Black River State Forest
Guide

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Introduction

Black River State Forest is a beautiful and peaceful state park located seven miles north-east of Naubinway in Michigan. Tucked within a forest canopy alongside Black River, it’s a popular spot for a range of outdoor activities such as hiking, hunting, fishing, canoeing, and wildlife watching.

Not to be confused with the more built-up campground in Wisconsin of the same name, Black River State Forest in Michigan has only a rustic campground with 12 campsites for tents and RVs or trailers up to 40 feet in length. There are no hookups for RVs. Campers should be willing to embrace the great outdoors – that means limited cell service!

Surrounded by forest and river views, Black River State Forest the perfect place to escape and leave the stress of the everyday behind. While there are no boat launch facilities, there is carry-in access for smaller watercraft such as canoes and kayaks. Paddling along the river is a great spot for bird watching and wildlife watching. Don’t forget your binoculars!

RV Rentals in Black River State Forest

Transportation in Black River State Forest

Driving

Black River State Forest can be found in Mackinac County, seven miles north-east of Naubinway in Michigan, United States. The entrance to the park can be accessed via US-2 and Black River Road.

Inside the park, the roads are mainly dirt roads but they’re maintained well enough that you won’t have to worry about getting your RV or trailer down here. Just keep an eye out for any low hanging branches when you’re parking up.

Once you’ve set up camp, you can get around the park on foot, bike or canoe.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Black River State Forest

Campsites in Black River State Forest

Reservations camping

First-come first-served

Black River State Forest Campground

Black River State Forest Michigan offers a very rustic campground with just the absolute basics. There are 12 campsites for tents and small RVs and trailers up to 40 feet. There are no built-up facilities here or hookups for RVs, so don’t expect any frills. Facilities include vault toilets and potable water from a hand pump well.

The campsites are available on a first come, first served basis. They cannot be reserved in advance.

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Black River State Forest

In-Season

Picnics

With trees, wetlands and river banks to explore, your options for scenic picnics are endless. Pack a picnic basket with lunch and set off on foot to explore Black River State Forest. Whether you prefer to stay at the campground, find a shady spot beneath the trees, or laze about on the river banks, you won’t be disappointed. Keep an eye out for interesting birds and wildlife!

Hiking

Black River State Forest may not be home to the state’s most prominent hiking trails, but going for a lazy stroll through the forest is a great way to spend the day. Escape the heat beneath the canopy of the trees and spot all sorts of birds and wildlife – even just steps from the campground. Pack a picnic and a GPS.

Fishing

Anglers can try their luck fishing for brook trout in Black River during their stay. As the campground is rarely crowded, the park is a peaceful spot to get away from the rat race of everyday life. It’ll be just you, the birds and the sounds of the river. Please note that you will require a valid fishing license from the state of Michigan to fish within Black River State Forest.

Off-Season

Picnics

It’s not just the summer months that make Black River State Forest in Michigan perfect for picnics. The off season months when the campground is a lot quieter are fantastic times to visit. With less noise and disruption, you’re much more likely to spot some cool birds and wildlife! If you’re visiting during the cooler months, pack blankets and a flask of coffee or hot chocolate to warm up.

Bird Watching

Due to its relative solitude, Black River State Forest is a fantastic spot for bird watching in Michigan. Head down to the river banks and keep your eyes peeled for all sorts of interesting species of birds, such as kingbirds, warblers, and a whole lot more. Don’t forget to bring your birding books and binoculars!

Visit Naubinway

If you’re looking for something to do during the off season, consider taking a drive to Naubinway, the northernmost town on the Lake Michigan shoreline in the Upper Peninsula. You’ll find plenty to keep you busy here, from museums to wildlife parks. It’s also famously the largest commercial fishing port on the Great Lakes and you can buy freshly caught fish straight from the docks here.

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