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Family Camping in Upper Michigan - Need some ideas

Kalamazoo, Michigan
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Family Camping in Upper Michigan - Need some ideas

We are new to Michigan. Just purchased our first Pop Up Camper and ready to go! Actually not until July. We are a family of 6, thats my wife and I with 4 little ones. We will bring our canoe and bikes.

Does anyone have any suggestions for the perfect camping area? We are looking for the best, no trash and clean lakes. How about something with bike trails and fishing. We would like to take day trips out to visit scenic places. We dislike crowded camp areas with noisy people. We also dislike fast food joints.

We like clean beaches, long walks in the woods and bike rides. We like to visit touristy towns for dinner and icecream.

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Manistique, Michigan
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for Manistique, Curtis
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1. Re: Family Camping in Upper Michigan - Need some ideas

Hello jskcnski,

When you say Upper Michigan are you referring to the Upper Peninsula or the northern part of lower Michigan.

Are there any areas you were thinking of seeing.

How many days have you figured for your trip.

Edited: 18 February 2011, 23:33
Kalamazoo, Michigan
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2. Re: Family Camping in Upper Michigan - Need some ideas

The U.P. for about 8 days. We were thinking about visiting Mackinaw Island or Traverse City along the way.

Manistique, Michigan
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3. Re: Family Camping in Upper Michigan - Need some ideas

Here is some web sites that list campgrounds in the UP.

If some interest you and you have any questions just post back. I am not sure what will catch your eye.

Michigan's Upper Peninsula 5-Star Wilderness

http://www.uptravel.com/campgrounds--73/

Exploring the North

www.exploringthenorth.com/camp/grounds.html

Hunts' Guide to Michigan's Upper Peninsula

http://hunts-upguide.com/campgrounds.html

Pure Michigan - Campgrounds

michigan.org/Places-to-Stay/…

Manistique, Michigan
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4. Re: Family Camping in Upper Michigan - Need some ideas

Another thing you might want to think about is taking a break from camping while you are traveling. Stay in a nice Motel/hotel where you don't have to do much and just relax.

Michigan USA
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5. Re: Family Camping in Upper Michigan - Need some ideas

If you decide to get over to the western end of the UP, Bond Falls, near Paulding, has a new (3 years old?) campground right on the flowage. There are plenty of campsites all around the flowage so you can choose from being right on the water, rustic, secluded, etc.

There is also a nice beach and picnic area on one side of the flowage for day use. From there it's a nice day trip to the Porcupine Mountains, Lake of the Clouds and plenty of trails. You could also make a day trip up to Copper Harbor.

AND if you're there on Wednesday, make sure you drive up to Rockland to Henry's for the 'make your own pizza' night. You won't be disappointed!

Here are a couple of links for the falls:

http://www.westernup.com/bondfalls/

gowaterfalling.com/waterfalls/bond.shtml

Happy planning!

CIM

Michigan
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6. Re: Family Camping in Upper Michigan - Need some ideas

Up near Charlevoix is Fisherman's Island State Park..one of our favorites. It is rustic but it's quiet and has large, private sites. Some of them are right on Lake Michigan. There are lots of trails for hiking or you can wander up and down the beach. The UP has some very nice camping spots. One of our favorites was Fort Wilkins State Park in Copper Harbor. It wasn't that "private" of a park but it also wasn't very busy when we were there so we had lots of space. You can spend time along Lake Superior or on Lake Fanny Hooe where you can canoe (I think) or fish. The fort is also right there which is fun to visit. We tend to go to state parks but there are also lots of nice National Forest Campgrounds that tend to be more private/quiet too. I don't think you'll have a problem finding a nice one.

Also I have to agree with the other poster who suggested the Hunt's Guide to the Upper Peninsula. I got this at the library before we went and it was fantastic to have along. It gives lots of information on the towns and advice. I would highly recommend it for anyone who is visiting the U.P.

Anyway, have fun. Our U.P. trip was ranks up there as one of our favorites.

Detroit, Michigan
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7. Re: Family Camping in Upper Michigan - Need some ideas

One of my favorite campgrounds is the Platte River Campground in Sleeping BearNational Lakeshore.

nps.gov/slbe/…platterivercamp.htm

Very popular and reservations fill up fast and they line up early in the morning on Fridays to get the nonreserved sites.

Northern Michigan
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8. Re: Family Camping in Upper Michigan - Need some ideas

I'm suprised nobody's mentioned Wilderness State Park near Mackinaw City. I think it's perfect for what you're looking for...it's 11 miles from Mackinaw City and quite remote/private. The park's on Lake Michigan and there are several great canoe rivers in the area. There are good trails right from the park as well as many many more in the area (don't miss the tunnel of trees). Mackinaw City totally fits the bill for a touristy dinner and ice cream town with plenty to do. There are great beaches within a short drive on both inland and great lakes. Mackinac Island is an easy day trip, as is the Eastern UP...or maybe stay a few days in Wilderness and zip up to Tahquamenon Falls or something in the UP for a couple of days.

Whatever you decide, have a great trip...Michigan's such a cool state with so much natural beauty and recreation opportunities...good for you for getting your family out and enjoying it...you're making memories now that will be with your kids forever!

Michigan
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9. Re: Family Camping in Upper Michigan - Need some ideas

Taquenmon Falls and Porcupine Mountains (Porkies) are very nice areas with lots of scenery. It is in the boonies so you will find peace and quiet. Be prepared for insects (black flies/mosquitos). They can be intense. If I go back I will invest in a netted hat.

I can't say enough about the Porkies. I went there with three little ones and they loved hiking through the forest. If you go, take them to the Nonesuch mine ruins. I also recommend stopping in the visitor center and ask them about Letterboxing. Kind of like a scavenger hunt where you follow clues to hidden boxes. It kept our kids motivated to walk further distances when they knew something was to be found.

Petoskey, Michigan
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10. Re: Family Camping in Upper Michigan - Need some ideas

I think if you want to limit driving, I'd recommend Petoskey State Park. You're in the middle of lovely area for families - Charlevoix, Harbor Springs, Petoskey and a quick day trip to Mackinac Island! No need to cross the Bridge, stay down here with your fellow "trolls!"