Dispersed Camping

Dispersed camping is allowed on Hiawatha National Forest lands except developed recreation and administrative sites, campgrounds and designated campsites. The following restrictions apply:

  • Your stay is limited to 16 days. After this period, your camping equipment and all persons must move to another site at least one mile away, for an additional stay, not to exceed 16 days.
  • Do not block any roads or restrict access to National Forest lands by others.
  • Follow “Leave No Trace” principles (See https://lnt.org/why/7-principles) so that public lands will remain clean and attractive for others to enjoy.
  • Camping in areas posted closed is prohibited.
  • Camping within fifty (50) feet of a body of water is prohibited, unless otherwise posted. (Exceptions include Grand Island National Recreation Area (100 feet from water, cliff edge, private property, trails, other campsites, special use recreation residences or recreation developments) and Big Island Lake Wilderness (200 feet from water). Do not camp at boat launches.
  • On lakes with designated or reservable campsites, you may not set up your campsite within 400 feet of the shoreline anywhere on the lake.
  • Note that camping reservations are required for these lakes: Bass Lake, Bear Lake, Camp Cook, Carr Lake, Chicago Lake, Cookson Lake, Council Lake, Crooked Lake, East Lake, Ewing Point, Gooseneck Lake, lronjaw Lake, Jackpine Lake, Lake Nineteen, Leg Lake, Lyman Lake, McKeever Cabin, Minerva Lake, Mowe Lake, Steuben Lake, Swan Lake, Toms Lake Cabin, and Triangle Lake.
  • For additional information about national forest camping, see Agency and Forest Supervisor's orders.

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Dispersed Camping Areas

  • East Zone area description
  • Sault Sainte Marie Ranger District area description
  • St. Ignace Ranger District area description
  • West Zone area description
  • Munising Ranger District area description
  • Rapid River/ Manistique Ranger District area description
  • Indian River Canoe Trail
  • Pine Marten Run Trail

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities