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9 Best Campgrounds in Upper Michigan State Parks

9 Best Campgrounds in Upper Michigan State Parks

Upper Michigan State Parks are fantastic places to visit any time of the year. However, you can’t beat summer or fall in the Upper Peninsula (U.P.). Not only is the U.P. gorgeous, but it’s also much less crowded than other locations. Keep reading for the best places to camp on your trip to the U.P. 

Planning a State Park Camping Trip to Upper Michigan

You can see Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and Lake Huron all on the same day in the Upper Peninsula. The U.P. also has rolling hills, cliff faces, and even mountains. Many animal species make their homes there. You can see moose, bears, lynxes, wolves, and more. The sparsely populated region also offers fantastic stargazing. You can sometimes even catch the Northern Lights there. 

The best part about the U.P. is that you can enjoy miles of wilderness all to yourself. Despite being such a gorgeous place, the U.P. is much less crowded than similar areas. 

Lake Superior

Pro Tip: Read our Complete Guide to Camping in the Upper Peninsula for even more Upper Michigan camping information.

How to Get to Upper Michigan

There are several ways to get to Upper Michigan. You can cross over from Northern Wisconsin if you’re to the west of Lake Michigan. If you’re east of Lake Michigan, the best way to get to the U.P. is to cross the Mackinac Bridge

This five-mile bridge cuts between lakes Michigan and Huron. Take it nice and slow in your RV, as on windy days, the bridge sways. Sometimes, the bridge even has to close because of adverse weather, although this is more common in winter. 

The bridge charges a toll, and for big rigs, the total depends on how many axles you have. At $5 per axle, the tolls can add up quickly for RVers. However, crossing this historic bridge can be a fun start to your camping getaway.

Mackinac Bridge

The 9 Best Campgrounds in Upper Michigan State Parks

Now that you’re ready to visit the U.P. let’s dive into the best places to stay on your journey. To get the most out of the experience, we recommend dedicating several days, weeks, or more to cruising around to all of these Upper Michigan state parks. 

1. Tahquamenon Falls State Park — Rivermouth Campgrounds

Address: 32130 W. South River Rd, Paradise, MI 49768

Amenities: This Upper Michigan state park has several amenities, including a camp store, electrical service (30 amp at all sites with some 50 amp sites), a dump station, a recycling area, restrooms, a playground, and a vault toilet. There are some paved sites and a few pull-throughs available. They also have a boat launch and kayak rentals. 

Pet-Friendly: They allow pets in the campground on a six-foot leash but not on the beach. Pets must not be left unattended. 

Why You’ll Love It: This campsite is gorgeous. It sits tucked into the forest along the Tahquamenon River. Sites are private, with trees all around. It’s a fantastic home base for exploring the surrounding area, including, of course, a visit to Tahquamenon Falls. 

Morton Road Trip Rating: 9/10

tahquamenon falls state park in upper michigan
Tahquamenon Falls

2. Straits State Park Campground

Address: 1036 Church St, St. Ignace, MI 49781

Amenities: You can get some basic supplies at the camp store. Straits State Park also has a dump station, electrical hookups, restrooms, a vault toilet, and a playground. If you’re traveling without your RV, no worries. There’s a mini-cabin you can rent during your stay. 

Pet-Friendly: This park allows pets on a leash. However, you can’t leave your pets unattended. 

Why You’ll Love It: The sites aren’t very private, but the views make up for it. You’ll be camping right along the Mackinac Straight with a view of the bridge from the campground. St. Ignace is also an adorable and fun town to explore. There are many shops and festivals to check out in summer. It’s also a great place to stay when planning a day trip to Mackinac Island. 

Morton Road Trip Rating: 7/10

St. Ignace, MI

3. Muskallonge Beach State Park

Address: 29881 Co Rd 407, Newberry, MI 49868

Amenities: This park has fewer amenities than some but still offers restrooms, electrical hookups, a dump station, and a playground. There’s also fishing, hiking, and swimming right at the campground. 

Pet-Friendly: Pets are allowed in the campground but not on the beach. Pets must be leashed. 

Why You’ll Love It: If you love being on the water, this Upper Michigan state park is the place for you. Not only is the campground right near the beach, but there are about 70 lakes and five rivers within 20 miles of the park. It sits between Lake Muskallonge to the south and Lake Superior to the north, with access to both right from the campground. 

You can reach waterfalls, historic forts, and the Seney National Wildlife Refuge, all within a short drive. One of the best things about the area is the easy access to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Best viewed from the water, these stunning, brightly colored rock formations and cliffs will take your breath away. 

Morton Road Trip Rating: 9/10

Seney National Wildlife Refuge

4. Upper Michigan’s Baraga State Park

Address: 1300 US-41, Baraga, MI 49908

Amenities: This state park offers WiFi, which can be tough to find in places like this. It also has electrical hookups, water and sewer, a vault toilet, and modern restrooms. Another unique feature is the option to rent a mini-cabin or a tent/teepee. 

Pet-Friendly: Pets are allowed on a leash in the campground. They aren’t permitted in the cabin or teepee rentals, though. 

