I know…..when I (as a born & raised Michigander) thought about this idea, I thought it was beyond crazy! But then I pondered, this weather 2018-2019 has been (mostly) wonderful! We all should take some time to take a memory-making adventure & take advantage of this time we have been given! In fact, The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has 34 parks open for winter camping throughout the entire lower & upper peninsulas of Michigan.
These 5 trips would be fun for anyone that enjoys (rustic) spa-like “glamping” with some girlfriends, a quiet retreat from the busy world, (ice) fishing, sledding or snowshoeing adventure memories, nature-gazing photography, animal watching, & nature hiking.
Best of all, many large animals are hibernating & the bugs are gone…..so those are 2 bonuses of winter camping trips. Since I work a traditional full-time job, I chose to highlight these small road trips to be easy for us all to have some fun.
Bring your own RV or stay in an on-site cabin. The rustic cabins are several different sizes to accommodate different sized groups. They include heat but NO electricity so bring your candles &/or flashlights & batteries. There are also service RV sites available to bring your own “home” to hook up. This park features almost 5,000 acres of hills, lakes, wetlands, & trails for all of your outdoor wandering fun.
Fort Custer is just over on the West side of the state between Battle Creek & Kalamazoo. If you are a tent-camping trooper, this park is for you! They do also have access for RVs, as well as available rustic cabins & also even park shelters for a (large) winter party/picnic gathering. On the many trails, you may see areas of prairie restoration work, or even a dog sled or 2!
Aside from being another tent-goers paradise, this park is also a nature-enthusiast haven. The on-campus Eddy Discovery Center (open seasonally on weekends only) tells the story of the historic geology evolution & natural habitat diversity of Waterloo’s 20,000+ acres. It is also very possible to see many bird & crane sightings at this park especially at the specified Haehnle Sanctuary.
This park is for the die-hard tent campers that enjoy backwoods & solitude; there are only 10 campsites far back into woods. In the park, there is 1 solo Yurt (merely a sparsely furnished shelter) for a small (5 people) group. Fisherman will truly enjoy the extra lake area this park offers to the visitors.
The lone offering in Highland is a cute 6-person cabin.
Even though the Bass Lake Lodge may be lonely, it is the glam-est destination of all the parks. 2 rooms, 1 loft, equipped kitchen, living room, a foosball table–all feels like home. The skiing or walking trails & nature marshes create a retreat full of peace & zen.