Southeast Michigan Camping Guide 2015

By: Amber Ogden | June 9, 2015
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When the sun is shining, what’s a Metro Detroiter to do? If you’ve got a few vacation days saved up, perhaps put a few of them to use and plan a camping trip in southeast Michigan. Whether you’re an expert camper who could give Cheryl Strayed a run for her money or you know nothing about sleeping under the stars, camping in Metro Detroit is an experience you won’t soon forget.

Allow the following to be your simplistic guide for camping in Metro Detroit:


Groveland Oaks, 14555 Dixie Hwy., Holly, has cabins on site, in addition to 250 plus camping sites with water and electrical hookups. The campground amenities at Groveland Oaks include a beach, fishing and boating on Stewart Lake, a one-mile paved trail, concessions, a children’s playscape and more.

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Don’t miss out on the waterslide that goes into Stewart Lake, and challenge your kids to a friendly game of mini golf at the 18-hole course near the campground’s skate park area. If you time your trip for Fourth of July weekend, you’ll get to witness the fireworks spectacular!

Waterloo Recreation Area, 16345 McClure Rd., Chelsea, is the largest state park in the Lower Peninsula, spanning a whopping 20,000 acres. The park has four different campgrounds, including two modern campgrounds, a rustic campground and an equestrian campground.

You’ll never run out of extracurriculars during your trip, as there are 11 different fishing lakes, 12 miles of nature trails, 47 miles of hiking trails and more. There are also cabins available if you’re not interested in rustic or modern camping, but then why would you have gotten this far in the first place?

This Saturday, June 13, Waterloo Recreation Area is hosting Yoga Out Yonder from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., when participants can enjoy a guided hike along the trails complete with yoga poses.

Indian Creek Campground, 9415 Tangent Rd., Tecumseh, offers both campsites and cabin rentals, if you’re looking to camp on the fancy side (and if that’s the case, spring for a hotel while you’re at it!). The campground is equipped with a camp store, laundry facilities, restrooms, recreation room and library, so if you forget any of the comforts of home, they won’t be too far away.

You can find a layout of the campground map, to see where the fishing ponds are in relation to your site. The campground also offers a climbing tour, ziplining, hiking trails and wildlife such as birds and llamas. Yes, I said llamas.

While you should probably ditch your phone during your camping adventure, those of you who are glued to your device will be glad to know that Indian Creek Campground offers WiFi!

Bald Mountain State Recreation Area, 1330 E. Greenshield Rd., Lake Orion, offers some of the most rugged terrain in southeast Michigan. While you can’t pitch a tent and settle into a campsite here, you can rent a rustic cabin for $86 per night. The fact that you’re surrounded by over 4,000 acres of hills, trails and lakes makes up for the fact that you’re technically still sleeping indoors.

During your trip, you can fish in Graham Lake, hike, enjoy 15 miles of mountain biking trails and lay out at the beach.


With headquarters in Madison Heights, Moosejaw is a great sporting goods store to find just about anything. When it comes to camping, you’ll find every type of tent you could ever want, including one, two, three, four and five plus person tents. Should you need to stock up on gear for your camping trip, Moosejaw will equip you with the best stoves, sleeping bags and backpacking cookware out there.

If real cooking while camping isn’t your thing, there is plenty of backpacking food to choose from. Freeze-dried Spinach Puttanesca, anyone?

When it comes to camping essentials, make sure you have the basics, like a sleeping bag, plenty of water, a flashlight, matches and a first aid kit. Things you may not automatically think of, but will be glad you have once you find yourself deep in the woods, include extra pairs of socks, a tarp (in case it rains) and sunglasses or a hat.

When it comes to camping in southeast Michigan, the great outdoors offer endless possibilities. Enjoy your time connecting with nature!