Book Review: Best Tent Camping Michigan


Michigan, like my own state of Wisconsin, has a lovely outdoors scene. I think of Hemingway’s Nick Adams stories, of Great Lakes shorelines (four of them!), and the fascinating dunes along Lake Michigan. The North Country National Scenic Trail also makes its way through both lower Michigan and its Upper Peninsula. So what better place to stay on a visit to this fair state but in the Great Outdoors at a campground?

If you are going to pitch a tent in the Great Lakes State, then Matt Forster is the guy to consult. Forster, a Michigan native, recently released his latest book Best Tent Camping Michigan which provides in-depth information on the best 50 campgrounds that aren’t heavy on the RVs and pop-ups.

Each of the campsites gets three full pages of information which includes a site map, contact info, park rules and costs, and clear directions for getting there (including GPS coordinates). Additionally, you get a thorough summary: of the facilities, area items of interest, the character of the park and surroundings, maybe a note of its history, and — most importantly – where the sweet spots are. Which sites are shaded? Is site number 7 close to the water? Is that pit toilet a bit too close to site 12? These are things you’re not going to find by just “Googling” it.

A shot from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which contains two highly recommended tent camping sites.

The campsite listings are divided into five sections representing geographical divisions of the state itself: Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest, as well as a section for the Upper Peninsula. The overview map inside the front cover gives you this even spread of the best campgrounds at a glance.

The front of the book contains useful information for the traveler, things such as weather concerns, plant and animal warnings (yes, they have bears, but the ticks might be more a threat in the long run) and matters of camp etiquette and smart packing. You really couldn’t ask for more and Forster’s attention to detail makes this an ideal guide for avid campers. Go out and get yourself a copy, and then get yourself to Michigan!

Matt Forster is also the author of Backroads & Byways of Michigan: Drives, Day Trips & Weekend Excursions and Explorer’s Guide Colorado.

One of the gems up the U.P. - Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore - is another listing in Forster's book.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Best Tent Camping Michigan

  • May 18, 2012 at 9:28 am
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    Heading to Sleeping Bear Dunes over Memorial Day. I googled Sleeping Bear Dunes images and this is the first image that came up.

    Reply
    • May 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm
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      That’s Google spying on who you know who has the photos you are searching for I guess. I’d love it if I came up on top of the unenhanced search! Have fun. It’s awesome up there.

      Reply

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