Camping at Wilderness State Park


Wilderness State Park is located in the northern part of Michigan’s lower peninsula, near Cross Village and Mackinaw City.  Its campgrounds stretch along the coastline of Lake Michigan.  In addition to several hiking trails within the park, it is also located near the North Country Trail.

My friends and I decided to do an overnight camping trip at Wilderness State Park in late spring so we could explore another area of our state and see what the campground had to offer.

Since we had just done a camping trip at Tahquamenon Falls and our hike of the Pictured Rocks, we didn’t really think much about the bug situation beforehand.  Unfortunately, the mayflies were in full swing.



Since we had already finished a backpacking trip and our feet were still recovering, we decided to camp in the drive-in campground located along the beach of Lake Michigan.

Despite it being Memorial Day Weekend, and booking our reservations relatively last minute, Megan was able to score us a waterfront site!

There was a short, sandy, weedy trail leading from our campsite to the beach with views of the Lake Michigan shoreline.

The campground also had a dog beach just a few steps down from where we camped.  From the dog beach, a little trail made its way over a little footbridge and through the pines.

Once we had our camp set up, we decided to relax for a little bit.

None of us really felt like cooking backpacking meals or ramen outside for dinner with the bug situation how it was, so we decided to drive into Mackinaw City for dinner.  Going out to dinner felt while camping felt a bit indulgent, but after spending a week living in the woods, it was also welcome.

We had originally thought about visiting the nearby Headlands Dark Sky Park for a bit of stargazing after dinner, but the skies became overcast, so we decided just to hang out at our campsite instead.

I stayed up reading while Megan and Erin got some sleep.  Well, tried to sleep, anyway.  A lot of the other campers around us were being kind of loud.

When we awoke the next morning, much to our surprise [/sarcasm], it was raining.

Rather than hanging out until checkout time, we decided to head back into Mackinaw City to grab coffee and breakfast so we could get a head start on our drive home.  It was sad for our adventure to be over, however I think all of us were ready to head home and relax.

Although we had fun, after a long trip it was definitely good to see Luke, Patronus, and the cats again.


Campground Details

Camping:  Modern, Rustic, Backcountry, Group

Amenities & Activities:  Bathrooms, Dog Friendly, Beach Access, Playground, Hiking

More Info:  Michigan DNR Website

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