Porcupine Mountains Camping: Finest State Parks, Activities and Preparation

Boondocking is a popular outdoor activity. Not only because it is a fun and spectacular experience, but also because it is right for you. Being exposed to green space and the natural environment is one of the key benefits. According to studies, people are healthier and happier when they spend time in nature. Giving time to spend outdoors, particularly in peaceful and quiet places, can lift our spirits and improve our perspective on life.  

Many activities can also develop personal skills, such as hiking, canoeing, swimming, fishing, or just being in the moment while enjoying the scenery and solitude. Engaging improves our decision-making, leadership skills, courage, resilience, and sportsmanship.

Visit Porcupine Mountains Sites and State Parks

Camping Sites to Enjoy in the Porcupine Mountains
(Credits to: MCHGN)

It will give you an experience you would not find anywhere else except in Michigan – expanding from its northwestern Upper Peninsula and Ontonagon and Gogebic counties. It is home to North America’s most extensive stand of old northern hardwood forest growth, natural waterfalls, magnificent forests, and public leisure.  

Indeed, the Porkies offer a  diversion from the world of civilization, serenity, and a sense of wilderness. 

103 State Parks and Camping Sites

Michigan has 103 state parks and 306,000 acres (124,000 ha) of recreation areas, with 142 campgrounds and more than 900 miles (1,400 km) of trails. 

Trivia: The native Obijawa people named the Mountains after the porcupine, supposedly because their silhouette had the shape of a porcupine, it stuck with the locals and is now, and the place is endearingly known today as “the Porkies.”

Don’t miss out on the fathomless scenic habitat, resorts, impressive waterfalls, incredible historical sites, camp areas, numerous activities, and accommodating locals.

Explore and Admire

Since years ago, Michigan’s unquestioned beauty and elegance have been evident. There are over a hundred state parks in the region Great Lakes and over 900 miles of trails, which assure a Michigan state park just for you, regardless of your vastly preferred recreation. Visitors may opt to be immersed in the city’s activities or get away from trails and beaches.    

As the largest state park in Michigan, Wilderness State Park is a refuge for campers, hard-core backpackers, and casual hikers. The park is a famous destination for cross-country, skiing, hiking, wildlife watching, swimming, fishing, snowshoeing, biking, and more. Make sure not to forget to bring a camera for photo-worthy destinations. 

Bald Mountain State Recreation Area per se is a popular leisure area for tourists of the day, fishers, and hunters. Deer, bunny, squirrel, Canada goose, woodchuck, duck, raccoon, and woodcock are all part of the hunt.

Explore and Admire
(Credits to: Michigan Org Photography)

There are various activities that visitors can enjoy: berry picking, beachcombing, swimming, sightseeing, windsurfing, and hunting. The landscape extends from flat open fields to woodland and hills. Cabins and camp spaces in modernity. Pet-friendly coastline. And the Lake Superior sunsets are amazing!

Camping Sites to Enjoy in the Porcupine Mountains

Camping Sites to Enjoy in the Porcupine Mountains
(Credits to: MCHGN)

There are various outspanning sites along with the location: Union Bay – with modern toilets and full hookups; on the east end of the park- no hookups at rustic Presque Isle, on the western side of the park at the mouth of the Presque Isle River. Moreover, off the South Boundary Road, three rustic campgrounds (‘outposts’) also with three to eight sites each are located, open and accessible by car, but without any public facilities, they usually provide more protection than others.

Activities within the Campgrounds


(Credits to: Thrillist Photography)

There is nothing like a stroll in the woods to clear your head and relax your soul. And there are plenty of places to launch your journey when the forests are so abundant. You will renew your love of nature with almost 60,000 acres of indescribable pristine scenery and approximately 90 miles of accessible trails. 


(Credits to: Dees Stribling Photography)

The State Parks, with loops ranging from 1.5 to 10.5 miles, provide more than 20 miles of dedicated mountain bike trails, and in the winter, the tracks operate as cross-country ski trails.

Biking off-road

A wide variety of trail choices are accessible. With loops ranging from 1.5 to 10.5 miles, the State Park is home to over 20 miles of mountain bike trails. The tracks are well worth the trip up to the top.

Biking on-road

The 107th Engineers Memorial Highway and M-64 along the southern shore of Lake Superior can be used by bikers searching for a paved path. The path provides pleasant lake views. About three miles from Silver City, you can reach the Wilderness State Park. To take in the classic view, hill climbers can head up to Lake of the Clouds.

