Burt Lake State Park is located in north-central Michigan, just off of I-75. Beautiful woodlands, great fishing, and miles of paddling opportunities await RV visitors at this charming waterside park.
Situated near multiple rivers and lakes, Burt Lake offers access to the gorgeous Burt Lake-Inland Waterway Trail, a 38-mile canoeing and kayaking route that showcases some of the most beautiful landscapes northern Michigan has to offer. The park also sports an active interpretation program, with talks and activities offered regularly. If you're traveling with kiddos, they can be deputized as Junior Rangers after completing some natural history-based activities. Burt Lake offers plenty of accommodations at its modern, with over 300 RV sites in its campground. Reservations can be taken up to six months in advance.
Have you ever wanted to walk along the largest suspension bridge in the US? If you plan to visit over Labor Day weekend, you can join over 50,000 others and walk the bridge during the Annual Bridge Walk. It is an experience you won't want to miss!
And though Burt Lake is a destination in and of itself, it also offers easy access to several other northern Michigan hotspots. Just 30 minutes away are historic Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island. Check out Fort Mackinac, take a stroll through town, or bring your camera over to the scenic Arch Rock. Other nearby parks include Aloha State Park and Wilderness State Park.
Burt Lake State Park is located less than a mile off of I-75, which cuts north-south through the heart of Michigan's "mitten." The local roads that lead to the park are paved and well-maintained. Drivers need not worry about any steep climbs or sharp turns. The most significant weather hazard is snow, which can fall from October through very early May in far northern Michigan. Make sure you check the local weather forecast before heading out!
Burt Lake State Park's campground comprises about half of the park, so finding it should be a breeze. Lots of spots here are pull-throughs, which makes parking, even with a large rig, a lot easier. Once you are parked, you'll find just about everything you need to be with easy walking distance (this is a small park!). There's some additional parking available at the beach/boat launch, but you won't want to bring your RV or trailer there.
Burt Lake State Park's scenic campground is spread across a lightly wooded area just to the south of Burt Lake itself. Some spots are just a few steps from the shore, while others are tucked away a bit farther inland. Tall oaks, pines, maples and more provide at least partial shade to most sites. The campground is quite large -with a whopping 306 sites to choose from, and rigs up to 45 feet long can be accommodated. Many sites here are pull-through, which makes for easy parking.
Electric 20- and 30-amp hookups are available at about two-thirds of the campground's sites, while 50-amp hookups are available at the remaining sites. There are no water or sewage hookups, however, there are several freshwater spigots scattered throughout the campground, and there's also a park dumping/sanitation station.
All spots at Burt Lake's large campground are reservable, and you can do so online. While it may be hard to imagine this sizable campground being filled to capacity, it does happen during peak season, so try to book in advance if you can. Even if the campground isn't full, advance booking means you have a better chance of getting a site that better fits your needs.
Unfilled sites at Burt Lake's main campground can be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. During the off-season, you can rely on there being open sites. However, during the peak season, especially on weekends, first-come, first-served sites will likely be hard to come by.
If you're organizing a youth event, you may want to look into booking Burt Lake's beautiful group camping area. Set apart from the main campground, this large, primitive camping area has a large fire ring and several picnic tables. Burt Lake's group campsite cannot be booked online. Those interested in reserving it must call the park directly.
While the trail network at Burt Lake is not exactly extensive, walking or hiking is still a great way to take in the park's sights and sounds. The foot trail is approximately a mile long and is perfect for the whole family; it's a mellow route that offers views of forests and the lake. Nature programs are also offered at the park -- these can be a great way to learn more about the area's flora, fauna, geology, history and more.
Shoreline fishing is available on the northern end of the park on the Sturgeon River. Depending on when you visit, you may catch walleye, perch, bass, trout, bluegill and many more. Fishing is a big pastime along the Inland waterway, with over 38 miles of rivers and waterways to explore. Be sure to pick up your fishing pass online or at any of the ranger stations within Burt Lake State Park.
Historic Mackinac Island is just 30 minutes away and can be accessed by ferry. Sitting in Lake Huron, in between Michigan's Upper Peninsula and the northern tip of its "mitten," Mackinac has loads of sites and activities packed into its few scenic square miles.
You can visit Fort Mackinac, a historical garrison built by the British in 1780. Both Fort Mackinac and Mackinac Island saw significant battle action during the War of 1812. Today, the fort is part of Mackinac Island State Park, which itself includes several lovely nature trails and Arch Rock, a massive, natural stone arch that sit's right on the island's coast, looking over the waters of Lake Huron.
Mackinac also has a small but charming town filled with great restaurants and gift shops. Whether you take the ferry over for the day or spend a few nights on the island, you'll find no shortage of things to do or sights to see!
Cross-country skiing is an amazing way to take the scenery along the Burt Lake State Park foot trail. You will want to check out the conditions before venturing out, as the trails are not maintained in the winter. If you call ahead, rangers can give you an idea of what snow levels are like. As you ski along the beach shoreline, you'll take in a landscape that's pure northern Michigan. Pets are not allowed along this trail, but they can keep your RV cozy while you are away.
Looking to do something unique on your motorhome trip to Burt Lake? You could visit the world's largest crucifix at Cross in the Woods National Shrine. There's a lovely church ground surrounded by tall pines. You can visit the park year-round, but winter offers both beauty and quietude. You can enjoy daily readings by one of the bishops, or simply unwind in the peaceful chapel. Hours vary depending on the time of year you visit, so check their website beforehand.
Cold temps and thick layers of ice on the lake need not mean an end to the fishing season. Ice fishing is quite popular at Burt Lake and at several nearby lakes and waterways, including Black Lake and Mullett Lake.
You can contact the park ahead of time to get a report on Burt Lake's ice conditions. With the park being so far north, the ice fishing season here can be quite long. Wherever you eventually decide to drop your line, make sure that you have a proper Michigan state fishing license. If you didn't pick yours up online, there are also licenses available at the park's ranger station.