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Old 01-10-2013, 05:45 PM   #1
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Michigan CG Advice

Hi everyone!
It's getting to be that time! We're headed back to Michigan, Upper Peninsula this time. We have 9 nights and we're thinking about splitting them between Brimley and Muskallonge Lake State Parks. I've heard of Brimely, but nothing about Muskallonge. Has anyone been there or any other suggestions for CG's in Upper Peninsula?

Thanks!

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Old 01-10-2013, 09:58 PM   #2
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Kim, I have not done Brimley or Muskallonge yet but I have neighbors that go to Brimley twice a year and love it. I think they go for the gambling as there is a really nice casino resort there. I go to Porcupine SP on the far west side of the UP every year with the family and love it. Stay at the Union Bay loop which is the modern side. We hike, bike and cool off in Lake Superior which the SP borders. You have to do it at least once. No chance you are near Greenville, OH are you ??? I was just there on business. Hope this helps somewhat.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:12 AM   #3
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Kim, as we are too new to camping in an RV, I have yet to camp in any CG in the UP. We have driven through a couple to check them out for future trips. Straits SP is nice, with lots of mature trees and incredible views of the Mackinac Bridge. It is literally less than 3 minutes from the Bridge. Tahquemenon SP is also very nice, with many camp sites along the river, although I'm not sure if there any views of the falls from camp. Friends have said that Brimley is nice, too. And I haven't heard anything bad about the Union Bay CG within the Porcupine Mountains SP. All come highly recommended, and all of them are on our list of places to camp... Hey, it's northern Michigan, you can't go wrong!!! Happy Camping!!
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:10 PM   #4
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Kim, I have not done Brimley or Muskallonge yet but I have neighbors that go to Brimley twice a year and love it. I think they go for the gambling as there is a really nice casino resort there. I go to Porcupine SP on the far west side of the UP every year with the family and love it. Stay at the Union Bay loop which is the modern side. We hike, bike and cool off in Lake Superior which the SP borders. You have to do it at least once. No chance you are near Greenville, OH are you ??? I was just there on business. Hope this helps somewhat.
Wolverine,
We are 70 miles south of Greenville, home of the famous Kitchen-Aid mixer! Whew! We do have a lot to think about and may have to make decision based on availability. I remember how difficult it was for us to get spots at Platte River and Ludington last year. I ended up getting them, but had to check daily and we had to switch sites every 2 days.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:34 PM   #5
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Kim,

Platter River is awesome. They have a list of rules as long as my arm but it was absolutely worth it.

While I was heading out north of Greenville I got to see Annie Oakley's grave site. Had no idea she was buried
In Ohio of all places. Interesting part of the world for sure. Happy camping in Michigan !!
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:00 AM   #6
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As pm1stnau says "Hey, it's northern Michigan, you can't go wrong!!!". IMO, that's 100% correct. I think the UP is one of the most desirable places you can visit - in the summer after fly season. It's all rugged country with no big cities, which is appealing to us. Also, Michigan does a great job of maintaining its state parks (clean and in good repair) and really treats tourists like they appreciate the business. Check out Michigan's SP website (you probably already have) and you will find plenty of great places and attractions.

A great trip if you have the time is going across on the southern or northern main route, and then returning on the other. We like to camp on Lake Gogebic on the west side because we like to fish there, and it's relatively close to Black River Falls (excellent day trip) and Lake-In-The-Clouds. It's a lake left behind by a melted glacier that was trapped in the Porcupine Mountains.

If you go to the east side, Tahquamenon Falls is not-to-be-missed. We camp at the Lower Falls CG because it centrally located, but in season it usually gets full. The River Mouth CG is much quieter, but farther removed. If your near Tahauamenon Falls, Whitefish Point is close. If you go there, you travel through Paradise, MI, and that's where Brown's Fish House is located. Brown's is a small family restaurant that's outstanding. We have never been to the locks at Sioux, but that's something we plan to do next trip.

Another place we really liked was Kitchitikipi near Palms-Book SP (south-central). Kitchitikipi is a Native American word for big spring. It has to be seen to be appreciated.

