Table of Contents Show
Fall camping in Michigan is an activity that you must add to your bucket list.
Campgrounds are pleasant with the mild weather and the leaves changing color. Try camping in the fall in the mitten state, and you’re likely to come back annually.
Learn what it’s like and where you’ll find the 10 best campgrounds that stay open into October.
Let’s get started!
Is Fall a Good Time for Camping?
For a few reasons, fall is one of the best times for camping in Michigan. The crowds are minimal, as kids are back to school and summer vacations are over.
You may have a campground almost to yourself during the fall. The weather is mild without the intense humidity of July and August.
And the leaves change color, so you can also turn your camping trip into a color tour.
Fall camping in Michigan is a favorite for many. It’s an opportunity to experience the state’s great outdoors and waterways with fewer crowds.
But the weather is mild, so you can still dip your toes in one of the Great Lakes. We highly recommend camping in the mitten state in September and October.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking for other great fall destinations, then You Have to Visit These National Parks in the Fall!
How Is Fall Time in Michigan?
Fall time in Michigan is beautiful. The leaves begin changing color around the end of September and the beginning of October. It’s a sight to see.
The temperatures start to drop at night but can still be between 50 degrees and 70 degrees when the sun is out. And that state has plenty of apple orchards and wineries to stop in for tastings.
There are also a lot of festivals throughout the state during the fall months, such as beer festivals.
Can You Camp Year Round in Michigan?
Fall camping in Michigan is the latest most campgrounds in the state are open. And they open again in early to late Spring. However, you can find campgrounds that are open year-round.
For example, some rustic campsites in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan allow winter tent camping.
And other RV resorts allow year-round camping and have sites equipped with heated, raised water spigots.
Pro Tip: You might think winter camping would be fun, but you should think twice. Read What They Don’t Tell You About Winter Camping before committing!
Top 10 Campgrounds for Fall Camping in Michigan
We found 10 of the best campground for fall camping in Michigan.
Each campground is open into the fall and has opportunities for epic views of the colorful autumn leaves.
1. Ionia State Recreation Area Campground
Address: 2880 W David Hwy, Ionia, MI, 48846
Price: $24 per night
Why It’s Great for Fall Camping: Ionia State Recreation Area Campground is a great place to stay in the fall due to its wooded setting and access to a lake.
The inland lake typically stays warm through September, and the leaves are beautiful in this area.
The campground is fairly remote yet close to the city of Grand Rapids for day trips, shopping, and restaurants.
Campsites have electricity, bathhouses, water stations, and a dump station. In addition, equestrian camping is here.
2. Waterloo Recreation Area
Address: 16345 McClure Rd, Chelsea, MI 48118
Price: $30 per night
Why It’s Great for Fall Camping: With multiple lakes for fall fishing and boating, Waterloo Recreation Area is an excellent spot for fall camping.
Since it’s in southern Michigan, you’ll want to camp here in October to catch the leaves changing color.
The campground has electricity-only campsites, but you’ll find bathhouses, water stations, and a dump station on-site. There is also a riding stable, and the campground is pet-friendly.
3. Hartwick Pines State Park Campground
Address: Camp Lavictore Rd, Grayling, MI 49738
Price: $35 per night
Why It’s Great for Fall Camping: Hartwick Pines State Park is in northern Michigan, which is the ideal setting for a fall color tour. Keep an eye out for the peak of autumn in this area and book your stay during that time. You won’t be disappointed.
Campsites are electricity-only with a bathroom, water stations, and a dump station in the campground. There is also a nature trail and a lake for fishing nearby.
In addition, the famous Mackinac Bridge, which separates the lower from the upper peninsula of Michigan, is an easy day trip from here.
Keep in Mind: Grab an RV Rental in Michigan and hit the road! We found some of the best places to rent an RV in Michigan!
4. Tahquamenon Falls State Park
Address: 41382 W M-123, Paradise, MI 49768
Price: $39 per night
Why It’s Great for Fall Camping: Tahquamenon Falls State Park, in the Upper Peninsula, has multiple waterfalls you can view during fall camping in Michigan.
