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!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Campground Review - Straits S.P. and Wilderness S.P.

Well, we're on our way back home now but I have a few more posts about Michigan yet to publish, of course.  Today I'll tell you about the two state parks we stayed in.

Here's the deal with Michigan State Parks.  They're nice, they are.  But they really aren't designed for anything over 25 feet.  Can you get in your site anyway?  Absolutely, but be prepared to park your truck somewhere else or have everything but your back wheels (and sometimes even that) hanging off the pad.  Not all MI state parks have paved pads, but these two parks did.

If you're making a reservation at Straits State Park, don't undersell the size of your RV.  I searched for sites for 40 feet, even though we are 37 feet.  Some of the sites are very irregular, some have a big dip and you're parking on grass, some are full of trees.  The loop we were in was more uniform and didn't have as many of these problems.  I'll admit to the fact that we are spoiled by WI state parks whose sites are huge and spaced twice as far apart.  Still, I know a lot of you are driving something large, so better to be prepared.  Showers were clean, roomy and hot!  Last year when we stayed at the Porcupines we were unable to reserve a specific site and had to share electric with other sites, these two parks had access to individual electric and we were able to get a specific site online so perhaps enough people complained about that and it changed.

There is not much in the way of entertainment  at Straits except for riding your bike around the campground, eyeing the bridge, and taking a hike through the woods from the upper to the lower campground.  We enjoyed doing all these things, but not a park for a long stay or a family with children that need to be entertained within the park limits.  Activities abound in the area of St. Ignace though, and that's why we came.

Wilderness State Park is a good 10-15 minutes off the main road, but worth the detour.  There is more to do including beach activities and a pretty large trail system that has some loops that bikes are allowed on.  The sites were similar to those at Straits State Park.  We were there the weekend after Labor Day and the campground was half empty so it turns out reservations were not needed after all. 

As you can see in the photo the sites are pretty close together, but are easy to get into.  Luckily we came during a slow time so this was not too disruptive, though at Straits State Park I could hear every word my neighbors were saying at the campfire until I went to bed at 11PM.  Also don't forget to factor in the cost of a recreation pass, it was $30 for non residents, which for us added an extra $5 day to our fee which I think was just under $30 night.  Unfortunately Michigan's pass is not like Minnesota's and will end in December.  In Minnesota when you buy a pass they hole punch the month you bought it and it is good for a whole year.  I sure wish Wisconsin and Michigan would start doing that!

Our last night in Michigan we stayed at a private campground in Rapid River with sites just as large as what we had in the state parks for the same price..but we had wi-fi, cable and sewer.  Makes me think I'll be researching my options a little more heavily when traveling to Michigan and Minnesota in the future, which is really a shame.  Of course we may opt to stay in the parks anyway for access to hiking, but who knows? 

Today will be filled with driving, and then unpacking.  More on what we saw in Michigan in the week to come, and then the short wait for our trip to Tennessee begins.  Travel safe, everyone!


  1. Hi Pam, Devils Postpile is definitely worth seeing. We have yet to get to Michigan. Did you have much trouble with mosquitos?

  2. A $30 pass for non-residents? I probably would have balked at that being the cheapskate that I am. I'll file that fact away. That first photo is of one happy camper. Good park review.

  3. Michigan is not the most non resident, RV friendly place! We will be there next month.

  4. Ahh, love the sound of that upcoming visit to Tennessee. I've ordered perfect fall foliage for you. Was up at Clingmans Dome on Saturday and saw a hint of color on some of the early turning trees!