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Camping at state parks
Camping at a state park or recreation area
General camping rules
- A responsible person (18 years or older) must register the site and be a member of the party camping each night.
- Campsites are intended for overnight use. An established campsite may not be left unoccupied for more than a 24-hour period.
- In 2023, reservations are held until 3 p.m. two days after the scheduled arrival date. New, in 2024, reservations are held until 3 p.m. the day after the scheduled arrival date. Fees will apply.
- A camper may not camp for more than 15 consecutive nights in any separately administered campground in a state park or recreation area between May 15 and September 15. If a camping party is required to leave a campground upon reaching the 15-night limit, the party is not eligible to return until 5 nights have elapsed.
Check-in & checkout; yellow phone
- Check-in for camping arrivals start at 3 p.m.
- Checkout is 1 p.m.
- Check-in for overnight lodging arrivals start at 4 p.m.
- Checkout is noon.
In the off-season, please use the yellow phone if staff is not in the campground office.
If you arrive during the times below and staff is unavailable at the campground office, please pick up the yellow phone and it will automatically connect you to the call center:
- Monday -Thursday; 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
- Fridays; 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
- Saturdays and Sundays; 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
If you arrive after call center hours, you can check the campground office window for information on site availability and instructions on how to self-register.
Pets are allowed in all campsites and some overnight lodging locations. Pets must be kept quiet, always be on a 6-foot leash, under owner’s immediate control and never left unattended. All pet waste must be properly disposed of in trash receptacles.
No pets allowed in buildings, including toilet and shower buildings, except qualified service animals.
Campsite, vehicle and camping equipment capacity
- No more than six people allowed per campsite.
- One primary camping unit (ie. truck camper, trailer, RV, etc.) may be allowed per campsite. Tents may also occupy the campsite with the trailer, RV, or truck camper within the geographic boundary of the campsite, as long as the number of campers is not violated.
- No more than two vehicles allowed per campsite. A motorhome does not count as a vehicle when used as the camping unit.
- Tent-only campsites are limited to the number of tents that can fit within the site, which means as many tents as necessary to accommodate a single camping party are permitted within site boundaries.
Campfires and firewood
Campfires are permitted in designated fire rings only and must never be left unattended. Do not burn garbage.
Don't move firewood. Invasive insects and diseases have destroyed MILLIONS OF TREES in Michigan – often after hitching a ride on firewood. Hauling firewood, even a short distance, from one part of the state to another is a common way for these invasive species to infest new locations. Please purchase local or certified heat-treated firewood sold in state parks, local stores and roadside stands.
Camping unit and RV rentals
You can always transport your own or rented camping unit or RV in and out of a state park; however, if a rental is being delivered and set up for you at the park, you must rent from a permitted vendor.
Where to camp
Camping is permitted in designated sites only.
Campground and park visitors are not allowed between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.
Please remember that only two vehicles are allowed in each campsite .
The use of fuel-powered generators is not allowed during established quiet hours (10 p.m. to 8 a.m.). To help visitors with medical needs, electric and solar-powered generators are allowed.
Quiet hours are between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. during which time campers can not knowingly cause noise that disturbs others.
Reasonable sound levels must not be exceeded at any time.
Radios, generators or other amplified devices may not create excessive noise.
Sanitation/dump station use
To help reduce impacts to park infrastructure and protect natural resources, non-registered campers are required to pay a $10 fee and have a Recreation Passport to utilize sanitation/dump stations except for locations where infrastructure can't withstand additional use.
Locations that do not allow non-registered campers to utilize sanitation/dump stations include Baraga State Park, Burt Lake SP, Cheboygan SP, Fort Custer SP, Hoeft SP, Holly Recreation Area, North Higgins Lake SP, Port Crescent SP, Rifle River RA and Twin Lakes SP.
Commercial use on state landsIf you are using state lands for commercial purposes, including state parks, recreation areas and boating access sites, an agreement with the DNR is required. Commercial operations are defined as "any activity that involves, directly or indirectly, the buying or selling of goods or services, or the exchange or attempt to offer to exchange goods or services for money, barter, or for anything of value."
Firearms and other weapons
Discharge of firearms, air guns, slingshots or arrows aren't permitted in campground boundaries.
Selling or renting a state-managed campsite, cabin, lodge, or harbor slip is defined as commercial activity and is prohibited. Reservations must be canceled if they cannot be used by the original reservation holder, they cannot be sold or transferred to another party. Park staff may not honor a reservation that has been sold and transferred.