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Wilderness State Park Tenting Information (Michigan)

Wilderness State Park is greater than only a Michigan State Park—some name it paradise.

Though the park’s historical past is peculiar, at the moment the park is a peaceable place to loosen up on the seaside, get pleasure from superb sky views, and luxuriate in wilderness life. Tenting at Wilderness State Park is sort of the expertise, too!

Learn on to be taught all about the most effective Wilderness State Park tenting spots, enjoyable actions on the park, and extra!

A walking trail along Lake Michigan.

Historical past of Wilderness State Park

The State of Michigan acquired Wilderness State Park’s land in 1896. All through the early twentieth century, the land functioned because the Emmet State Recreation Refuge, land put aside for breeding sport birds and different animals.

In 1927, the land was positioned beneath the Parks Division and formally turned Wilderness State Park.

Camp Wilderness was house to a Civilian Conservation Corps camp between 1933 and 1937 in the course of the Nice Melancholy, then it was a minimum-security forest jail camp from 1949 till 1956 when the jail camp was moved to Pellston.

As we speak, Wilderness State Park operates as a family-friendly park, the place vacationers come from throughout Michigan and past to get pleasure from tenting, water actions, and–in fact–the wilderness.

What to Anticipate at Wilderness State Park

Waugoshance Lighthouse on Lake Michigan.
Waugoshance Lighthouse.

Wilderness State Park options 26 miles of breathtaking Lake Michigan shorelines with a chosen swimming space and a pet-friendly seaside. The park is 11 miles west of Mackinaw Metropolis and contains 20+ miles of trails throughout 10,512 acres.

The seaside shows superb sky views and distinctive views of the Waugoshance Lighthouse, Straits of Mackinac, and Mackinac Bridge.

Spend the day or arrange camp–Wilderness State Park tenting is exclusive due to the numerous choices out there, together with cabins.

A recreation passport is required for accessing all Michigan State Parks.

Wilderness State Park Tenting

Make Wilderness State Park tenting reservations on-line as much as six months prematurely by way of Michigan State Park & Harbor Reservations.

Tenting Provided

Pines Campground

The Pines Loop (campsites #501-599), on the alternative of the nation street from East and West Lakeshore Campground, are well-shaded Wilderness State Park tenting spots and sized generously, and all websites supply 20- and 30-amp electrical hookups.

East Lakeshore Campground

The East Lakeshore Campground (campsites #301-365) affords a shoreline view. It features a barrier-free, trendy bathhouse. Loos can be found from mid-April by way of mid-October.

This campground was reworked in 2022 and is scheduled to reopen in June 2023.

West Lakeshore Campground

The West Lakeshore Campground (campsites #401-471) was reworked in 2019 and is situated alongside the Lake Michigan shore with most websites being inside view of the shoreline.

Campers have entry to a contemporary lavatory and bathe home from mid-Could to mid-October, and all websites have 20- and 30-amp electrical providers, with 19 additionally having 50-amp.

Backcountry Campsites

Wilderness State Park affords two backcountry campsites for wilderness campers. The names of those campsites are East Boundary and O’Neal Lake, and registration is required earlier than tenting.

Stroll-in Campsites

There are 25 Wilderness State Park tenting areas (#101-125) for hikers to stroll into. These areas require a brief stroll to entry the Lake Michigan shoreline. Two parking areas can be found per web site.

Youth Campground

The state park affords 72 areas for youth teams in a country campground. A picnic desk, hearth pit, and a hand pump are included with every web site.

Rustic Cabins

Six rustic cabins can be found all through the park, and all have bunk beds:

  • Large Stone Bay Cabin: 4 bunkbeds
  • Caps Cabin: 4 bunkbeds
  • Nebo Cabin: 4 bunk beds and one single mattress
  • Station Level: Two bunkbeds
  • Sturgeon Bay Cabin: Two bunkbeds and one single mattress
  • Waugoshance Cabin: 4 bunkbeds


The Civilian Conservation Corps constructed three bunkhouses close to Pines Campground within the late Nineteen Thirties. These bunkhouses can be found for hire all 12 months spherical. Each-room bunkhouse sleeps 24 individuals in 12 bunk beds.

Electrical energy is offered in every bunkhouse, however operating water isn’t out there; nonetheless, water is obtainable at Pines Campground from Could by way of mid-October.

Finest Wilderness State Park Tenting Spots

Be certain to order the next spots earlier than leaving to your Wilderness State Park tenting journey.

Drive-In and ADA Entry

The newly reworked East Lake Shore Campground contains 4 ADA-accessible websites (#330, #349, #350, and #356) with concrete pads permitting inclusive tenting at Wilderness State Park.

Full Hook-up Websites

Wilderness State Park has 18 full hook-up areas (#201-218). All websites have 20-, 30-, and 50-amp hookups, however no lavatory is within the neighborhood. Campers’ models have to be self-contained.


Two Lake Michigan entry factors to the lake are situated at West Lakeshore Campground for small boats. They’re between #441 and #444, and #431 and #433. A lake entry level at East Lakeshore Campground is between websites #332 and #334.

A full-sized boat launch is ¼ mile from West Wilderness Park. Throughout low water circumstances, bigger boats could also be troublesome to launch.

Lakeside Cabins

Large Shore Bay and Stone Level Cabins stand on the lakeshore, although all cabins are only a brief strolling distance from the water.

RV Lake Spots

West and East Lakeshore Campgrounds supply lakeside spots.

West Lakeshore lakeside spots embody #417-#419, odd numbers from #421 to #441, #444, #446, and #448.

East Lakeshore lakeside spots embody even numbers from #320 to #344.

Actions on the Park

A couple boating on a lake.

Twelve trails make mountain climbing the preferred exercise loved by Wilderness State Park campers. Stroll, bike, and benefit from the view. Snowmobiling is common within the winter.

Campers get pleasure from beachcombing and steel detecting–who is aware of what you would possibly discover whereas tenting at Wilderness State Park.

Boating is common as a result of it’s usually too chilly to swim. View the close by Mackinac Bridge from a novel vantage level by reserving a historic cruise.

Make Positive to Carry

A dog on a camping trip. Wilderness State Park camping is pet-friendly!

Carry layered clothes–the park solely has a mean temperature of 68 in July in the course of the day.

When you plan on swimming in the summertime, you might have considered trying a thermal swim shirt for the cool breezy days on the lake and a wearable seaside towel for warming up rapidly.

Don’t depart your furry associates at house! Wilderness State Park is a pet-friendly campground. Learn extra about tenting with pets for tips about tips on how to get pleasure from tenting together with your cats and canine).

Wrapping up the Wilderness State Park Tenting Information

Sunset over Lake Michigan.
Sundown over Lake Michigan

Wilderness State Park tenting is a real gem of an expertise. You’ll make good use of your Michigan State Recreation move whilst you’re there.

When you’re eager about different nice state parks to go to, take a look at the State Park Tenting web page on our web site.

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