Folks might know it as Motor City but Detroit is also home to plenty of natural beauty. Michigan’s famous sand dunes are across the lower part of the state. Even closer, visitors will find Lake Eerie, Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, and the border with Ontario.
The interior of Michigan has running rivers ideal for fishing and wooded areas where campers can set up their tents, stargaze, hunt, ride horses, or just enjoy one another’s company. Historic sites around Detroit like the Henry Ford Museum are well within driving distance of some great campgrounds.
Whether you’re visiting Detroit or live there and want to escape the city’s bustle for a while, check out these top 20 best campsites to enjoy nature near Detroit!
Drive a short 25 minutes from the center of Detroit into Ontario and you’ll find Windsor Campground. Everything campers need for an enjoyable trip is here on the pristine grounds. Laundry facilities, RV sites with full hookups, flush toilets, showers, plus electric and non-electric tent sites are available.
Possible activities include volleyball, a mini-golf course, and a playground. There are also picnic tables for outdoor meals, fire rings for nighttime lounging, and a catch-and-release fishing pond. Although swimming in the pond isn’t allowed, there’s a swimming pool available to guests in warmer months.
- Modern facilities
- Full hookup RV sites
- On-site store
- Mini-golf course
- Catch-and-release fishing only
Drive your RV or bring a tent to Camper’s Cove for some great views of Lake Erie. Although they have over three hundred campsites including RV sites will full hookups, Camper’s Cove doesn’t feel crowded or overly public. For those who want to experience the great outdoors in a more modern setting, eight cabins are available for rent.
Picnic tables and fire rings are at each tent site and they also provide free hot showers and a clean tiled restroom. Laundry facilities and a dump station are conveniently located and there’s a camp store where you can get groceries and last-minute items. There’s also a video game room and activity shelter.
- RV & tent sites
- Clean bathroom
- Dump station
- Not so remote
If you want to incorporate your boat on a camping getaway, Mitchell’s Bay is a great option. Located on Lake St. Clair in Ontario, this campsite has beautiful scenery and plenty of space for outdoor activity in warm or cold weather. Summer is probably the most fun if you plan to get out on the water.
While there are some cabins available for rent, Mitchell’s Bay also has tent sites with picnic tables and fire rings. Showers, restrooms, and laundry are available here. Within walking distance of this campground, you’ll also find a beach, playground, basketball courts, restaurants, and even a liquor store.
- Shop on-site
- Boat docks
- Seasonal rates available
- Restrooms, showers, laundry
- Plenty of activities within walking distance
- Crowded in peak-season
About halfway to Lansing from central Detroit, this site is optimal for people who want to get away from modern distractions and enjoy nature. Lush oak forests roll over hills and several lakes make for wonderful hiking. It’s the ideal landscape for hiking, cross-country skiing, and mountain biking. Stables are also within the recreation area so people who like equestrian activity will have a blast.
Brighton is just under 5,000 acres so you can have a good amount of privacy if you want. There are places to park motorhomes if you prefer to camp that way. Although it has less established entertainment options than a KOA or similar campsite, this recreation area offers a great opportunity for a more unplugged camping trip.
- More secluded
- Great for hiking & cross-country skiing
- Equestrian stables
- Motorhome parking
- Fewer sponsored activities
Most campers are probably already familiar with KOA campsites. They vary from place to place but this location on Bunton Road in Ypsilanti is certainly one of the better ones in Michigan. It has all the common amenities like 50 max amp electric hookups, laundry facilities, and a dump station.
You can also buy propane refills, firewood, and other items at the shop. A mini-golf course and game room offer great family-friendly fun. Watersports rentals are available and there’s a swimming beach on-site for people who want to jump right in. Like many KOAs, this one can get crowded and you might be right next to other campers, but it’s still a nice and tranquil place for a camping trip.
- Restrooms, showers, laundry
- Plenty of activities
- Swimming beach
- Rentals available
- Less privacy
The standout feature of this campsite is the model airplane flying field. Even if you don’t have your own plane, it’s great family-friendly fun to watch others take their wings out for a spin. A ½ mile beach shares space with marshes, forests, fields, and lakes at Pontiac Lake.
