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Author Topic: Spending Time Around the Great Lakes - Public Lands Boondocking Advice Please  (Read 405 times)


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  • Posts: 23
Heading to Michigan to visit daughter and grands.  Due to new house being bought by daughter and hubby we want to hang around to help move in.  This means an extended stay for us.  So rather than be underfoot while waiting for the new house to close, I see that there are many national forests around MI, WI, and Minnesota.  Wife and I are thinking that here are some boondocking opportunities around the great lakes area. 

Anyone familiar with the public lands up there?  Or other fee campgrounds you would recommend?  Or sights to see? 

As a New Mexican I'm looking forward to seeing some water.  Down here, we call the Pecos a river even though there are many places you can jump across it down by Roswell... 
2004 Keystone Challenger 33' Fifth Wheel
2015 Chevrolet 3500HD SRW
Belen, NM

Great Horned Owl

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  • Posts: 1329
  • Lake county, IL
In Michigan.s U.P., the Ottawa National Forest has many small camp grounds, and numerous other places for boondocking.

Porcupine Mtn. state Park is a vast, very scenic semi-wilderness with several camp grounds.

The Keewenaw peninsula, from Hancock, up to Copper Harbor is worth a visit, with nice camping at Ft. Wilkins State Park.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is also very scenic, and has several nice camp grounds.

These are a few of our favorites, but there are loads of other state parks up there that are also worth visiting.

If you like waterfalls, see http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/michigan/waterfalls-road-trip-mi/..


Joel & Dorothy
Retired electronics engineer. Avid photographer, paddler & birder.
2011 Silverado 2500HD, Duramax, 4x4,crew cab, 8' bed
Palomino Puma 253-FBS  27' 5th wheel
1994 19' Class B Horizon / Chevy


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  • Posts: 63
Www.forestcamping.com. Lists all national forest campgrounds in US. These are in regular campgrounds for a small nightly fee, but they also list phone numbers for the ranger district that manages that campground and they can give you info on disbursed sites that are completely free of charge. Most will have 14 day stay limits


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  • Posts: 92
You didn't say what part of Michigan you will be visiting.  It is a pretty large State with tons of water.  You will never be more than about 5 miles from a river or lake.  Many of the small inland lakes have nice beaches, and warmer water for the kids to swim.  However, the Great Lakes. Michigan and Superior in particular are not to be missed.  Michigan has some fantastic parks and you should have no problem getting into some of the state forest campgrounds even with no reservations.  State Parks have more amenities and some are very hard to get into especially in the lower peninsula.  If you are interested in lighthouses or shipwrecks, there are tons!  Due to the fresh cold water, the ships don't deteriorate like they do in salt water so they are very well preserved.  In the lower peninsula you may enjoy Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore along Lake Michigan.  And the Mackinac Bridge is pretty impressive too.  In Sault Ste Marie you can see large freighters, anywhere from 500 to 1000 ft.,  go through the locks if that is of interest.
Jo & Jim
2007 Gulfstream Friendship 41' DP
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit
Full time since June 2016
Home Base- Traverse City MI