There are both single and tandem bicycles available at the Porcupine Mountain Outpost for rent.

Wildlife Watching

Wildlife Watching
(Credits to: Pinterest)

It is a land of majestic pine trees, vast woods, and uninhibited streams and rivers. The area is no disappointment, that the region is full of fauna and flora. In fact, during the journey, there’s a probability that visitors might come across other wild creatures than fellow travelers. 


(Credits to: Freep Photography)

There’s plenty of water to explore in the county, from roaring waterfalls to Lake Superior’s majesty. The swimming options don’t fail to disappoint when you’re on the shores of the biggest Great Lake. Hundreds of waterfalls are in the western Upper Peninsula. Experience any of these scenic streams on your next adventure.


(Credits to: My North Photography)

Inland lakes possess perch, smallmouth bass, walleye, and northern pike for fishing. And numerous woodland streams in the region provide excellent fishing for native cutthroat trout. Anglers will find success fishing for lake trout and salmon from the shoreline at Union Bay, mostly in spring and fall. 


(Credits to: Wilderness Systems Photography)

The rivers are promisingly pristine, and a quiet experience for kayakers, canoes, and boaters, from Lake Superior’s sparkling, green waters to the Ontonagon River backwoods’ serenity. Thanks to its crystal-clear water and awe-inspiring scenery, Lake Superior is a popular destination for boaters. 

Snow Sports

Snow Sports
(Credits to: Big Stock Photography)

Enjoy panoramic views of the snow-covered forests and Lake Superior. Swoop through glades of dense hemlocks, and the only company is the clicks of your skis. Immerse at the frozen waterfalls that are transformed by the winter cold. More than 25 miles of preened cross-country ski trails surrounding the Mountains Ski Area, which also provides ski and snowshoe rentals, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers can find a quiet winter respite.

Lakes Around the Area

Lakes Around the Area
(Credits to: Michigan Nut Photography)

There are different lakes and areas in the state where you can bring a boat in for an afternoon. In the Wilderness State Park, Lake of the Clouds is the most photogenic feature and one of the most recognized in the Upper Peninsula. The ancient mountains’ silhouettes frame a blue jewel in the dense trees, Lake of the Clouds. The valley trains below are in the shades of green of the thick jungles in late spring and summer, and the leaves break into a fiery orange, yellow and red palette in the autumn. 

To most visitors, year after year, season after season, it is these fantastic waterscapes and pristine shores that take them back to the Porcupine Mountains.

Camping Preparation

Camping Preparation
(Credits to: Frog Cars Photography)

It is truly an exciting and fun experience, but you must prepare for the trip to stay organized and safe. The key to a successful visit to the Porkies is preparation. Being prepared for whatever will give you a better experience of adventure. Remember that for future generations of hikers and campers, the park is a healthy wilderness to be conserved.

The trick to your vacation being a wonderful memory and not a tragedy is to prepare. Come to connect to the beauty of nature and have a great time in the area.

Regulations, Permits, Safety Tips, and Reservation

Conduct strict commitment to low damage strategies to assist in protecting the State Parks’ natural ecosystem at all times. Discipline is always a must. Unethical actions may result in expulsion and future fines.

County Regulations and State Park Permits

For vehicle admission into the state parks and recreation parts of the city, state boat ramps, state forest camp areas, and state trail parking facilities, the Recreation Passport replaced by the previous state parks sticker is required. It is strictly necessary to buy state, city, municipal and regional park passes separately.

The Recreation Passport is your key to Visiting more than 100 state sport and recreation zones, parks for rural wildlife camp areas, and yards of trails. DNR boating access or boat launches and joining significant outdoor family events and classes teach to preserve our natural environment for the next generation to see. 

Possession by minors of alcoholic drinks is strongly discouraged. Staying is limited to 15 days in a row. Visitors must keep their pets on a 6-foot leash. It is encouraged not to leave animals unsupervised. Clean up after them, and they are not allowed at the beach. There is a provision for a fishing licence; except for the Free Fishing Days, you must obtain a permit to fish if you are above 17. It is accessible at the Woodland State Park Visitor Center.

Not only does the purchasing of a leisure passport gain automobile entry to beaches, trails, and lakes, but the proceeds go into repairs for the municipal parks throughout the state. 

Safety Tips

The possibilities are almost endless when planning a trip. It would help to never be too vigilant in having explorations on areas like these. Here are a few essential safety guides to bear in mind for a perfect getaway.

