Dispersed Camping

  Dispersed foot traffic and primitive tent camping within the Forests is allowed almost anywhere, unless otherwise posted closed and/or "No Camping".Plan Your Trip: Dispersed Camping


Some things to keep in mind when planning where you will be camping are:

  • There is no camping within 200 feet of any body of water, except at designated sites.
  • There is no camping within 400 feet of the Lake Michigan shoreline in the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area.
  • Camping is only allowed at designated sites within the river corridors for the designated Wild and Scenic sections of the Pere Marquette, Pine, Manistee and Au Sable Rivers.
  • Camping or leaving camping equipment (such as, but not limited to tents, camper trailers and/or tarps) is allowed in the same location for up to sixteen (16) days.  After sixteen (16) days the camp and equipment MUST be moved off of Forest Service System lands OR to another location that is at least five (5) miles away.
  • A permit is NOT required to camp on National Forest System lands outside of designated campgrounds.
  • Motorized vehicles may only be operated on designated roads, trails or areas open to that use. To find what roads and trails are open to a particular use, visitors should obtain a Motor Vehicle Use Map.

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Dispersed Camping Areas