With lakes and forests covering two-thirds of the state, Michigan is a camper's paradise.
When it comes to natural attractions, Michigan holds all the aces. This landlocked state has more state parks and state forests than any other, miles of coastline, and more than 10,000 lakes—which means you’ll never be more than six miles from the water. Some of the best camping is found on the beaches and islands of the Great Lakes, so plan a summer getaway to swim, fish, and kayak, or a fall camping trip to admire Michigan’s spectacular foliage. Winter is best suited for RV camping, with snow blanketing much of the state from November through March.
The Upper Peninsula is Michigan’s wild toupée, with swathes of old-growth forests, sandy beaches, and inland lakes stretching along the southern shore of Lake Superior. This is the spot to escape the crowds, whether pitching your tent by the sand dunes in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, parking your RV by a waterfall in Tahquamenon Falls State Park, or yurt camping in the Porcupine Mountains. For the ultimate camping experience, the Hiawatha National Forest has some 60 campsites to choose from.
Bordered by Lake Michigan to the West and Lake Huron to the east, the northern Lower Peninsula has the highest concentration of Michigan state parks. Miles of mountain biking, horseback riding, and hiking trails await in the Huron National Forest, where you can choose from modern campgrounds or backcountry camping. Along the coast, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a must-see, Wilderness State Park is a dark sky reserve, and Ludington State Park Beach is a family favorite.
Grand Rapids is the gateway to Michigan’s southwest, where the shore of Lake Michigan provides plenty of options for a summer camping trip. Lakefront cities such as South Haven, Benton Harbor, and Holland have sandy beaches, historic lighthouses, and seafront campgrounds. Forget tent camping in the wilderness—RV sites come equipped with full hookups, playgrounds, and watercraft rentals.
Michigan's "Thumb" juts out along the west shore of Lake Huron, where Sleeper State Park and Port Crescent State Park are the big draws for campers. Below this, the west coast is ideal for a road trip, peppered with shipwreck dive sites, secluded beaches, and golf courses. South of Detroit and Lake St. Clair, Sterling State Park is the only state park on the shore of Lake Erie, with a mix of RV and tent sites by the beach.