Date of Stay: August, 2009
What a little gem of a park. Not at all what I expected from a county-run campground. GPS coordinates are N45-75; W087.249. Park located on Hwy 35 (North) at the Bark River, approximately 13 miles south of Escanaba (if coming from there) or 15 miles north of the town of Cedar River if coming from the south. Park entrance sign is very visible from the road in both directions. 24 grass sites, some more level than others, but generally quite good. The electricity was probably the most stable I've seen. Sites 17-24 face the lake directly. We paid the non-country resident rate; country residents pay a few dollars less. Had to use levelers at our site, but it was no problem. Small sandy beach that is great for young children. You can wade out at least 100ft and still be in waist-deep water. Picnic table and fire ring at each site. Large, open family picnic area away from the campground. $5 for a wheelbarrow full of wood. Great walking paths for dogs. Overall a clean, quiet well-maintained campsite that is definitely worth your time to visit. I rate it an 8 only because it lacks the commercial qualities that some expect in a RV park, such as Wi-Fi, games for kids, store, laundry, full hook up, etc. One last note. The dump site is the first one I've ever encountered where there is a slight grade built into the dump pad itself, such that your vehicle will be slightly tipped at an angle to allow for optimal drainage of tanks when emptying them. Great idea!
Date of Stay: August, 2009
If you are Active, Reserve, Retired military or DoD civilian and are passing through (North) Chicago, this is a great place to spend a night or two. As RV parks go it is pretty basic. 20 back-in concrete pads with electric only. Fire rings at each site. But to be 50 feet from Lake Michigan in a supremely quiet and well-kept park, this is a great bargain. Easy off base access to trains for Chicago for those wanting to see the sights and not fight the traffic. If you don't have a valid DoD sticker for your vehicle you'll have to stop in at the visitor center next to the main gate for a pass. You will be directed to enter through Gate 5, the gate designated for truck traffic at the north end of the base. If you show up after hours, or if Gate 5 is closed, then enter through the main gate. If you have advance reservations, just pull into the RV park and back into your site. Then you can go over to Bldg 13, the Base Marina office, and check in formally. Ditto if you arrive after hours and the Marina is closed (1800 - 6pm). Sewer and fresh water are available at the marina. Since this is a major Navy training base, be ready for lots of marching formations on base, but the RV park is at the bottom of a large bluff, on the lake, and therefore quite removed from other base activities. Sites 1-8 face away from the water; sites 9-20 face and are closest to the water. Since all sites are back-in, it was actually better to be in the sites away from the lake, because then you have a lake view from the back of your rig if that's where the most windows are located. The park is so quiet you can hear a pin drop. Military personnel using it are very courteous and are very non-intrusive. Gas station and mini-mart on base for authorized users; main commissary and exchange are located about 1.5 miles away off base. For $15 and location, location, location, it's great. Or, if you don't want to fight Chicago passing through, it's a great place for a one-night stay. The only reason I rate it a "6" is because it doesn't have all the commercial trappings of other civilian RV parks. But for tranquility and location at a bargain price, this park is hard to beat for authorized users. Definitely big rig friendly, as there were numerous Fifth Wheel and Class A rigs there.
Date of Stay: August, 2008
While I have to agree with the previous post about Ft Custer SP sites being a challenge for large rigs, we stayed there for three days in August and had an enjoyable time. I rate it a 7 because most of the sites are conducive to tent campers, pop-ups, and TTs or 5ers that are less than 28ft in length. For a such a large CG with 219 total sites we found it surprisingly quiet and the other campers well behaved. We had site 158, which is a beautiful site, very shady, but tight backing into because of huge oak trees as you back in and along the length of the paved pad. By using part of the unpaved tent site just across from my site I was able to maneuver my Chevy 3500 and Jayco 31RLS 5er into the site. All sites at this CG are back-in. For the benefit of those with rigs of my size/length, other sites I investigated on foot that would accommodate my rig, especially in terms of ease for backing in were 109, 56, 52, 90, 82, and 66. If you are driving a Class A or a Super C, about the only site that will work for you is 169. It's easy in/easy out, but it is wide open with no shade at all from the am/pm sun. There are lots of very nice biking/hiking trails throughout the park, and the lakes are very family friendly. The dump site was adequate, however, the hoses and fittings need replacing, and the potable water pressure was low. It took forever to fill my potable tank upon arrival. The bath/restroom buildings looked new, however, we did not use them. Firewood is pricey at $5 per bundle. Expect the CG to be crowded Fri-Sun, but very open Mon-Thurs. The CG is easily accessible from I-94.
Date of Stay: July, 2008
Michigan state parks get a bad rap, in general, but Fort Wilkins SP is a true gem. Just spent 6 days there. Serene, isolated, and beautiful best describe the area. The tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula just doesn't get much traffic. Used pull-through site #158, but all sites are easily accessible, depending on size of rig. Even on a weekend the CG was maybe 40% full. During the week we had the place virtually to ourselves. Pull-through sites are large, nicely separated from neighbors by trees/shrubs. All sites are separated from adjacent sites in same manner. The CG itself is immaculate. Didn't see a single piece of trash in six days. Bathing/restroom facilities also immaculate. Quiet hours are ALL hours, not just evenings. Unlike many lower peninsula state parks, where the campers are often rude, obnoxious, and inconsiderate, this CG was a real exception. The peninsula area offers many activities from hiking, swimming, fishing, boating, snorkeling/diving, kayaking, biking to name a few. Courteous, friendly staff and CG host. This park is well worth the extra drive. It renews faith in the MI state park system. We will definitely stay there again.