Days will go from bright and humid to cold and rainy here in the North Country in no time, so always dress appropriately for the weather. The easiest way to tackle this array of environmental conditions is to dress in layers. Cotton is cool and quickly dries. And when they are muddy, the wool and polar fleece keep you warm. Rain gear is critical and can also double as a wind suit. Also, to prevent mosquitoes or other bug bites, cover up with long sleeves, trousers, and head protection. 

Always be prepared to deliver First Aid. Without a decent First-Aid Kit, no wilderness outfit is complete. Ensure that the kit is ready before leaving home and that the medications are not yet expired. Study first-aid measures that might be necessary. Know that there isn’t a clinic nearby. You can save a life with the First Aid you handle.

During storms or strong winds, keep off the lakes. During thunderstorms, use strict caution. If a storm comes, rush to the closest dock and take cover to escape tall trees that might draw lightning.

Before the trip, planning will go a long way in ensuring a fun and safe wilderness experience.


Reservations can be made early up to 60 days in advance of a visitor’s expected arrival date for all camp locations and harbor points. Reservations can also be made up to one year in advance for overnight lodging or day-use accommodation. Visit www.midnrreservations.com for making your reservations.

RV Essentials

Knowing all the must-have things to make a trip on the road a perfect one can be overwhelming, so here are the must-have items to put on your list to make all of your road-tripping adventures equipped for you.

RV Essentials for your Trip

You will need these RV travel essentials and accessories to make your trip away from home more convenient, ready, and equipped for caravanning and enjoying various activities at Michigan’s CampGrounds.

RV LED String Light Not only can these incredible LED lights provide you with illumination during your nights in the wilderness, but they will also give you an extra vibe while outspanning or hanging on the deck. 

RV Friendly Toilet Paper Indeed, you do need to use RV toilet paper. It’s a part of RV life to use the bathroom, which means toilet paper is undoubtedly essential. The items they sell at the store are different from toilet paper meant for use in RVs. A very sensitive thing is the sewerage in your RV. It isn’t as reliable inside a house as a drainage facility, suggesting that you need toilet paper that is RV compliant.

RV Converter Charger You’ll also need a converter charger because it is the only way to charge the shore power or generator power in your RV battery system at a campsite.

RV Leveling Blocks To stabilize the RV and level it out, do not forget to bring leveling blocks. The blocks keep the wheel in place until it is in position and bite into the ground below them to have a solid surface.

RV Door Locks For additional protection, you will always need a sturdy automobile door lock — not only to deter anyone from trespassing, but it also offers the peace of mind that is so much wanted when staying at campsites or RV parks.

RV Dehumidifier To ensure that your RV is moisture-free, you should have a dehumidifier, especially if the weather unexpectedly changes when temperatures drop,  and humidity seems too low.

RV GPS We know that RVs should remain on roads that help the carrier avoid heavy traffic, low bridges, weight restrictions, cyclist-rich roads, and narrow roads. Weather and Live traffic alerts are on GPS systems, which will always help you know what’s coming on a particular route and work with you to find your destination, particularly in Michigan, where there are various tenting grounds.

Additional Essentials

Food and Kitchen Equipments

  •  Lightweight tablewares and tumblers
  •  Bottle opener 
  •  Can opener
  •  Paper towels and napkins
  •  Coffee pot, mugs, and coffee
  •  Cutting board and knives
  •  Cooking utensils and vessels 

  (Food Suggestions)

  •   Pancakes, eggs, and bacon or sausage.
  •   Breakfast burritos.
  •   Cereal, milk, and fruit.
  •   Yogurt, granola, and fruit.
  •   Bread
  •   Peanut butter and jelly.
  •   Canned foods
  •   Marshmallows and chocolate for nightly s’mores.

Hygiene Supplies

  •  RV-friendly toilet paper
  •  Towels: bath, hand, facial, dish, and beach
  •  Bedding including sheets, covers, pillows, and blankets
  •  Toothbrush
  •  Sunscreen
  •  Bug repellent

Don’t forget cleaning supplies, including chemicals, hand vacuum, wet mop, etc.

Establishments in the County

There are many restaurant and lodging options in the vicinity of the area you can choose from. Lodging varies from Yurts, Rustic Cabins, Mini Cabins, Camper Cabins, Teepees, and more. The area also does not disappoint for food lovers! There are Diners, pubs, snack houses, and pizza parlors. 

Establishments Around the Area


Multiple fun activities await you at the Porcupine Mountains. Don’t think twice to give your RV trip in Michigan a go. The state has natural wonders that will certainly make you go for the ultimate and memorable life adventure!

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