Lake Michigan Recreation Area is a four loop campground located on the shoreline to Lake Michigan between Manistee and Ludington. In addition to the 99 single family sites and 3 group sites, the site also boasts a day use area with multiple picnic tables, pavilions and a playground, an ampitheater and an overlook. Arrowhead Trail, which runs through the campground, connects to the wilderness trails that traverse Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area.
Brochure with map: This is the brochure for Nordhouse Dunes, which also shows Lake Michigan Recreation Area. This brochure is set to print on 8.5x14 paper, landscape (wide) orientation. To print on 8 1/2 x 11 paper set the print area to "shrink to printable area", this will make the text on the page smaller.
All Loops: loops are open from May 5, 2016 to Oct. 10, 2016.
Oak and Violet Loops: open for limited use from Oct. 11, 2016 to Oct. 14, 2016.
Camping loops are gated when closed. Day Use Area(s) -
Beach Access: managed season starts April 1, 2016.
Day Use Area - Picnic Area: Managed Season starts May 1, 2016 and ends Dec. 1, 2016.
This area is gated when closed. Campground Reservations:
Hemlock and Violet Loops: No reservation needed. All sites are first come, first serve.
Orchid and Oak Loops (25 sites on each loop):Reservations needed May 5 to Sept. 11.
Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week unless otherwise posted.
Concessionaire Fee - Camping (per night):
Single Site: $21.00
Double Site: $25.00
Group Site (up to 25 people): $50.00
Group Site (26 – 50 people): $65.00
Extra Vehicle: $6.00/vehicle
Recreation Enhancement Act Fee -Beach and Picnic Day Use Areas -
Special Use Permit -
No special use permit is required for individuals or small groups (74 people or less).
Permits are required for commercial, event or large groups (75 people or more).
Visit the Passes and Permits section for more information on obtaining a special use permit.
May to October
As a visitor to the National Forest, you are asked to follow certain rules designed to protect the Forest, natural resources and to provide for public safety of visitors.
These rules are available to you on-line or at any office of the Huron-Manistee National Forests. Please take time to read and understand them. General Topic orders apply across the Forests.
Applicable Orders -
Motorized Vehicle Use of Roads, Trails and Off-road Areas; R904-14-02
Occupancy and Use - Developed Recreation Areas, Dispersed Areas, Being Publicly Nude, Marine Prohibitions, Parking and Sanitation; R904-14-03
The Lake Michigan Shoreline is the summer habitat for the Piping Plover. The piping plover is a relative of the Killdeer. Piping Plovers are smaller, and lighter colored. Breeding adults have a single black band around the neck, while the Killdeer has two. The Great Lakes population of piping plovers is endangered — they are in danger of extinction. The “piping” part of the name is a description of its call, a sweet, soft whistle. Plovers are a group of shorebirds that feed with run-stop-peck movements, somewhat like the way an American robin feeds.
The ultimate wildlife viewing experience is watching animals in their habitat. Here are some helpful tips to become a wildlife friendly viewer:
Use the right tools - A field guide, a pair of binoculars and a camera. Wear clothing that is appropritate for the season and activitiy.
Watch at dawn and dusk - This is the time when most wildlife species are active enough to view.
Keep your distance - Maintain a distance that is comfortable for the wildlife.
Stay quiet - Move slowly and quietly to increase your chances of viewing wildlife, and to avoid stressing the animals you wish to watch.
Do not feed the wildlife - There is plenty of food availale in the wild. Human food can cause digestive problems, provide improper nutrition, and even kill an animal.