Date of Stay: June, 2008
Camp Perry is the home of the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), along with Ohio National Guard units. Because it is a dual use facility, non-military has access to the facilities for a variety of uses, and it is a great place to stop. The RV park is located about 1/2 mile inland from Lake Erie and has a large, sandy beach. The RV park is new within the past two years. A brand new shower/rest room facility just opened in June 2008 and it is superb. Access to that building is via your key used to unlock your campsite water & electric. Each site is a back in, but the sites are huge and will accommodate the longest RVs. Each site has full water, sewer, electric. There is a small PX located nearby that is quite well supplied. Camp Perry is used extensively for military and Civilian Marksmanship Program shooters, so if the sound of small arms/machine gun fire is not your cup of tea, this place isn't for you. Military barracks are located across the street from the RV park, but the soldiers keep to themselves. The park is immaculate, well maintained, and easy access both in and out. Check in at the Camp Perry Conference Center to get key for your site. The parking lot for the Conference Center has two sides; park your RV in the LEFT side as you enter, and you'll have plenty of room to turn out for the RV park which is about 1/2 mile away from the conference center. GPS coordinates for the RV campground are N41deg 32min 33.15sec/W083deg 00min 58.86 sec W. Conference Center coordinates are N41-32-46.13/W083-00-47.49, readily visible on Google Earth. RV Park is not shown on the Google Earth picture, because the overhead shot is vintage 2002, but it is located at the coordinates given.
Date of Stay: July, 2007
Pattison Lake State Park, WI. Stayed here for one night on 1 July 2007. A nice state park, but we were surprised at how difficult it was maneuvering our 35ft 5er into the sites that were deemed large enough for our rig. The problem wasn’t the sites themselves, rather it was the very narrow and curved entrance and exits for each site that were the problems, with rather large trees to maneuver around. No generators of any kind are allowed in this state park, so plan accordingly if you can’t get a site with electricity. Some nice hiking trails to a couple of waterfalls in the immediate area, one the highest waterfall (165ft) in WI. Park is clean, quiet, just narrow camping sites, including the access roads through the campsites themselves. The vast majority of sites in this park are suited best for TTs and Class Cs under 30ft or Pop-Ups.
Date of Stay: July, 2007
Summer Breeze Campground, Iron Mountain, MI. What a delightful place to stay! Having spent 27 years in the military, I notice details. Stayed for three nights 2-4 July 2007. This campground is one of the nicest husband/wife run places I’ve ever seen. It is very clean, very nicely laid out, and the hosts are probably the nicest people you would ever want to meet. What is best about this campground is that 60 of 69 sites are pull-through. There is lots of maneuvering area for larger rigs. The campground and individual sites are full of large, mature trees for shade, plus the sites are not on top of one another. Great large play area for youngsters that is also away from most of the campsites, including a very nice pool, play sets, swings, et al. Nice laundry room, two washers/dryers, WiFi capable, with an outside phone line for making calling card calls if you don’t have cell coverage in that area. Nice camp store. For Good Sam members this is one of their affiliates. For a full hook up we paid $78 for three nights. Ice cream social on weekends. A very nice hiking trail rings the camp that makes for great strolls with the dogs or without. Guests seem to be very conscientious about cleaning up after dogs. Each site has a fire ring, and the hosts charge $6.00 for a wheelbarrow load of wood – not bad as cut wood prices go. We really enjoyed ourselves at this site and it is a definite “do again” when we’re in the upper peninsula of MI.
Date of Stay: June, 2007
For an RV park in a prima location, one would expect to pay a somewhat higher fee, but not $45 per night! I rated it a 4 mainly because of that. Not overly impressed with the sites, gravel pull through, not particularly level and with only a scrub of bushes, or maybe a tree between sites. The owner/operator "Ranger Jeff" is definitely a strange duck. Rather eccentric. Has about 20 different projects going on all at the same time, which means that not much overall gets accomplished. While he was pleasant enough to me, I can see from other posts that he can be odd to deal with. If he isn't in the office (which is rare) he can be really hard to find on the rather large property, tending to one of his many varied projects. His reservation and payment policies are bizarre, and the only reason we stayed there was because of its proximity to our daughter attending Northern Michigan Univ. The electricity at our site didn't work initially, but we got that problem fixed. On a positive note, his fudge operation is superb, but you would think you'd have access to some as part of his high price. Not - sold for about the same rate as what you pay in most other tourist traps. While I have nothing personal against the owner/operator, we won't be staying there again because it's over priced and somewhat chaotic. His web site is more appealing than the actual place, so camper beware.
Date of Stay: June, 2007
Devil’s Lake State Park, near Baraboo, WI. Stayed here for two days in late June 2007. Quite a nice state park campground, including being big-rig friendly with many of their sites. Electricity only. Great hiking on the grounds of the state park, including a somewhat challenging east and west bluff trail with about a 500 foot rise in elevation. Stunning views at the summits of each climb. Devil’s Lake has lots to offer – swimming, boating (electric motors only), scuba diving, fishing. Great beach area with numerous picnic sites. Clean, quiet, lots to do. For those who need more stimulation, the Wisconsin Dells and all that is offered there is just 12 miles away.
Date of Stay: June, 2007
Indian Point CG, Duluth, MN. Stayed here for one night June 30, 2007. Nice CG in a somewhat unusual location in South Duluth. Easy to get to from I-35. Directions in Woodalls are right on the money. Clean, quiet, well run CG. The only thing I would caution is to be sure you emphatically specify the size of your rig when you make your reservation. Many of the sites are quite narrow and close together, although there are some nice big rig sites. We were put into a spot (Site #15) and I was assured that it was an easy fit for my 35ft 5er and my 25ft truck. NOT! I never would have made it in were it not for the fact that the sites across the road weren’t occupied and I was able to maneuver into and out of them. But overall a nice place with very friendly hosts.