If you like mountain biking, you’ll love the 11-mile trail at this location. Horseriding trails are on-site. There are also plenty of animal species for hunting. Motorcoach parking makes this site available for people in the middle of longer trips.
- Stellar mountain biking
- Model plane field
- Variety of landscapes
- Motorcoach parking
- Mostly basic amenities
Gorgeous views of Lake Huron from a sand beach await visitors to this campsite. There are two campgrounds available here, so there should be plenty of space, although that can also translate to big crowds in peak season. Each tent site has a fire circle, picnic table, and electricity. Modern toilets and shower buildings are readily accessible.
Lakeport even has mats for their tent sites so campers don’t have to suffer through sleeping on unlevel ground. Pull-through sites for motorcoaches are available and the small village of Lakeport is a great place to stock up on essentials or just get a bite to eat.
- Nearby town
- Electricity on tent sites
- Pull-through motorcoach parking
- Modern plumbing
- Tent mats available
- Sand beach
- May get crowded in peak season
The St. Clair river is visible from the campsite at Algonac. Anglers flock here for great fishing and family-friendly barge viewing is a great way for everyone else to enjoy the river. Trapshooting and archery are some other common hobbies practiced here.
Some tent sites here have 50-amp electric hookups. A picnic area and restroom facilities are located in a common area. Even if it isn’t the most modern campsite, Algonac is a terrific place to enjoy the outdoors. Best of all, it’s open all year.
- Electric hookups available
- Riverfront camping
- Good fishing
- Restrooms & picnic area
- Few modern amenities
- Shared restroom
Prime boat parking on the Huron River can be found here, alongside some great RV and tent camping sites. They have a store that specializes in breakfast sandwiches and chili in addition to selling camping necessities like beer, live bait, and bug spray. Campers who want to take their boat out and still have a place to get a hot meal will love it here.
- Boat parking
- Grocery store on-site
- Hot meals available
- Mainly for RV camping
10. Camp Dearborn
Camp Dearborn is a one-stop-shop for your next camping trip. In addition to a private beach and swimming lake, they have organized activities like hikes, arts & crafts, weekend movies, and campfires. People looking for a bit of solitude can opt out.
Modern restrooms and shower facilities are available here as well. A canteen for buying snacks and drinks is on-site and there’s a dance held there nightly. Picnic tables, grills, and fire pits are at each camp. RV sites with electric hookups can be rented, too.
- Planned activities
- Modern facilities
- Less private
Located on Bunton Road in Ypsilanti, Greenfield RV Park is ideal for groups and families with their own campers. They even have two models available for rent. They’re open between April 1 and October 30 and offer swimming, a mini-golf course, paddleboats, and a playground.
Catch-and-release fishing and inflatable crafts are possible on the lake as well, but they do have a rule in place against hardshell kayaks and canoes. If you don’t have a tent, they have 5 one-room cabins to rent. There’s wifi and a fully stocked store, not to mention laundry facilities and clean restrooms.
- Swimming & fishing
- Cabins for rent
- Mini golf
- Closed seasonally
- No kayaking
Modern campsites organized over 2,600 acres of wooded land with the scenic Lake Ovid in the center gives this sprawling campsite tons of natural beauty. There’s also a river running through the park so people can spread out and enjoy the water in smaller groups.
Surrounding Laingsburg has a charming town square where you can stock up on supplies. Birders love Sleepy Hollow State Park for its incredibly diverse population of over 220 bird species. Hiking, mountain biking, and hunting are also popular here. In the winter, you can go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.
- Plenty of space
- Natural beauty
- Popular in peak season
If you have a bit of extra time, you can drive across the lower peninsula to this KOA on the shores of Lake Michigan. It’s also just a short drive from sand dunes. Visitors can also go to white sand beaches, see lighthouses, or go hiking and mountain biking on nearby trails.
The KOA itself also has plenty to do. In the summer, they sell pizza and ice cream and organize activities like chili cook-offs and July 4th celebrations. It has a mini-golf course, bathrooms, showers, dog park, snack bar, propane, firewood, laundry, picnic tables, and even a swimming pool.
