wetlands, sandy beaches and dunes of Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay. Fish, canoe, hike and bird-watch, or spend a day boating or fishing.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore | Munising
Waterfalls, sandstone cliffs, 100 miles of trails and 40 miles of pristine Lake Superior shoreline highlight this world-class natural area. Campsites here offer picnic tables, fire grates and tent pads, while solar-powered wells provide water. Rustic camping is on a first-come, first-served basis. Enjoy outdoor picnics along gorgeous cliffs in between kayaking, biking, boating or hiking. You might even spot a bald eagle!
What to pack?Remind your kids that you can’t bring along a lot of the comforts of home – and that’s the joy of camping! If you just want to dip a toe into the fun, consider renting the gear you’ll need.
Depending on how long you’re camping for, your needs will vary. Below are some items you’ll want to have on hand:
- Tent(s), sleeping bags and pads (if you’re not going the RV route)
- Lawn chairs and flashlights or headlamps (critical for those midnight bathroom runs)
- Food, coolers, cookware, utensils and a camp stove or grill
- Extra layers of clothing for cool nights and sturdy boots for hiking and rain gear
- Bug repellent, first-aid kit, emergency whistle, water bottles, sunscreen and sunglasses
If sleeping on the ground isn’t your thing, and you can plan well in advance, rent a pop-up camper at many Michigan state parks and private campgrounds. Check out gocampingamerica.com and Michigan.gov/dnr for more camping tips!
HAP’s travel assistance goes where you do
While you’re enjoying your road trip or camping out, have some peace of mind with your fun. HAP can help – even when you travel.
HAP plans offer urgent and emergency medical care worldwide. But we also offer 24/7 emergency travel help through Assist America. If you have an emergency, Assist America can provide services that include:
- Hospital admission
- Emergency trauma counseling
- Emergency medical evacuation
- Lost prescription help
- Luggage or document assistance
- Interpreter and legal referral services
There is no cost to HAP members. And Assist America completely takes care of all the coordination of these services. With a mobile app and a call center that's fully staffed 24/7, Assist America will always be there. HAP members can log in, then Quick Links and select Assist America from the to get their exclusive access code.