NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Union Bay Campground, Porcupine Mountains State Park

For our stay in the Porcupine Mountains State Park we camped at the Union Bay Campground.  It is the only campground in the park that has a dump station and electric hookups.  Like the other Michigan State Parks we've stayed in, sites are a little tighter than what we're used to in Wisconsin.  One thing we don't like about the state park system in Michigan is that you can make a reservation, but not for a specific site.  You get a "site type" reservation and get your site when you get there, kind of like a first come, first serve but with a hold. That's okay if you're a smaller unit, but at 37 feet with a small turning radius, this can be a problem for us.

Of the 5 sites set aside for the campers arriving the same day we did, two of them were too small for us to fit in at all, and another one would have been a stretch.  Luckily we got one we could fit into, but had to back and fill at least 6 times to get into it.  There are no gravel or paved drives at this state park, which we've encountered before, just numbers painted on the loop.  Also, numerous sites have to share the electric hookup, which can get interesting.  The people who pulled in next to us had to pull in really close to us in order to access the electricity.

All the sites in this park are very unlevel.  Some campers had the front of their fifth wheels practically touching the ground trying to level them out.  At this time of year the campground office is manned sporadically, which would be problematic if you had trouble with a site you reserved not working out for you.  For all the drawbacks, it is a nice park, especially if you're a smaller unit and live close enough or are traveling a shorter distance to get there early.

On the bright side, the location of the campground is great for seeing the state park and enjoying Lake Superior's shoreline.  We didn't get a spot on the shore, and again, you only get one if you get there early even if you have a reservation.

Our first night at the campground we took advantage of our access to the Lake Superior shoreline and went for a walk.  In addition to the great fall color we saw a lot of interesting driftwood and other little treasures.

After a long day driving we were ready for bed shortly after dark.  Too bad we didn't hang in there because I heard from a fellow camper who was staying in one of the campground's two yurts that they caught the Aurora Borealis about the same time we hit the sack! Oh well, can't see it all!


  1. Oh I would have been upset not seeing the "lights" and I would have probably missed them too had I been there.

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  3. Hello. I see that this is dated Oct. 2012. We reserved a specific site for Aug. 2014. We only have a small pop-up, and not a motorhome, so i don't know if this makes the difference in reserving specific vs 'group' . Anyway, thanks for your insight. We're looking forward to our first visit to the "Porkies".

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  5. I wonder if the "site type" only applies after the busy season? We've never visited before, but have a reservation for a specific site in August with our pop-up. We'll be very disappointed if we get there and can't have the site we were promised.

  6. Site specific reservations are for the busy (Memorial wknd - Labor day wknd) times where you would typically need a reservation. Great blog btw!