Like there’s more to a book than the cover, there’s more to a name than you might think. Such it is with the Hog Island Point State Forest Campground in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Not this charming but little known hideaway campground, nestled into the cedars and hardwoods of a small peninsula that juts into a pretty little Lake Michigan bay just US-2, about 35 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge. There are 59 rustic sites and because of the name, perhaps, and the lack of hookups, we found almost 20 of them vacant.
The one we took, site 43, was right on the rocky shoreline and we slept with the sounds of gentle waves lapping out our back window.
This was Tai’s first trip of the year and he was able to run free on the beach, plunging in and out of the water, taking huge gulps of it, rolling in the sand. I rubbed him down afterwards and brushed his double coat and he slept hard and happy.
We haven’t brought him on our other trips this season because the places we went were just not very dog friendly. The UP of Michigan, though, is laid back, less crowded and pretty much pup paradise.
The temperature below the bridge was 87 degrees. Up here on Hog Island Point, it’s 74. And there were no hogs. The little spit of an island that apparently gave the place its name is a couple hundred yards off our campsite and covered with squawking seagulls.
At sunset, we walked the beach and enjoyed the bug free air. All the rain we’ve had this summer has made for lots of mosquitos. There were a few at the campsite, but not many. On the beach, the breeze blew them into the woods.
There are vault toilets, hand pumps for fresh water and surprisingly flat sites. Seventeen sites are directly on the water.
On the weekend we visited, there were a few trailers and pop ups, a small Class A that barely managed to squeeze into one of off the shoreline sites, and lots of tents. We were the only Class B but every site would work well for a B.
A small picnic area on the east end of the Hog Island peninsula is mostly rock free and has a sandy bottom for swimming. The rest of the peninsula is rocky. You can walk around it and down the shoreline to the west for miles.
The camping fee is $11 a night. There is no cell service here. Zero bars.
To get here, just drive 35 miles west from St. Ignace and the Mackinac Bridge until you see the sign for the campground.