Island Lake Campground

Area Status: Open

Island Lake Campground

Island Lake Campground is a popular campground and picnic area featuring a swimming beach, marked with buoys, on the 58-acre lake.

Island Lake is a small, sheltered lake. The forest around the campground is mixed hardwoods with many wildlife and waterfowl viewing opportunites.  Island Lake and the surrounding landscape are the result of glacial retreat.

Brochure and Map: This brochure is set to print on 11 x 17 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.

Flickr Photo Album

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week unless otherwise posted.
Area Amenities: Boat ramp, Parking
Fees: Recreation Enhancement Act Fee - Day Use -
  • Day: $5.00
  • Week: $15.00
Camping (per night)-
  • Single site: $15.00
Permit Info: 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.
Open Season: May 1 - September 30
Usage: Light
Best Season: May 19 to Septemer 10
Restrictions: 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
Closest Towns: Mio, Rose City
Water: Drinking Water
Restroom: Vault
Operated By: Mio Ranger District
Information Center:

General Information


From West Branch -

  • Travel east on M-55 for 5 miles.
  • Turn left and travel north on M-33 for 16 miles.
  • Turn left and travel west on Loon Lake Loop Rd. for 1 mile.
  • The site is located on the left.

General Notes:

Location - Island Lake

Nearby Recreation Areas -

  • Loon Lake Day Use Area
  • Wagner Lake Campground

County - Oscoda

Seasonal and Other Information -

  • Gated when closed.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Sand Play

Amenities -

  • Beach

Campground Camping

Amenities -

  • Dumpster
  • Beach
  • Nature Trail
No. of Sites Single: 17
Reservation Info No reservation needed.  All sites are first come, first served.
Sleeping Shelter No

RV Camping

Amenities -

  • Dumpster
  • Beach
  • Nature Trail
No. of Sites Single: 17
Pavement Type for Parking Dirt/Gravel
Reservation Info No reservation needed.  All sites are first come, first served.
Hookup - Water No
Vehicle Clearence Low - Medium
Hookup - Sewer No
Size Restrictions 25 Ft. or Less
Dump Stations No
Hookups - Electric No

Lake and Pond Fishing

Fishing Mode Boat, Shore, Wade
Fish Species Sunfish, Perch, Bass
Fishing Platform No
Cleaning Station No
Water Temperature Cold
Accessible Platform No
Fishing Method Fly, Net, Pole
Water/Flow Level Maximum depth: 25 feet

Day Hiking

There is a short, 1.25-mile loop trail that departs from the campground.  A spur trail, from the loop trail, connects Island Lake Campground with Loon Lake Day Use Area.

Visit Michigan’s Geologic History!

While retreating from Michigan, glaciers left behind a pattern of broad ridges, called moraines. These moraines mark the former location of the ice margin as it paused for a period of time before continuing to melt back.

The Island Lake Nature trail, a short walking trail from the parking area at Loon Lake Day Use Area to Island Lake Campground will take you through part of the West Branch Morraine. Named after the town of West Branch, MI, in Ogemaw County, the West Branch Moraine extends in a northeast-southwest direction in this area. Driving south on M-33 from West Branch to Rose City, you cross the edge of the West Branch Moraine, dropping nearly 400 feet in elevation. This moraine was deposited at the ice margin about 13,800 years ago.

While hiking the Island Lake loop trail, you’ll notice a chaotic arrangement of deep circular depressions and winding ridges. Together, these landforms are known as kettle and kame topography. Kettles mark the spot where large chunks of ice persisted after the glacier retreated. Once the ice chunks finally melted away, a circular depression was left on the landscape. Kames are simply the mounds and ridges between kettles. They formed as glacial drift “washed in” and surrounded the ice chunks that later melted to become kettles.

As you hike along the Island Lake Nature Trail and visit the viewing dock at Crater Lake, think about how the landscape may have changed in the thousands of years since the glaciers melted away… different forest types, and the fungi, plants, and animals they support have come and gone as the climate has changed.


Amenities -

  • Dumpster
  • Beach
  • Nature Trail
No. of Sites 5
Reservation Info No reservation needed. All sites are first come, first served.

Boating - Non-Motorized

Trailer Parking No
Size Restrictions None
Type of Craft Canoe, Kayak


Amenities -

  • Beach
Water Temperature Cold


Parking: 50 vehicle capacity
Boat ramp: Gravel

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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