Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a small motorhome owner’s delight, with little bays, promontories, nooks and wilderness crannies to explore in the up-close style that Class B RVers prefer.
We visit the UP in all seasons, several times a year. Our favorite was this past February when, on one of the 12 sites they plow at Tahquamenon Falls State Park, we camped in minus eight degree weather with 28 inches of level snow on the ground.
This last trip in early July reminded us that beauty comes with a price: Bugs. Biting flies along the Lake Superior coast and mosquitos big enough to barbeque in the interior woods.You can see the bug battle we had in this report and this video.
But we just moved on and found relatively bug free spots.
For the best conditions, plan on late July through the end of October for maximum scenery without the need to be all lathered up with bug spray.
Jennifer and I generally avoid commercial campgrounds and most state parks.
To that end, our favorite spot this trip was the state forest campground at Hog Island Point, along Lake Michigan, and the primitive Presque Isle State Wilderness campground in the western UP. We also stayed tat the Lake Gogebic State Park, the Union Bay campground at Porcupine Mountain State Park, the Robbins Pond campground in the Ottawa National Forest, the Marquette Tourist Park, the Brimley State Park near Saulte Ste Marie and, on the way back home just across the Mackinac Bridge in the Lower Peninsula, the Mill Creek Campground in Mackinac City.
The latter facility is a mega campground with more than 600 sites along a mile of Lake Huron shoreline at the Straits of Mackinac. I was checking it out as a site for a potential rally some year. It is huge,offering with a pool, basketball sites and great beach access. It has full hookups and Wi-Fi and was very crowded and congested. It reminded me of a subdivision. With all those activities and its proximity to touristy things like Mackinac Island and a nearby Lumberjack Show, it is a great place for young families with kids. And it would be a perfect site for a big RV rally.
Other than Hog Island Point, Presque Isle and the Ottawa National Forest and the Marquette Turist Park – a surprisingly delightful and relaxed place built on a reservoir right on the western end of town – I don’t think we’d stay at any of those other facilities again. We chose them because they were relatively open and bug free.
What we did was day trip. We’d use the campgrounds as a base for sleeping and traveling the UP in our Roadtrek, finding great spots to claim as our own and then spend time there hiking, picnicking and exploring.
But in case the bug fighting video posted earlier give you a negative impression of the UP, we hope this little video shows you how beautiful a place it is.
Again, the bugs can be managed. If they’re bad in one place, just move on.
Michigan’s UP is an awesome place that draws us back again and again. Our next trip there will be in the fall. And, yes, we’re planning another winter trip, too.