It’s time to grab those hiking boots, fill up the cooler, load up the tents and hit the road! Southeast Michigan offers plenty of opportunities for exploring the outdoors, including hiking, biking, water sports, fishing, horseback riding and so much more.
To get a complete taste of the area’s natural beauty, pitch your tent and make a weekend out of it. We rounded up the 10 best campgrounds within an hour drive of Ann Arbor and the surrounding communities, so enjoy—and don’t forget the marshmallows!
A paradise for backpackers, mountain bikers, anglers and other recreation enthusiasts, Pinckney Recreation Area is known for its extensive trail system and chain of excellent fishing lakes. The area offers 40 miles of multi-use trail with remote campsites, yurts, cabins and more. The three most popular of their six official rustic campgrounds are Blind Lake Hike-in, the Bruin Lake Campground and the Crooked Lake Campground—which each cost $17 a night to reserve. You can learn more about each campground and make a reservation here!
About a 29-minute drive from Ann Arbor
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Nestled between Detroit and Ann Arbor, the Detroit / Ann Arbor KOA surrounds a private lake and provides endless opportunities for fishing, swimming and non-motorized water activities. The campground provides guests access to full facilities, including laundry, showers/restrooms, an outdoor dishwashing station, and a fully stocked store and gift shop for groceries, essential items and souvenirs. Campsites, which are offered on both grassy and gravel pads, generally cost between $20 and $40 depending on your reservation dates. Click Here to go to the reservation system.
As the largest park in the Lower Peninsula, Waterloo Recreation Area is one of the most popular places for camping. In total, the park offers nine different campgrounds, which include equestrian camping, modern camping, rustic camping with limited amenities, a group campsite, an accessible and reservable yurt, multiple rustic cabins and a modern cabin. The Sugarloaf Campground even has an ADA-accessible playground! To see a full list of campgrounds, click here.
Established in 1978 in Milan, KC Campground is a 20-acre retreat offering all the amenities a camping enthusiast would love! They also offer a variety of kid-friendly activities too, including a playground, a pond, weekend hayrides, basketball courts and horseshoe pits—so you can bring the whole family. Campsites cost $30 a night and multiple night rates are available. If you find yourself in the area August 5-7, don’t miss the Milan Michigan Bluegrass Festival, which is held in the campground annually.
Hell Creek Ranch Campground is a family-oriented campground offering fun activities for campers of all ages. Located in Pinckney, Hell Creek is known for their fabulous pool, spacious campsites and extremely clean bathrooms. Their beautiful 100-site campground offers 60 electrical sites and 40 primitive sites, so you can camp here in a tent or an RV! They also have a basketball court, horseshoe pits, horseback riding, walking trails and fishing areas on site. Click here to learn more and to make your reservation.
Quiet, secluded and peaceful, Wilderness Campground in Dundee is a nature lover’s paradise! Enjoy tent camping along with exciting activities like swimming in the lake, exploring the beach, fishing, playing on the playground, playing basketball or sand volleyball, and much more. They are also conveniently located near the Splash Universe Indoor Waterpark and River Raisin Canoe Livery for even more water-based fun! Their primitive campsites are located on flat land under a canopy of trees, giving you the perfect shaded paradise to enjoy the wilderness. You can call (734) 529-5122 to make a reservation.
For a weekend you won’t soon forget, head to Grass Lake and stay at Apple Creek Campground! This cozy RV park and campground is home to a heated swimming pool, a playground, basketball courts, mini-golf, volleyball, horseshoes, an arcade and more than 10 miles of hiking trails. Tent camping sites cost $40 a day while sites booked on holiday weekends cost $43. Click here to learn more about Apple Creek and call (512) 522-3467 to book your 2021 reservation.
Established in 1948, Camp Dearborn offers a wide range of overnight camping options, including rustic cabins and resort cabins, as well as sites for camper-provided tents or trailers. Camp Dearborn’s exceptional amenities include: a half-mile of sandy beach, athletic fields and tennis courts, shaded picnic areas, swimming and fishing lakes, a concession stand, a miniature golf course, and a 27-hole championship golf course. They have several options for primitive campers so click here to learn more.
About a 46-minute drive from Ann Arbor
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Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Irish Hills at Ja Do Campground! The whole family will love their stocked fishing pond, which is set in the woods with a serene nature trail leading to it. Onsite activities include horseshoes, a playground for the kids, a large grass volleyball court and a basketball hoop. In addition to their on-site activities, they are conveniently located to all Irish Hills attractions and the Michigan International Speedway. Their primitive camping rates are $25 a night or $144 weekly.
The River Raisin Marina & Campground is ideally located on the north side of the Port of Monroe Turning Basin on the River Raisin. The area offers a park-like setting, running adjacent with a wilderness park and its magnificent lotus ponds and abundant wildlife. As for camping, they have 28 acres of RV and primitive campsites with centrally located bathhouses, washer and dryers, fishing spots, hiking trails and so much more!
Where are you planning to camp this summer? Let us know in the comments below!