The area’s beauty is unlike any other in the state, and visiting during the autumn is especially dreamy.
RV campgrounds near the lower falls have bathrooms and water stations. Each site has electrical hookups. And the campground is pet-friendly and provides easy access to hiking trails throughout the state park.
5. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Address: N8391 Sand Point Rd, Munising, MI 49862
Price: $25 per night
Why It’s Great for Fall Camping: Seeing Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore from a boat tour in the fall is one of the best ways to see the natural phenomenon. And when the fall colors are at their peak, you’ll have it engrained in your memory forever.
Campgrounds in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore are for RVs no longer than 36 feet. And there are also some tent-only sites. Campsites do not have electricity, water, or sewer.
Additionally, the campgrounds have no amenities except for vault toilets and well water.
6. Fort Wilkins State Park
Address: 15223 US Hwy 41, Copper Harbor, MI 49918
Price: $30 per night
Why It’s Great For Fall Camping: You’ll feel like you’re on top of the world at Fort Wilkins State Park, with easy access to Lake Superior.
Seeing the autumn leaves reflect on the lake is the perfect reason to spend time fall camping in Michigan.
Campsites at Fort Wilkins State Park only have electrical hookups. The campground has bathhouses, water stations, and a dump station. It’s also a pet-friendly park.
7. Porcupine Mountains State Park
Address: Ontonagon, MI 49953
Price: $35 per night
Why It’s Great for Fall Camping: Porcupine Mountains State Park is a popular place for hiking in the forests of northern Michigan. The fall is the perfect time to hike through the colorful trees. And there’s a good chance of spotting wildlife.
The Union Bay Campground and Porcupine Mountains Presque Isle Campground offer electricity at RV and tent sites. Pets are allowed, and there are showers, potable water, and modern toilets on-site.
8. Muskegon State Park
Address: 3560 Memorial Dr, North Muskegon, MI 49445
Price: $42 per night
Why It’s Great for Fall Camping: Muskegon State Park is a great place for fall camping in Michigan, as it’s close to the city yet secluded enough to be quiet.
The state park offers sandy beaches along Lake Michigan, and it’s within a short drive to downtown Muskegon for shopping, restaurants, and entertainment.
Campsites at Muskegon State Park have electric-only hookups. The campground has a bathhouse, water stations, and a dump station. And it’s pet-friendly.
Pro Tip: Michigan National Parks are gorgeous in the fall! While camping in Michigan, you must visit these parks at least once!
9. Cheboygan State Park
Address: 4490 Beach Rd, Cheboygan, MI 49721
Price: $27 per night
Why It’s Great for Fall Camping: Cheboygan State Park is wooded and a great place to engulf in the changing of the leaves. Fall camping in Michigan is usually a little cooler than the summer months, and Cheybogan is the perfect place to sit by the campfire with warm apple cider.
Each campsite has a fire pit and 20 amp electricity. The campground is pet-friendly and has a dump station, pavilion, and bathrooms. It also sits on Lake Huron for easy access to swimming and enjoying the lakeshore.
10. Fayette Historic State Park
Address: State Park, Garden, MI 49835
Price: $30 per night
Why It’s Great for Fall Camping: Fayette Historic State Park is a fun place to stay for those who like history. Located in the upper peninsula, the fall is the perfect time to visit. It’s quiet and beautiful.
Campsites have electricity-only, a fire pit, and grassy lots. The campground has a bathhouse, water stations, and a dump station. You can easily walk to the beach and historical sites from the campground.
Enjoy Your Camping Adventures in Michigan This Fall
Fall camping in Michigan is a favorite for many. If you try it, we think you’ll see why.
The cool temperatures, changing leaves, and seasonal fruits and comfort foods make the fall time a highlight in the state. And with fewer crowds, you’re likely to experience more of the area you stay in.
Let us know if you do some fall camping in Michigan. We would love to hear about your experience!