5 Hidden Gem Places to Camp in Northern Michigan

Onaway State Park

When we camp at Onaway State Park, we prefer a waterfront site as we can start our mornings off by wading straight into the lake to kayak or paddleboard along the shoreline. The lake is a quiet one and so it feels both safe and relaxing to take a kayak and paddleboard trip at any time of day.

Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness

Swimming in Lake Michigan, stargazing under the stars, and dune jumping are just a few of the built in activities you can find. The hiking trail runs along Lake Michigan with its turquoise water to one side and a canopy of trees to the other. You just can’t beat this combination.

White Pine Backcountry Campground

Nestled in the forest, with Lake Michigan only a quarter mile away, lies six established campsites. There are built in bear containers, a vault toilet, and fire rings throughout the sites. Every backpacker knows these amenities are luxuries!

Haakwood State Forest Campground

Sandwiched between the Sturgeon River and the non-motorized North Central State Trail (NCST), Haakwood is the perfect base for exploring Northern Michigan’s biking and kayaking.

Pigeon River State Forest Campground

The Pigeon River Country State Forest is home to some of the most rugged and pristine woods in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, earning itself the nickname “Big Wild.” It bursts with recreational opportunities from hiking at Green Timbers to fishing and paddling on the Pigeon River to mountain biking the HCP, an 80-mile singletrack loop.

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