Five Fast Road Trips for Winter Camping

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.

Brighton Recreation Area (Howell)

6360 Chilson Rd., Howell, MI 48843

Phone: 810-229-6566

Rustic cabins or RV sites available

Cost: Starts at $25/day

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 (Augusta)

5163 Fort Custer Dr. Augusta, MI 49012
269-731-4200
Cost: Starts at $20/Day
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!

Waterloo Recreation Area (Chelsea)

16345 McClure Rd., Chelsea, MI 48118
734-475-8307
Cost: Starts at $20/Day
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.

Pinckney

8555 Silver Hill Rd., Pinckney, MI 58169
734-426-4913
Cost: Starts at $17/Day
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.

Highland Recreation Area 

5200 Highland Rd., White Lake, MI 48383
Please call directly to reserve at 248-889-3750
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.
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