Kim, I'm glad you asked about the UP. Answering your post has got me excited to plan another trip there.
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:30 AM   #7
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Do you work in the tourist office here in Michigan???? You got me excited to go again and I live here!!



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As pm1stnau says "Hey, it's northern Michigan, you can't go wrong!!!". IMO, that's 100% correct. I think the UP is one of the most desirable places you can visit - in the summer after fly season. It's all rugged country with no big cities, which is appealing to us. Also, Michigan does a great job of maintaining its state parks (clean and in good repair) and really treats tourists like they appreciate the business. Check out Michigan's SP website (you probably already have) and you will find plenty of great places and attractions.

A great trip if you have the time is going across on the southern or northern main route, and then returning on the other. We like to camp on Lake Gogebic on the west side because we like to fish there, and it's relatively close to Black River Falls (excellent day trip) and Lake-In-The-Clouds. It's a lake left behind by a melted glacier that was trapped in the Porcupine Mountains.

If you go to the east side, Tahquamenon Falls is not-to-be-missed. We camp at the Lower Falls CG because it centrally located, but in season it usually gets full. The River Mouth CG is much quieter, but farther removed. If your near Tahauamenon Falls, Whitefish Point is close. If you go there, you travel through Paradise, MI, and that's where Brown's Fish House is located. Brown's is a small family restaurant that's outstanding. We have never been to the locks at Sioux, but that's something we plan to do next trip.

Another place we really liked was Kitchitikipi near Palms-Book SP (south-central). Kitchitikipi is a Native American word for big spring. It has to be seen to be appreciated.

Kim, I'm glad you asked about the UP. Answering your post has got me excited to plan another trip there.
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:26 AM   #8
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Wolverine, I don't live or work in Michigan, but I know when I've had a good trip! And they have all been good enough to make me want to go again.

This year Yellowstone NP and the Grand Tetons have our attention, so Michigan will have to wait awhile. I checked the weather in Jackson Hole before logging in here. It was -8 F (-22 C), so I'm glad we're not there now.

Anyway, I'm happy for you being a Michigan resident. That is really a plus being near to all those natural attractions.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:07 AM   #9
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OnTheGo, I saw you were from Ohio so I thought I would tease you a bit. I am very lucky to have a great SP system in my own backyard. I am originaly from extreme northern Michigan and
ended up moving closer to civilization because by job requires me to be closer to an airport....I travel a lot !!! So camping was a way for me to get back to my roots and teach my boys that life isn't all about concrete and bright lights.

Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons sound tremendous.....just not now LOL.....I agree. I am planning on extending my Michigan SP travels this year and will always be glad to clue you in on the next hotspot I find.

Happy Camping !!!


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Wolverine, I don't live or work in Michigan, but I know when I've had a good trip! And they have all been good enough to make me want to go again.

This year Yellowstone NP and the Grand Tetons have our attention, so Michigan will have to wait awhile. I checked the weather in Jackson Hole before logging in here. It was -8 F (-22 C), so I'm glad we're not there now.

Anyway, I'm happy for you being a Michigan resident. That is really a plus being near to all those natural attractions.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:50 AM   #10
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Wolverine: My hubby loved the idea of Porcupine SP. I hadn't considered going that far west of UP because that does change our driving time by another 100 miles, or so, but we're hoping to stay put at one CG once we get there. We're looking at 9 nights. My question (and don't laugh!): Is there enough there (and short drives around) to keep us busy? We love to hike, bike and are pretty adventurous, but only plan daily hike trips. We will do minimal fishing as hubby can't keep still! Question 2: Is there good swimming there? I have a 6 yr old daughter that LOVES the beach (and sand!).

OntheGo: Thanks for advice on Lake Gogebic! Even though we won't do a lot of fishing, how is the beach/swimming there, in case we do decide to split up our CG stays? Hiking and biking assessable? Also, since you're in our are of SW Ohio, you could give us advice on the drive. How bad is it?! Did you do all in one day? We are making this trip in August before school begins again. I want to book 6 mos ahead and hope I don't have trouble like last year.

