1. Sleeping Bear Dunes. By far the most popular camping destination in Michigan. D.H. Day, Platte River, Interlochen Duck Lake and Interlochen Green Lake and Traverse City Campground are probably the best known campgrounds near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Some lesser known campgrounds in the area include Empire Township Campground, backcountry campsites in Sleeping Bear Dunes, and campsites on the South Manitou Island (accessible only by boat) — those are the Weather Station, Popple, and Bay Campgrounds.
2. Ludington State Park. Huge park on a sandy Lake Michigan beach with sand dunes, an inland lake, and streams for kayaking. ’Nuf said. Easily one of the top 5 most popular camping areas in Michigan. It has 4 campgrounds, which book sites fully 6 months in advance: the Pines, Cedars, Beechwood and Jack Pine (Hike In) campgrounds. There are also a few others nearby.
3. Warren Dunes State Park. More sand dunes! Almost like Sleeping Bear Dunes but closer to home for most campers. It’s roughly as popular as Ludington. Two main campgrounds here: Warren Dunes Modern and Warren Dunes Semi-Modern. If you search for them on Campthat, you’ll see there are also some other campgrounds nearby.
4. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Pictured Rocks is pretty much on par with Ludington and Warren Dunes in terms of popularity. Pristine waterfalls, sand dunes, rock formations and streams. Pictured Rocks is a national treasure and a good excuse to visit Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. There are plenty of campgrounds in the area, and some of the most popular are Twelvemile Beach , Little Beaver, and Hurricane River.
5. Twin Lakes State Park. Twin Lakes, not far from Porcupine Mountains, is a tad less popular than the others above but draws impressive traffic considering that it’s far in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. There’s only one main campground here with only 62 campsites: Twin Lakes Modern. But other campgrounds are available nearby.
Curious what 6-10 are? Me too. I’ll post them sometime in the near future.
Photo Attributions - All photos below under Creative Commons Attribution License and have been modified in scale and aspect-ratio: ”Ludington State Park” by cletch on flickr. Warren Dunes: “Overlook” by JacobEnos on flickr. Pictured Rocks: “Miners Falls” by AndrewH324 on flickr. “Twin Lake Michigan Vacation” by Wendy Piersall on flickr.