The sites on the lake are wonderful. Bring your swimming shoes for the lake because it is quite rocky for the first 10 feet getting into the swimming area. This state park seems to be about 20-30 miles from a grocery store but they do have ice to purchase if you bring a cooler along with your extra supplies. They also have a ban on bringing wood into the park so you can buy a bundle of scrap wood for $4 but it doesn't last very long.
Fort Wilkens was very interesting to visit. The kids loved the Fort so we walked there every night. The playground on the East side campground is far better than the one on the West side campground. But the West side has the pull-through sites that are by the lake and are padded. The laundry is also on the East side but there are facilities in town that are convenient to use while you tour some of the gift shops or one of the restaurants. Lots to do in this area so plan at least three days to visit everything well.
Some of the sites are in a wide open field and some are more private. Sites 31,32,33 seem to be the most private. It is rare for a state park to have laundry facilities but this is nice for we were on a long vacation. The playground is only a set of swings and the swimming is difficult to get to with children because of the high cliffs. Lots of sites to see in the area and this made up for the lack of things for the children at the campground.
This campground is large and very family friendly. Some of the sites seem very narrow and with slide outs the space can be tight. I would suggest staying away from 86-91 as they are very narrow. The sites in the 70's seem larger. Also the creek was low on water and hard for a boat to get around but the kids loved it for tubing and swimming. Overall I think things have changed from the previous postings for this campground and I would go back again.
We picked this campground because of the pool and boat launch. The pool is great even though some of the young children using it need more supervision for safety reasons. The boat launch is 3.5 miles down the road but they do have small docks you can use closer to the campground. The other reason for the low rating is the small sites, dirt sites and roads leave everything very dirty, and this is the noisiest campground we have ever stayed in. I am not sure if the noise was coming from the campground or a nearby neighbor because it was too late to go out and investigate. Also some of the clientele is undesirable because of poor language and again not supervising children.
This campground has no showers and only pit toilets. There is also no dumping station if you do use your own set up. All the sites are fairly small and big rig access might be difficult. However the historic town site is worth a visit and they have room to park the big motor homes in their lot while you visit. Plan on 3-4 hours to see most things and bring a lunch because there isn't anything nearby to stop at for a meal.
We have stayed at several Michigan state parks in the past and this one is not quite as nice as the others we have seen. The rest rooms are older and the sites are small. There are only a few small trees so it helps your view of the lake but leaves no privacy from other campers. One night a group was playing their music quite loud and the kids were very loud until about 11:30pm. Usually at the state parks the rangers take care of this quickly and usually no late than 10pm. The lake is wonderful for swimming. Very sandy and very shallow so the kids can walk out anywhere and go out about 50 yards and still easily stand. The education staff has different activities for adults and children and is very friendly.
There are two different campgrounds in this very large state park. They are 17 miles apart so be sure you pick the best one for your needs. The lower falls campground is very near the falls and between Newberry and Paradise. The other campground is Rivermouth and about 6 miles south of Paradise. The only thing that keeps this campground from being a 10 is not having full hook ups and also bitting flies that come out in the afternoon. There is so much to do in the park and area that you could stay for a week and still not do it all. Also something different about the upperfalls is they have a grill/pub right near the trail to go to the falls. This is a fantastic break from always packing a picnic lunch for all our state park visits. They also have a great little ice cream stand and a large but cozy seating area that includes rocking chairs near an old fire place where you can sit and rock in the shade after your day of visiting the falls.
We were unable to use the sewer hook up on our site with full hook up because of trees on the site. We have a slide out and had to park between two trees that kept us quite far from the sewer hook up even with an extension added to the tube. There are a few small trees for shade but nearly no privacy. The sites are small. This campground is okay if you expect to do site seeing in the area and not to do much "real camping".
This is a typical state park with lots of trees to give each site privacy. The beach area is large and the kids enjoyed catching many small fish around the lake. Be sure to bring along a 50 foot extension cord as the posts may be far from where you are able to park your rig.
This campground is wonderful. The grounds are well maintained. The lodge has great games for the kids along with an ice cream stand. The playground was large and seemed to be nearly new. There was also volleyball, basketball, hourseshoes, and mini golf. There were large bikes that could ride 3-9 people. The beach also had small boats for rent for the kids. All at reasonable costs. They had curbside pick up for garbage twice a day and also deliveried wood daily to your site. There were plenty of boat slips with easy access to the lake. On a sunset drive around the lake one night we saw a bald eagle. One morning while making breakfast we saw a small bear. They also have a great option for friends or relatives who don't own an RV. They have fifth wheel campers and travel trailers to rent.