I've been intrigued with MI State Parks for awhile and even bought a book! We absolutely loved our trip up Lake Michigan side last year and made an impromptu stay at Charles Mears SP on way back and thought that was a hidden gem. We all agreed that was one of our favs. The beach was incredible! The kids even braved Lake Michigan. If we didn't know any better, we would of thought we were on a beach on the ocean! But, our visits to Mears, Platte River, and Ludington will always be thought of fondly.
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:45 PM   #11
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Wolverine: My hubby loved the idea of Porcupine SP. I hadn't considered going that far west of UP because that does change our driving time by another 100 miles, or so, but we're hoping to stay put at one CG once we get there. We're looking at 9 nights. My question (and don't laugh!): Is there enough there (and short drives around) to keep us busy? We love to hike, bike and are pretty adventurous, but only plan daily hike trips. We will do minimal fishing as hubby can't keep still! Question 2: Is there good swimming there? I have a 6 yr old daughter that LOVES the beach (and sand!).

OntheGo: Thanks for advice on Lake Gogebic! Even though we won't do a lot of fishing, how is the beach/swimming there, in case we do decide to split up our CG stays? Hiking and biking assessable? Also, since you're in our are of SW Ohio, you could give us advice on the drive. How bad is it?! Did you do all in one day? We are making this trip in August before school begins again. I want to book 6 mos ahead and hope I don't have trouble like last year.

I've been intrigued with MI State Parks for awhile and even bought a book! We absolutely loved our trip up Lake Michigan side last year and made an impromptu stay at Charles Mears SP on way back and thought that was a hidden gem. We all agreed that was one of our favs. The beach was incredible! The kids even braved Lake Michigan. If we didn't know any better, we would of thought we were on a beach on the ocean! But, our visits to Mears, Platte River, and Ludington will always be thought of fondly.
CruizinKim, I don't mean to interrupt as I know you posed a question to Wolverine, but if I may interject with some information, I may be able to help. As far as beaches along Lake Superior, yes there are some, but be warned: The waters of Lake Superior actually cool the air around it, as opposed to any other body of water in the world where the air actually warms the temperature of the water. Confused? In simpler terms, Lake Superior never gets warm enough to swim in--period. I can tell you from experience that in August of 2011, after almost 4 months of continuously hot weather, I ran into Lake Superior near the city of Munising (absolutely gorgeous, BTW!) and by the time I was in water knee-deep, my legs were already numb. Not to scare you off, but if you have kids, they may not like the cold water. There are still many beautiful waterfalls, lighthouses, wildlife, sunsets, and if you stay anywhere near Munising, the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Look it up on Google--and it's way better in real life!! I think there are plenty of activities to keep your family busy and entertained, I just wouldn't count on swimming in Gitchee Gumee to be on your list. As a resident of Michigan also, I would like to thank you for your continued patronage to my state; we do appreciate the tourism business that folks like you provide. Happy Camping!!
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:04 PM   #12
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Thanks pm1stnau! No problem! Love the advice! That's good to know. I certainly could care less about the swimming part, but the 6 year loves the water and if there's a lake nearby that does offer swimming, that would certainly work. She'd be happy with that! She would be happy just to have a nice sandy spot to play in. We have a lot of camping scheduled this summer that involves ALOT of swimming/boating/tubing so she will not be lacking. I'm just grateful that she and my teenage boys love the outdoors and have no trouble keeping up with us!! Plus, it probably did help that we didn't give them any other option!
I've read a lot about 'Pictured Rocks' and did want to visit that is why we originally decided on Muskallonge Lake SP because it was so close and would want to spend more than a day visiting it, along with Hiawatha Nat'l Forest (any advice on that?). It does sound like our best bet is to split up on CG visits to get to see the "best of the best." Porcupine SP does sound intriguing and worth a visit, also. Ugh! This is very difficult!
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:36 PM   #13
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Kim, Swimming in Lake Superior is described well in the above post. It is done, but don't count on it. There have been times I could go in the water, but I have also experienced leg cramps from being in knee-deep. Some (not many) of the inland lakes have a beach. Lake Gogebic has a small one in the SP. They are all something like the beach at Hueston Woods - not as big, and IMO, not as nice. We do use and enjoy them. I think swimming is not the main focus because the season is so short.

Hiking and biking: you will get your fill and enjoy all of it. Hiking is reason enough to make the trip.

