S’mores Galore! Pitch a Tent at a Southeast Michigan Campground

By: Toni Cunningham | June 23, 2014

Most of my childhood summers involved some form of camping. There’s something about sleeping outside with a rock under your back and preparing food above an unreliable flame that creates a bond and memories that last a lifetime.

The fam and I went from Coke and Cheetos breakfasts to semi-gourmet marinated chicken dinners. You, too, can camp in style! Just please, for the love of everything, do not go “glamping.” You know, when you bring along all the amenities that would be found in a hotel and call it “camping.” Bidding adieu to your hairdryer, television and iPad for a few days will not kill you. In fact, it will probably improve your quality of life.

June is National Camping Month, so get ready to wrap up the month with some one on one time with the great outdoors! If you’re looking to commune with nature this summer, check out one of these campsites in the Metro Detroit area and get ready to pitch a tent, eat some s’mores and sleep under the stars.

Wayne County Fairgrounds, 10871 Quirk Rd., Belleville, includes tent and RV camping, believe it or not, as the grounds are used for more than just hosting the county fair. The camping season here runs through the end of October, and rates are very reasonable: $15/night for tents, $23/night for 20-amp service and $27/night for 30-amp service.

In this day and age, you can of course make your reservations for a campsite online.

St. Clair RV Campground, 1299 Wadhams Rd., St. Clair, has over 220 sites ready for your RV to pull into. This one is somewhat far from rustic camping, as the grounds offer a fitness center and mini golf. But, then again, it can’t be too rustic when you’re sleeping in a camper, now can it?! You can spend your time there swimming, fishing, boating, hiking the nature trails, playing a game of volleyball or just relaxing.

If you don’t have an RV to park, you can rent a cabin for four. Check out the website above for rates!

Clearwater Campground, 1140 S. Ortonville Rd., Ortonville, is a family owned campground with 15 tent sites, 100 RV sites and two cabins. The 35-acre spring fed lake is perfect for fishing and swimming, and you can even rent a boat to take out on the water.

Grass RV sites cost $40/day, cement lots cost $45/day, lake view cement lots cost $55/day, and rustic camping sites cost $25/night.

Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, 7800 Gale Rd., Waterford, is a near 4,000-acre area of ponds, forests, fields and rivers. Set yourself up at a campground for the night and spend your day horseback riding, hiking or biking. If you enjoy strolling through the woods, check out the 1.9-mile long Pontiac Lake Hiking Trail while you’re there.

There are 176 campsites available at just $18/night.

Seven Lakes State Park, 14390 Fish Lake Pond, Holly, includes 230 acres of water, perfect for lake activities like boating, swimming, fishing and paddling. It’s also a metal detecting area, so get ready to find some buried treasure!

The campground includes approximately 70 campsites that cost $19/night.

Brighton Recreation Area, 6360 Chilson Rd., Howell, has half a dozen different campsites, ranging from rustic to modern. The Brighton Appleton Lake is a rustic campground that includes 25 campsites for $12/night, with fun extras like a boat launch, fishing, hiking and more.

The Brighton Bishop Lake campground is more modern, and includes up to date restrooms, electrical service and a sanitation station. There are 144 sites that cost $20/night, and you can enjoy activities like boat rentals, a fishing pier, mountain biking and swimming.

Check out the link provided above for details on each additional campground.

Island Lake Recreation Area, 12950 E. Grand River Ave., Brighton, has a few different campgrounds as well, including a group area and canoe campsite. You’ll have to contact the park to use the group site, but the canoe campground has two sites and costs $12/night.

Island Lake is renowned for having one of the nation’s safest shooting ranges, as well as canoeing, volleyball courts, and cabins for rental.

Should you be new to the idea of camping, please direct your attention to last year’s article on the subject, “Camping Guidelines.” These helpful hints and tricks will keep you from getting a sunburn, starving to death and will, overall, keep you safe during your fun-filled camping adventure.

Be sure to slather on the SPF, and have a ‘mallow around the campfire for me, please!