It is that time again. Warmer days are ahead and it is time to plan summer outings and camping trips. Michigan State Parks are taking campsite reservations and sites are filling up fast. The hard part is picking the best places for you with the time you have. I have several favorites that I will try to share with you.
Every summer (and sometimes also winter) I take my annual pilgrimage up north. Usually, we spend almost all of our trip in the Upper Peninsula, but last year we also spent a little time in the northern Lower Peninsula as well.
Our trip started with a night at Cheboygan State Park. Of course, we used the Recreation Passport for beautiful, cheap lodging. In fact, it was essentially free since my parents had their camper there already and we joined them for the night. Note: this is an affiliated but unsponsored post. All opinions are my own.
I had never seen this park so it was entirely new territory for me. I was pleasantly surprised and would have liked more time to explore everything it had to offer.
It is a clean, well-organized campground with large sites. The sites are very open but surrounded by enough woods to feel like a campground and not a parking lot.
For those who do not have camping equipment, they have three secluded cabin rentals and two really fun teepees to stay in.
There is a very nice sandy swimming beach on Duncan Bay with volleyball courts and horseshoe pits, and a small playground for the children.
The only real problem with the park was the bathhouse. There was only one for all 75 sites and only a couple showers. If we had been tenting like usual, this would have been a problem. Thankfully, we had my parent’s camper and it has a bathroom (such a luxury).
There are four major trails in this park, each under two miles long. Like most state park trails, they are well-marked and easy to walk.
We walked some of the green trail, which follows the Lake Huron shoreline. It has views of two lighthouses and also passes old lighthouse ruins. Both this and the black trail end at Cheboygan Point, which is very near a shallow shipwreck.
The ruins of Cheboygan Point Lighthouse pretty much consisted of just the foundation, and it was really interesting to see. They are located in a very peaceful part of the woods and you can really feel the history there.
We were amazed at all of the wildflowers that were near the trails. Often they can be scarce in August, but they were plentiful here. I can only imagine what it is like in the Spring.
Cheboygan is a very cute town. They have many fun shops and beautiful parks. There is a river going through town and it is right on the shores of Lake Huron. I could have spent a few days seeing it all, but sadly we only had a couple hours. I did fall in love with a little shop that had all kinds of kitchen gadgets and canning supplies; it was like a little piece of heaven.
The other nice thing about Cheboygan is that it is very close to many northern destinations (20 minutes to Mackinaw City and 45 minutes to Rogers City), but it is much smaller and quieter so you can relax and unwind easily.
I have found it to be an ideal stop on the way further North. We used this as a launching point to Van Riper State Park in the western Upper Peninsula. It would have been a 7-hour drive, and this was a nice midpoint.
Overall, this was a very nice park. It is quiet and serene, and there is plenty of Pure Michigan beauty to explore. It is close enough to everything to be a good base camp, and it is a great destination itself. I look forward to seeing more of it; how about you?