We stayed at Cheboygan SP the first night out. It's about 525 miles from Cincinnati, and 15 miles southeast of the bridge. I don't remember what time we left home, but we got there late afternoon or early evening. Of course everyone has different travel habits. Next time I'll make a reservation at Straits SP on the north side of the bridge. We checked it out on our return trip and really liked it. They have some waterfront sites with a view of the bridge.

August is an excellent time to go. IMO, the best if you not going for the fishing. And making your reservations early is a good idea.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:06 PM   #14
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LOL, on swimming in Lake Superior !! It is a catch 22 on how hot it will be out and what the water temperature will be. We go in August which is the best time IMO.
It is like the fountain of youth, when you get out you feel like a completely different person. We stay for 1 week when we do go up there. We usually take a drive up to
the Keweenaw Peninsula which is absolutely beautiful. Houghton, Han**** and then up to Copper Harbor which is another SP that is a real hidden gem. Copper Harbor
SP is on our list but it is a trek. We go there to eat lunch, kayak, ride bikes etc. What a find !!! IMO you will have plenty to do other than just being at Porcupine.
I have two very young boys and they even love the trips we have taken up there. If you wanted too, do so many days at Porcupine and then head up to Copper Harbor
will you are there. You won't regret it.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:13 PM   #15
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"I ran into Lake Superior near the city of Munising (absolutely gorgeous, BTW!) and by the time I was in water knee-deep, my legs were already numb."

pm1stnau, I bet your legs are still numb from that experience. I never tell people the water is cold. That is part of the joy I get when I am sitting in my
beach chair with a frosty beverage watching people dive in. :hihi:
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:03 PM   #16
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"I ran into Lake Superior near the city of Munising (absolutely gorgeous, BTW!) and by the time I was in water knee-deep, my legs were already numb."

pm1stnau, I bet your legs are still numb from that experience. I never tell people the water is cold. That is part of the joy I get when I am sitting in my
beach chair with a frosty beverage watching people dive in. :hihi:
Wolverine, usually I am the same way; I won't tell people how cold Lake Superior is--I let them find out the hard way, except this time, with CruizinKim, kids are involved. There isn't much worse than unhappy kids when you're on vacation. Man, that water is cold!!
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:40 AM   #17
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pm1stnau and Kim, forgive me for being insensitive to the fact kids are involved. I was directing this more toward adults which is still insensitive and hard to justify my response.
There is isn't a body of water in the great lakes state that is considered warm bath water so beware !!!
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:43 AM   #18
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pm1stnau and Kim, forgive me for being insensitive to the fact kids are involved. I was directing this more toward adults which is still insensitive and hard to justify my response.
There is isn't a body of water in the great lakes state that is considered warm bath water so beware !!!
No apologies needed for me, Wolverine!! I'm a prankster, through and through. I didn't find your comment insensitive in the least. It's almost impossible to offend me. being a fireman for as long as I have, I have conversations during dinner that would make maggots sick to their stomach. I just didn't want anyone from out-of-town to promise something to their kids on my recommendation only to find out it isn't/wasn't a good idea. Rest assured, sarcasm is more than just a hobby for me. Happy Camping!!
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:20 AM   #19
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We would get along really well then pm1stnau !!!


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No apologies needed for me, Wolverine!! I'm a prankster, through and through. I didn't find your comment insensitive in the least. It's almost impossible to offend me. being a fireman for as long as I have, I have conversations during dinner that would make maggots sick to their stomach. I just didn't want anyone from out-of-town to promise something to their kids on my recommendation only to find out it isn't/wasn't a good idea. Rest assured, sarcasm is more than just a hobby for me. Happy Camping!!
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:43 PM   #20
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I didn't find the remark insensitive either and I have kids! I would probably be sitting in my chair waiting for the prank to evolve! I'm good with the fact that there is not going to be any swimming. If I was really worried about it, I would find a CG that offered a pool. My daughter will have a summer full of swimming opportunities. I, and my hubby, are thrilled about the exploring opportunities. I'm looking forward to making some more memories with my children, especially my boys who will be 15 and 17 when we take this trip. College and new beginnings are not far off for them.
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