- Tons of activities
- Located on Lake Michigan
- Nearby attractions
- Modern facilities
- Swimming pool closes seasonally
- Crowds likely
Owned by the Neadow family, this private campground in Ortonville is built for family-friendly outdoor fun. The owners have endeavored to make this campsite unique with its attractions that are based in nature rather than digital toys. There’s a petting zoo, a nature trail, and a lagoon. Clearwater offers cement tent sites as well as grass ones.
100 pull-thru RV sites with full hookups and modern cabins are also available if you don’t want to camp in a tent. Campers can enjoy fishing and hiking during their stay. There are showers, restrooms, and laundry facilities on-site as well. Overall, this is a great option for secluded family-friendly camping trips.
- Plenty of space
- Hiking & fishing
- Tons of RV sites
- Family-owned & oriented
- Longer drive from Detroit
Campers who want to hit the links can check out this campsite, which is located at the Caseville Golf Course. For other campers, the surrounding area contains the Pigeon River and Saginaw Bay, which has breathtaking views.
The campsite itself is rustic, which is a drawback for some but appeals to those who prefer primitive camping. Port-a-potties and charcoal grills are available to campers.
- Golf included with campsite
- Located near Saginaw Bay
- Natural beauty
- Primitive camping only
Nice mowed grass and picnic areas await visitors to Cathcart. There are 37 seasonal RV sites with full hookups and about 40 more for shorter overnight stays. Their tent sites are limited to only 4 but there is water at each one. Showers and toilets are on-site and they also have fire pits.
Perhaps best of all, this campground is on the St. Clair River so campers can bring their boats if they have one. You can also swim in the river and a playground is available for kids. It’s only open seasonally from May to around mid-October.
- Riverside camping
- Restrooms & showers
- Water at tent sites
- Closes seasonally
- Few tent sites
The shores of Lake Erie are a great place to catch a sunset if you bring your RV to Fort Firelands. Open space dedicated to tents is also available for campers without an RV. The most unique draw of this place is that it’s a full replica of a 19th-century fort. They’ve built a restaurant and shops for visitors.
If you want to camp near Lake Erie without giving up hot showers and laundry facilities, this is a great option. It’s not ideal for a completely secluded camping trip since it’s a bit of a tourist attraction in its own right, but it is ideal for family-friendly fun.
- Restaurant & shops
- Modern facilities
- Lakeside camping
- Ideal for RVs
- Not secluded
As long as you don’t mind the extra travel time to get to Peelee Island by ferry, you can’t beat East Park. It’s close to a beach and there are picnic tables and fire pits at each campsite. It’s very pet-friendly and they also have a noise and alcohol ordinance that takes effect at 11 PM each night.
Tent campers will enjoy camping here and still having toilets and hot showers at their disposal. It’s like stepping into another world when you leave the wooded, grassy picnic area and cross over onto the sand beach.
- Perfect for tent camping
- Toilets and showers
- Nearby beach
- Island location
- 11 PM ordinance
If you’re traveling between Lansing, Detroit, and Saginaw, this KOA is a great place to stay. They have all the necessities and some modern perks as well. Toilets, showers, and a shop are all on-site. You can buy firewood and propane as well. They have wifi and a dog park.
There’s a pool and mini-golf course on-site. More unique entertainment options include historic fire truck rides and an outdoor bowling alley. If you can’t be fussed to cook on your campfire, this KOA can even have pizza delivered to its campsites.
- Great entertainment options
- Swimming pool
- Restrooms and showers
- Store on-site
- Centrally located
- Modern distractions
- Potential crowds
This classic RV camping setup offers wifi and modern conveniences like a rec room, hot showers, restrooms, and laundry facilities. There are RV sites with full hookups and some with half hookups that have a great waterfront view. Primitive sites are also available at a reduced rate.
You can mingle with other RV campers or have your own family camping trip here. If you’re near Lansing, this is the closest option for RV camping.
- Near Lansing
- Waterfront sites
- Primitive sites available
- Laundry, restrooms, & showers
If you really want to get a taste of the area surrounding Detroit, East Park Campground is the best. It doesn’t have the fanciest facilities, but the surrounding nature makes it supreme for tent camping. The best part is the trip to get to the island, during which you’ll get to take in the wealth of natural beauty Michigan has to offer.
Bonus tip: Check out this video to see what you can do in just one day in Detroit!