A Suggested Itinerary for Your Next Trip Up North
You don’t need to travel to Yosemite or Yellowstone to experience great adventure and beauty. Come find adventure and wonder close by in Northern Michigan! For those of you who don’t know what northern Michigan all has to offer, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you by compiling a sample itinerary. Our campground serves as a great location for a base camp from which to explore the many different attractions that northern Michigan has to offer. We have put together this itinerary for a five-night, 6-day camping trip. We’ve included multiple options, so whether you’re a family looking to get the kids unplugged from technology, into nature, and reconnecting with one another, or a couple seeking some solitude and adventure in the woods, we hope you find these suggestions helpful and inspiring!
Campers typically arrive in the afternoon for camping, so we will assume that is the case. Spend your first day up north setting up camp, getting everything organized, and maybe even making a last minute trip to the store for the items you (maybe) forgot at home. Spend the evening relaxing by the fire, cooking dinner, and settling into vacation mode.
Or, to help tire the kids out before bed, play our free Disc Golf Course or walk the deer trail down to the river. Better yet, take our Tree ID challenge and see whose tree knowledge is the best!
Since you’re camping right by the Pine, arguably Michigan’s best paddlesports river, it only makes sense to experience it for yourself! Whether you want your family to stay together in one raft, or you want to try your hand at kayaks or canoes, we can help make it happen. Feel free to pack a lunch and make a day of it. Look for Petoskey stones in the rocky gravel beds, and soak in the sun. River time is the best time!
Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes - voted in 2011 as America’s most beautiful place by Good Morning America, Sleeping Bear is one of Michigan’s treasures that should not be overlooked. Covering over 50,000 acres, there is always somewhere new to explore! The hiking and biking options are seemingly endless. Rent some mountain bikes, or bring your own! The adorable, small towns found along the lakeshore are also a blast to explore. If Sleeping Bear makes its way into your itinerary for the week, let Jake and Alaney know, and they might just draw a map to one of their favorite hikes for you!
As another option, one of our favorite mini-golf places, Crystal Falls Mini Golf in Benzonia, is a nearby detour from Sleeping Bear.
If you find yourself without kids for the weekend, St. Ambrose Cellars is a must to check out. If you’re looking for other brewery/winery suggestions, let Jake and Alaney know, and they’ll be happy to share their favorite spots!
A vacation isn’t a vacation if you’re constantly on the go. Take today to recharge your batteries and have a lowkey day close to camp. Play our Disc Golf course, or head to the Pine or one of the numerous nearby lakes for some fishing. If it’s hot, we can give you directions to Dobson Bridge - it’s only about 5 miles away and it’s the best swimming hole on the Pine!
If sitting at camp isn’t your ideal day, rent a couple of our inflatable stand-up paddleboards and take them to the Tippy Dam Backwaters for a beautiful, vertical paddle around this hidden gem. To read more about the Tippy Dam Backwaters, check out our blog post here.
Or, maybe you want to stay away from water and explore the woods in style! The county just south of us, Lake County, is known for its plentiful ORV trails. Both Best Bear Off-Road Rentals in Irons, and Wolf Lake Motel & Resort in Wolf Lake rent ORV’s. Enjoy nature at a faster pace!
Make the 40 minute drive over to Manistee for a fun day by Lake Michigan! Magoon Creek is one of our favorite beaches. You can even take some SUP’s to Lake Michigan with you to explore the lakeshore in a whole new way. If the beach gets tiring, head to the House of Flavors for an ice cream energy booster, or make your way to Northern Falls Mini Golf just north of town.
If the beach isn’t your thing, two of our favorite hikes are located about 15 minutes from our campground. Silver Creek is a 4 mile loop that follows the Pine River, and the Manistee River Trail is part of a 22 mile loop that borders the Manistee River. Both great hikes with gorgeous views!
Sadly, your vacation up north has come to an end. The last day entails packing up the tent and camping gear in the most organized fashion possible. Come to the office and have Jake or Alaney grab a group photo for you to remember your trip up north for many years to come!
If you want to take your time heading back home, Adventure Island is a family fun park offering mini golf, go-karts, and a waterpark in Cadillac. Stop by for some last minute fun!
Or, if you want to follow the lakeshore back down south, stop by the beach town of Ludington, or hit up a lakeshore brewery. If you just can’t get enough of the outdoors, do a short hike in the Lake Michigan Recreation Area or Nordhouse Dunes.
If you have any questions about our suggested activities, please let us know, we would love to help. Northern Michigan is a beautiful place to explore, and we hope you will enjoy it as much as we do. So come on up, and experience northern Michigan’s version of Pure Michigan!