We are planning our first trip to western Michigan and would like to stay in a state park to save money. What is the best one for a less crowded close beach and shady campsite for a popup that are easy to back in to? Also maybe close to some near by attractions my high school kids would like. We also have to travel with two dogs any tips on that would be good too.
Hi Joy, we live and camp in west michigan and can probably help you out with any information you need. It would be easier by email. Our email is photosbydavidallen@Hotmail.com
Sorta defeat's the purpose of the forum doesn't it? Many of us have recommendations for this area, and would like to hear yours also...
Consider Silve Lake State Park near Mears. A beautiful clear blue lake, sand dunes, and Lake Michigan a short hike over the dunes. And for the Teenies: Go karts, putt putt golf, etc within walking distance of the SP. There are also a couple of other private CG's in the area Jellystone Park, and Silver Creek RV Resort.
There's more: There is also a Off Road Vehicle area in the dunes, where you can take your 4X4 in, or rent a Jeep, or a 4 wheeler.
OEM Auto Engineer 2003 Damon Challenger 348 Class A - F53 Triton V10
2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 V8 Toad
I have no problem at all answering anything here but sometimes it is faster via emails. Here is some of my answers to her questions.
Non Michigan residents recreation passes are $29 per vehicle for the season or $8 per day. This will only allow you access to any of Michigans state parks or recreation areas. There is also a $8 reservation fee. This does not include the camping fees which vary. Here is a link to the State of Michigan website for camping http://michigan.gov/som/0,4669,7-192-29907_29954_31995---,00.html
Here are a few of my suggestions:
Silver Lake is a great area as Sch911 mentioned above. Not always the easiest to get a site though. The State park is the least expensive up there at $27 per night. We have our camper at Jellystone for 7 weeks starting on May 18th and then for another 5 weeks starting Labor Day weekend. The area really is a fun place but does get expensive if you start adding in all the activities.
Another one of our favorite places is Pioneer Park in Muskegon. Right on Lake Michigan and very clean. It is hard to get into if you show up on a weekend. http://co.muskegon.mi.us/parks/pioneer.htm There is a list of fees and local attractions on the website.
Meinert Park. This is located just down the road from us. It is not right on Lake Michigan but just a short block or 3 minute walk. I think of it as a hidden little gem. http://co.muskegon.mi.us/parks/pioneer.htm
One of our favorites for really enjoying the outdoors is Lake Michigan Recreation area. Huge sites, hiking galore and miles of secluded Lake Michigan sandy beaches. http://www.michigan.org/Property/Detail.aspx?p=g10422
I have another question ...
If we break the trip up in two parts:
1) a couple of days mid way up the western side of Michigan
2) followed by a couple of days at Traverse City State Park
What can you tell me about the Holland State Park -- there seems to be multiple campgrounds within it.
I would like to offer posters a suggestion about posting Internet addresses. When you post it by just typing the address, for example: www.yahoo.com This makes for a more difficult method of going to that site.
RV.net offers a much better method. Instead of using the "Quick Reply" method use the "Reply to topic" selection. This will give you several boxes above the message typing area. The little box left the envelope box which has kind of a round blue thing with two smaller round "links" will allow you to enter a URL address of the site you want to refer the other readers or the original poster to. Such as this one for RV Park Reviews.com:
You can copy and paste the URL link or you can type it in the upper box. It will look a little funny after it shows up in your message box, but it will now be a clickable link for everyone to easily access.
Now on to the topic of the original poster. When you're in the Traverse City area you might want to take in Sleeping Bear Dunes and National Lakeshore area. It's located west of Traverse City about 40 miles. Take M-72 west of TC to either Empire or a little further north toward Glen Arbor. There is a neat dune climb along M-22 at the west end of Glen Lake. The kids will love it.
You might also want to take a ride up M-22 from there to Leland. This is a little fishing village (now converted to tourism, although there are still fishermen there) with shops to visit. There are also wineries in the area. It's a beautiful drive in one of the nicest areas in the Lower Peninsula.
Also, Holland SP has a campground closer to the lake and one a bit further away from the lake. I've camped at the one away from the lake because it was fall and the other wasn't open for camping. It's nice with grassy sites and some shaded sites. The one near the lake lacks shade. That's all I know about it. Great beach though.
Using the reservation system takes some getting used to it, but when searching for a campground or campsite it has some good info. If you find a site for example, it will tell you a little bit about the size demensions, whether it's grassy, dirt, paved, and whether it has some shade. Also, you'll find out if the site is within 200' of the restrooms/showers as well as where the water outlets are. Most all state park sites have electric only.
PJ Hoffmaster State Park approx 5 miles north of Grand Haven has everything you requested and so much to do in the area for both kids of all ages and adults also.
The beach in Grand Haven is annually rated as one of the top 5 best beaches in the whole country and very large and popular along with the open to the public long piers that go way out into Lake Michigan and the wide boardwalk along the river to downtown and all the fun that's there for families and vacationers. Food, snacks, parks, shade, benches, great scenery, many restrooms along the a little over a mile and a half distance from the end of the pier in Lake Michigan to downtown. The beach and the lake bottom are totally pure clean sand and there's always things going on at the beach to attend or participate in and also in town constantly. There's also constant cute open air trolleys to take people from the beach/state park to town or one of the Harbor Transit's couple dozen busses to take you anywhere in the area if you desire to park and ride.
In Northwestern Michigan along lake Michigan is about as great as it can get. Platte River CG is beyond excellent in the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore Park (over 60 miles long), voted by the American public last year as the most beautiful place in the USA and so well deserved. Has canoeing, tubing, camping, beaches, swimming, hiking, fishing, outstanding scenery, sandune climbing, many inland lakes to play in besides the huge Lake Michigan. Lake Michigan will be quite cool up there until in July and August but not the inland lakes, rivers and crystal clear streams.
I'lL bet that your kids will see to it that this will not be your only trip to the West Michigan Shoreline nor will it be their parents!
A superb CC LB 4X4, GM HD Diesel, airbags, Rancho's, lots more
Lance Legend TC 11' 4", loaded including 3400 PP generator and my deluxe 2' X 7' rear porch
29 ft Carriage Carri-lite 5'er - a specially built gem
A like new '07 Sunline Solaris 26' TT