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The Best Campgrounds Near Lake Michigan

If campfires and s’mores are included on your summer to-do list, check out the number of campgrounds near Lake Michigan, which allow you to take full advantage of the lake and its beaches. Make reservations now during the camping season, and pack your gear for a Pure Ludington outdoor experience.


Here is a list of the 5 best campgrounds near this big, freshwater lake:

1. Buttersville Campground

Best Sunsets on the Bluff

Located on the Buttersville Peninsula along the Lake Michigan coastline, Buttersville Campground is an 18.5-acre campground with 60 sites. The campground is situated on a bluff overlooking the lake and is popular among campers because of its beautiful sunsets and clean restrooms. This is a great place to take the whole family, including your dog. Fishing is available at a nearby boat launch or pier. Campsites are available by reservation or on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations require a three-night minimum; information is here.

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2. Ludington State Park

Most Opportunities for Recreation

Ludington State Park is Michigan’s premier camping destination and has nearly 5,300 acres of scenic sand dunes, shoreline vistas, ponds, marshlands and forests. It is situated between Hamlin Lake and Lake Michigan with several miles of shoreline and beaches on both bodies of water. Trek to the historic Big Sable Lighthouse overlooking the lake and explore miles of other paved and rustic trails.

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The park offers 352 sites and three mini cabins with electric and modern restrooms. There are also eight non-electric tent sites and 10 rustic, hike-in backpack sites with access to the restroom showers. Sites fill quickly, so reservations are recommended and may be made up to six months in advance for dates between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

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3. Mason County Campground

Quiet, forested sites

Mason County Campground is located approximately five miles south of Ludington. The grounds contain approximately 60 acres of tall trees, mostly hardwoods, with 56 modern campsites placed around a paved circle. Electrical hookup and cabins are available.

A tranquil nature path rolls through this impressive landscape and leads to a picnic area and disc golf course entrance, and Buttersville Beach is less than five miles from here! Find reservation information on the campground’s website.


4. Poncho’s Pond RV Park

Home to 3 Pools

With 268 sites, Poncho’s Pond is situated on 37 grassy acres. It is one block south of US-10 and just five minutes from the public beach at Stearns Park. The campground also has its own pond stocked with fish, as well as paved roads, a playground and three heated pools.

This campground is known for clean showers and restrooms, children’s activities and close proximity to town. Haciendas and casitas are available to rent. Find reservation information here.

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5. Vacation Station RV Resort 

Relaxing and dog friendly

Vacation Station is clean, quiet and only a few miles from the shore of Lake Michigan. Catch some rest and relaxation or bring the whole family. A clubhouse is available for group gatherings, and planned activities are available all season long. No camper? Vacation Station also rents rustic cabins and deluxe cottages.

Enjoy the resort’s heated pool and hot tub, playground, catch-and-release pond, game room, outdoor recreation area and fenced-in dog runs for four-legged campers. Reserve your spot on their website.

6. Cartier Park Campground

Lake & Winding Trails

This 80-acre, wooded campground features a winding path for walking, jogging, biking or rollerblading. Lincoln Lake is nearby, as is Lake Michigan, so fishing, kayaking, boating and swimming are great options. Cartier Park is close to beaches, museums, restaurants and downtown shopping.

Share your camping photos with us using #PureLudington!