Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Michigan & The Great Lakes bound, July 2019
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 > Michigan & The Great Lakes bound, July 2019

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kknowlton

southeast Idaho, formerly IL/WI border

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Posted: 06/18/19 10:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do not miss Mackinac Island. BTW, pronunciation: Mackinac is pronounced the same as Mackinaw. [emoticon] There are several very large private campgrounds in/near Mackinaw City, so you might find a site to reserve shortly before your stay. Not sure about finding one as a drive-up. It's a pretty popular area.

The lower peninsula has some lovely little lakes, most sand-bottomed (a real treat with all the muddy-bottomed lakes in much of the Midwest). But we like the UP best too.

Ditto on the Henry Ford/Greenfield Village. It's a do-not-miss, IMO.

ken56

Tennessee

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Posted: 06/19/19 07:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In the summer months camping and going "up north" is what Michiganders do. It will be difficult to impossible to get into any state park. Private parks can be full too on the weekends. Just be prepared to do a WalMart parking lot a time or 2. Do you have the RVPARKY app on your phone? It's a great app to find parks on your route. Gives lots of info and phone numbers so you can call while on the road to check availability.

Aside from Greenfield Village and The Henry Ford museum get out of the Detroit area as quickly as you can. Get above Saginaw and head to the coast and take the back roads and stay off I-75. Nothing to see on 75.

GordonThree

Northern Michigan

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Posted: 06/19/19 08:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you're entering the state on the south end and want to get to the UP as fast as possible, I 75 is a fine choice. If you want to smell the roses, US 31 for the sunset side, US 23 for the sunrise side, both eventually lead to the Mighty Mack bridge.


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SteveWoz

Simsbury, CT

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Posted: 06/19/19 08:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rexlion wrote:

State parks along the Lake Michigan shoreline are likely to be difficult to get into, because this is the side with the nice sandy beaches and it's very popular. That said, if you show up looking for a campsite mid-day on Sun-Thur you might be able to stay a night or two. Elsewhere, it will be somewhat easier to find campsites on the spur of the moment but you should have one or two nearby alternate CGs in mind.

Have a look online at Henry Fort Museum and Greenfield Village, if you don't mind dipping into the metro area. Frankenmuth has the world's largest year-round Christmas store, a brewery that serves good food as well as beer, and plenty of little shops to walk around in or restaurants to eat at. On the west side, Silver Lake SP has sand dunes you can drive around on (your vehicle or better yet rent a dune buggy there) plus a nice lighthouse to see. Ludington SP has a lighthouse you can walk to and a nice CG. Drive to the top of Sleeping Bear Dunes and get a good view of the lake far below. If you like canoeing or kayaking, consider going down any of the numerous rivers (rentals and transport available). Go to Mackinaw City and see, and hopefully find an excuse to drive across, the Mackinaw Bridge; there's also a little park and lighthouse on the shore there, many shops (buy fudge, caramel corn, souvenirs, etc.) Much more in the Upper Peninsula if you're thinking of going there.


Thanks so much for the tips about finding sites and for the great recommendations. I will be sure to check some of those out.

Bob806

Ohio

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Posted: 06/19/19 01:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

doxiemom11 wrote:

And, don't forget all the waterfalls in the upper peninsula. There should be maps available to their locations.


http://gowaterfalling.com/waterfalls/maps/statemichigan.shtml

Michigan is a great camping destination. Like many mentioned, the state parks may be booked, but look into these: Hoeft, Wilderness, Indian Lake, Porcupine Mountains, Brimley for starters. (Michigan requires a state parks pass, I think its $30 or $35 for out-of-staters).

Trekkar

Michigan

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Posted: 06/20/19 06:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Orchard Beach State Park doesn't get as much use since the beach is gone. Facilities are fine, but you need to go up or down the coast to find good sand.


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Parrothead Mike

SW Michigan

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Posted: 06/21/19 08:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've lived in Michigan all my 69 years. Mostly in SW Michigan, but also 25 years split between Marquette in the U.P. and Gaylord, about 1 hour south of the Mackinac Bridge. My job required me to drive the north and U.P. those 25 years.

The U.P. has some excellent waterfalls, especially around Munising. In far western U.P. is the Porcupine Mountains SP. Some of the best hiking trails anywhere in the Midwest. The wilds abound in the U.P.

In the L.P. I'm partial to the west side along Lake Michigan. It's very popular, especially in the summer. Use http://www.campgroundreviews.com/ to search out private campgrounds in areas you might be interested in.

Still, don't avoid the Lake Huron side of the L.P. because it is less crowded than the west side, although there aren't any sand dunes like the west side. U.S.23 along the northeast L.P. offers some nice state parks and views of the lake.

The west side of Michigan has several fruit & vegetable growing areas. Summer is a great time to look for cherries and blueberries along the lakeshore.

Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore in the NW L.P. is very beautiful. You might check out Indigo Bluff campground (private) just east of Empire, MI along M-72 as a good spot to visit Sleeping Bear, Glen Arbor, Glen Lake, and the Leelanau Peninsula (Leland, Northport, and Suttons Bay) and just NW of Traverse City.


PS: I almost forgot Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore near Munising. Take the tourist boat trip, but you may have to make reservations in July. There is also a neat little campground in Grand Marais, MI called Woodland Park. They don't take reservations, but you may likely find a camping spot during midweek. Brimley State Park just east of Sault Ste Marie is very nice too.


Enjoy Michigan, we certainly do.


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rexlion

Broken Arrow OK

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Posted: 06/25/19 04:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Best to avoid I-75 northbound fridays after 4 pm, and southbound sunday afternoon. It is a zoo.


Mike G.
--for now, using a cargo trailer for camping--
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven... (Ecclesiastes 3)
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