Why You’ll Love It: This campground provides easy access to a variety of U.P. hotspots. The Keweenaw Bay, Sturgeon River Gorge, Porcupine Mountains, and Mt. Avron, the highest point in Michigan, all lie within reach of this park. 

Morton Road Trip Rating: 10/10

Keweenaw Bay

5. Fort Wilkins Historic State Park

Address: 15223 US-41, Copper Harbor, MI 49918

Amenities: Fort Wilkins offers electrical hookups and modern restrooms as well as WiFi. There are also mini-cabin rentals and four miles of hiking trails from right within the park. 

Pet-Friendly: This park allows pets in the campground but not on the beach. 

Why You’ll Love It: Fort Wilkins is unique in that it contains a restored army outpost. The park sits between Lake Superior to the north and Lake Fanny Hooe to the south, giving you gorgeous views anywhere in the park. Other nearby sights include Brockway Mountain Drive, many lakes, rivers, and waterfalls, and the town of Copper Harbor. 

Morton Road Trip Rating: 10/10

camping in the upper peninsula
Fort Wilkins Historic State Park

6. McLain State Park

Address: 18350 M-203, Hancock, MI 49930

Amenities: Amenities at McLain State Park include electrical hookups, a dump station, modern restrooms, a camp store, and mini-cabin rentals. 

Pet-Friendly: Pets are allowed but not on the beach.

Why You’ll Love It: You can camp right along the shores of Lake Superior at this fantastic Upper Michigan state park. You’ll have a lake view from every site in the park. Its location in Hancock makes it a perfect place to enjoy the Keweenaw Peninsula, including nearby college town Houghton. You’ll find dozens of hikes, waterfalls, cliffs, and lakes nearby. 

Morton Road Trip Rating: 10/ 10

Michigan's Keweenaw By Air | Mortons on the Move

7. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park — Union Bay

Address: 33303 Headquarters Rd, Ontonagon, MI 49953

Amenities: The Porcupine Mountains, sometimes called the Porkies, have a lot to offer. The state park campground has a beach, a boat launch, a fishing pier, a playground, cabin rentals, a camp store, electrical hookups, modern restrooms, additional vault toilets, and a dump station. There are also bike and boat rentals available. 

Pet-Friendly: Pets are allowed in the campground and on trails on a leash but may not go on the swimming beaches. 

Why You’ll Love It: The sites are a bit close together but don’t let that deter you. The Porcupine Mountains offer tons of hiking, including traveling around the can’t-miss Lake of the Clouds. You’ll also have views of Lake Superior right from the campground. We also love all the added features and amenities compared to most other Upper Michigan state parks. 

Morton Road Trip Rating: 9/10

porcupine mountains state park in the upper peninsula of michigan
Porcupine Mountains

8. Fayette Historic State Park

Address: 4785 II Rd, Garden, MI 49835

Amenities: The park features electric hookups, a dump station, modern restrooms, and a vault toilet. Many additional amenities are available nearby in the state park. 

Pet-Friendly: Pets are allowed in the campground on a leash. They’re not allowed on the beach or inside any of the historic structures. 

Why You’ll Love It: Travel back in time with a stay at this historic Upper Michigan state park. You won’t get to peruse restored historic structures in most other parks. There’s also cliffside hiking and a view of Snail Shell Harbor. Boating is a popular activity in the area, and at certain times of the year, you can even scuba dive in the harbor. 

Morton Road Trip Rating: 8/10

Fayette Historic State Park
Fayette Historic State Park

9. Upper Michigan’s Brimley State Park

Address: 9200 W 6 Mile Rd, Brimley, MI 49715

Amenities: The park has grassy, wooded sites offering electrical hookups. There are also mini-cabin rentals, a dump station, modern restrooms, a camp store, and recycling. 

Pet-Friendly: Pets are allowed on leash in the campground but not on the beach. 

Why You’ll Love It: The campground has more secluded, wooded sites. Nothing beats feeling like you’re on your own in nature. You can walk to Lake Superior, but a vegetation wall will shelter you from the chilly winds. The lake provides plenty of outdoor recreation, as do many of the nearby trails and the Hiawatha National Forest. 

Morton Road Trip Rating: 7/10

Hiawatha National Forest
Hiawatha National Forest

What’s Your Favorite State Park in Upper Michigan?

You can’t beat a trip to the U.P. You’ll enjoy gorgeous views, fantastic hiking, and fewer crowds than many similarly beautiful areas. While you’re there, be sure to stop at some (or all!) of these Upper Michigan state parks. What’s your favorite park in the U.P.?

Did you know Michigan is also home to six incredible national parks? Check out the best of the best here: What Are The Best National Parks In Michigan?

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About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of “Go North” on Amazon Prime Video, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for and an Arizona travel guide.

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Brian Carpenter

Thursday 3rd of June 2021

In the paragraph under How to get to Upper Michigan, east and west are reversed. Wisconsin is west of the lake, Lower Michigan is east of the lake.

Good article though, I've been to 4 of the 9 parks listed, they are very nice.

Mortons on the Move

Wednesday 9th of June 2021

Thank you for pointing this out. We corrected the east/west in the paragraph. Glad you enjoyed the article!