Just a short drive to the southeast of Grand Marais, Michigan, you can find the gorgeous wooded wonderland of Lake Superior State Forest. This forest covers more than a million acres of land in the Upper Eastern Peninsula divided by the Naub-Sault, Newberry, and Shingleton sections. Three different kinds of pine, several types of spruce, and cedar and birch trees make up most of the forest. While almost three-quarters of the land is forest, there is also 136,233 acres of water to enjoy.
Whether you are looking for a spot to go fishing, swimming, boating, or just relax with the family, there are several campgrounds within the forest that have sites with space for up to a 50-foot RV or trailer. Many people come from all over the country to camp by Lake Superior and what better place to do that but in Lake Superior State Forest?
If you want to see some wild critters while you are here, you are in luck because there are plenty of them. In fact, there are over 500,000 deer, rabbits, and grouse here as well as elk, raccoons, opossums, and hundreds of species of birds. Whether you are here to take pictures or hunt, the wildlife is just waiting for you.
The Lake Superior State Forest is bordered on the north by Lake Superior, the south by Lake Michigan, the east by Interstate 75, and the west by Newberry State Forest Area. Just 11 miles west of Grand Marais and 34 miles north of Newberry in northeast Michigan, you can find this awesome forest on the banks of the massive Lake Superior. If you are headed to the forest, you can either take Highway 123 from the north, east, or west or Highway 28 from the south.
Most of the roads heading into the forest are narrow and winding so you will need to take it slow no matter what you are driving, but you should be extra careful if you are pulling a camper or driving a large campervan. In the winter and early spring you should contact the street department for road conditions before coming because it snows heavily here, and most back roads do not get plowed.
Because this is the forest and the terrain is rugged, you should know that the roads in the campgrounds are not as maneuverable as most roads so it is best if you park the RV in your campsite and walk or ride a bike wherever you want to go.
The Muskallonge Lake State Park Campground is another is on the banks of Lake Superior, as well as its namesake, Muskallonge Lake. In fact, your campsite will be just a short walk to the Lake Superior beach and sits right on the beach of the Muskallonge Lake. This campground is much larger than the Lake Superior State Forest Campground with a total of 159 campsites that allow RVs and trailers up to 45 feet in length. Each of the sites have electric hookups, a fire ring, and a picnic table.
This 217-acre park is well-known for its fishing, swimming, and boating opportunities as well as ATV, hiking, hunting, and snowmobile trails. They have modern restrooms, showers with hot water, and playgrounds as well as a visitors center and picnic areas. Most of these sites are reservable, but fill up fast so reserve your spot well in advance. Dogs and cats are welcome as long as they are restrained during your visit.
In the upper peninsula of Michigan, the Lake Superior State Forest Campground has 18 campsites on the shores of Lake Superior. All campsites have space for small RVs up to 26 feet in length. These spacious sites also have fire rings with grills for cooking, a picnic table, and a cleared space for your RV or tent. The campground also has several vault toilets and a potable water hand pump.
Located in the middle of mature white and red pine trees that provide plenty of shade, this campground is very popular with the locals and visitors from all over the country. Because there are only 18 sites and they are on a first-come, first-served basis, you must get here early if you want a spot, especially on holidays and weekends. Pets are also welcome as long as they are restrained during your visit.
There are more than 50 campsites available on a first-come, first-served basis. However, due to the popularity of the park, you are encouraged to get here early if you want a good spot, especially on the holidays and weekends.
It doesn’t matter whether you are going to fish in Lake Superior, Muskallonge Lake, one of the smaller lakes, or one of the rivers, just make sure you pack those poles in the RV. In Lake Superior you can fish for just about any freshwater critter you can think of from bass to walleyes to perch. They even have some super huge muskellunge and catfish that can weigh more than 50 pounds. Muskellunge are a popular fish to try for in the Muskallonge Lake as well as all of these other fish including bluegill and pike.
If you would like to hunt, the off-season is the time to go in the Lake Superior State Forest. In fact, the end of September through October are the perfect times to hunt bear, elk, and deer. If you want to hunt something a bit smaller like rabbits, squirrel, grouse, and quail, you can do that up until January in most areas. Turkey is hunted during the spring though. For more information about hunting dates, rules, and regulations, contact the Department of Natural Resources.
There are more than a dozen cross-country skiing trails in the Lake Superior State Forest that range from one to 14 miles of easy to difficult paths. For a nice and easy short trail, try the 7.7-mile Pine Bowl Pathway, which starts on Tone and Wilson Roads. The Canada Lake Pathway, which starts on County Road 403, will take you on a fun and hilly trek of just over 14 miles. So don’t forget to pack the skis in the RV before you leave to come to the forest.
With over 75 miles of awesome biking trails, you should make sure you attach your bikes to the camper before heading out to the Lake Superior State Forest. The trails range in length from 1.25 miles to 27.5 miles. The easiest and shortest path is the Bodi Lake Pathway, which is 1.25 miles beginning at the Bodi Lake Campground parking. If you want to tackle the longest trail, which is over 27 miles, the Fox River Pathway starts at the Kingston Lake Campground parking lot on Kingston Lake Road.
Be sure to hook the ATV trailer up to the rig before you leave for the forest because you can find over 100 miles of ATV and motorcycle trails in the Lake Superior State Forest. The Two Heart Trail is a 36-mile trek through the pine and oak trees around several lakes and ponds, and over dozens of small and medium-sized hills. It connects to the longer 49-mile Pine Ridge Trail, which meanders alongside several creeks, lakes, and ponds as well as through the forest. Helmets are mandatory and keep you safe so don’t forget to pack them.
There are plenty of beaches along Lake Superior, Muskallonge Lake, and all the other lakes and rivers in the forest here, so make sure you pack the beach toys and sunscreen in the RV. Whether you want to spend the day getting a tan, playing volleyball on the beach, or splash in the water all day, there is a place just for you if you look for it. However, there are no lifeguards so you will be swimming at your own risk.