Hi there!

 

So you’re planning a camping trip in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan!

What’s a perfect way to camp in the UP?!

Camping at a quiet campground with both a river and one of the Great Lakes nearby! The Presque Isle River is a river that leads to Lake Superior. This is one of the Porcupine Mountains campgrounds.

 

Presque Isle campground: Rustic camping in porcupine mountains wilderness state park. river, lake superior, rustic camping in michigan state parks. western upper peninsula. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground: Rustic river camping in porcupine mountains wilderness state park. rustic camping in michigan state parks. western upper peninsula. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground: Rustic lake superior camping in porcupine mountains wilderness state park. rustic camping in michigan state parks. western upper peninsula. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground: Rustic camping in porcupine mountains wilderness state park. river, lake superior, rustic camping in michigan state parks. western upper peninsula. up michigan travel blog

 

First, some quick things to know about the Presque Isle campground that’s located in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.

Then, a bit on how to make camping reservations.

 

 

Things to know about camping at Presque Isle Campground in Porcupine Mountains State Park

Presque Isle campground: rustic camping in porcupine mountains wilderness state park. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground: rustic camping in porcupine mountains wilderness state park. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground: rustic camping in porcupine mountains wilderness state park. up michigan travel blog

 

 

1. The Presque Isle Campground is located in a quieter part of Porcupine Mountains State Park.

The campground is located in the Presque Isle Scenic Area of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, and this is the less visited area of the park.

 

Presque Isle campground: quiet rustic camping in porcupine mountains wilderness state park. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground: quiet rustic camping in porcupine mountains wilderness state park. up michigan travel blog

 

 

2. The Presque Isle campground is named for the Presque Isle River that is located right nearby.

Presque Isle campground. presque isle river: things to do nearby. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground. presque isle river: things to do nearby. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

 

This is a river to admire by looking at, not by swimming or wading in. This river can be powerful! 

 

Swimming near Presque Isle campground. no swimming in presque isle river. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

 

 

3. You can go for a hike to see 3 waterfalls on a hiking trail that starts near the campground.

The 3 waterfalls:

You can hike the Presque Isle river trail for a walk along the river that will take you to the waterfalls. There’s the West River Trail and the East River Trail, and you can make it a waterfalls loop trail too which will be a hike on both sides of the river. There’s also a spot on the trail where you can see the Presque Isle River meet Lake Superior.

 

Hiking trail near Presque Isle campground. river trail to hike waterfalls loop trail. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

Hiking trail near Presque Isle campground. river trail to hike waterfalls loop trail. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

Hiking trail near Presque Isle campground. river trail to hike waterfalls loop trail. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

 

 

 

You can pick up a Presque Isle map from the campground office.

 

Things to do near Presque Isle campground map. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

 

 

4. There are spots from the campground where you can get views of Lake Superior.

So maybe it’s a bit of an obstructed view, but you can see Lake Superior from the campground nonetheless!

 

Presque Isle campground. Presque Isle campsites with Lake Superior views. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground. Presque Isle campsites with Lake Superior views. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

 

 

5. It’s possible to get a campsite where you can see Lake Superior right from your campsite!

Well, once again it’s a bit obstructed but it’s there!

 

Presque Isle campground. Presque Isle campsites with Lake Superior views. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground. Presque Isle campsites with Lake Superior views. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

 

 

6. The campground is for tent camping and RV camping.

Presque Isle campground. different types of camping. tent camping and rv camping in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground. different types of camping. tent camping and rv camping in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground. rv camping in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground. tent camping in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground. tent camping in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground. tent camping in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

 

7. There are “walk-in” campsites Presque Isle Campground.

Most campsites at Presque Isle campground are those in which you can drive straight up to. But there are also campsites that require walking a few minutes to get to. These campsites are more secluded and can give you a little more of a feeling like you’re out in the wild compared to the regular drive-in sites. You’ll be a bit more separated from your camp neighbors. Note that this means you need to hike a few minutes with your camping gear.

There’s a parking area at the trailhead that leads to the walk-in campsites.

 

Presque Isle campground. parking for walk-in campsites. camping in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground. hike-in, walk-in campsites. camping in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground. hike-in, walk-in campsites. camping in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground. hike-in, walk-in campsites. camping in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground. hike-in, walk-in campsites. camping in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground. hike-in, walk-in campsites. camping in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground. hike-in, walk-in campsites. camping in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground. hike-in, walk-in campsites. camping in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground. hike-in, walk-in campsites. camping in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground. hike-in, walk-in campsites. camping in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

 

8. From the campground, you can take a set of stairs that will lead you down to Lake Superior.

Because this is a quieter campground, there’s a chance you might have the “beach” all to yourself! It is a rocky beach. Pack water shoes or hiking sandals for your Michigan camping trip if you want to wade in the water!

Lake Superior is generally considered cold by most people even in the summer, but there are people who will still get in the water.

 

Things to do near Presque Isle campground. Trail to lake superior beach. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

Things to do near Presque Isle campground. Trail to lake superior beach. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

Things to do near Presque Isle campground. Trail to lake superior beach. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

Things to do near Presque Isle campground. Trail to lake superior beach. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

Things to do near Presque Isle campground. Trail to lake superior beach. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

Things to do near Presque Isle campground. lake superior beach. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

Things to do near Presque Isle campground. lake superior beach. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

Things to do near Presque Isle campground. lake superior beach. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

 

 

9. You can see erosion along the shoreline.

Things to do near Presque Isle campground. lake superior beach erosion. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

 

All across the the Great Lakes, there are areas of shoreline where you can see quite dramatically the effect of erosion.

And you can see some of this along the shores of Lake Superior that you can access from the campground.

 

 

10. Presque Isle Campground is the only “rustic” campground in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.

There are multiple campgrounds in Porcupine Mountains State Park.

There are 2 standard campgrounds. There is one “rustic” campground (Presque Isle), and there is also one “modern” campground (Union Bay) on the other side of the park.

There are also a number of backcountry campgrounds and backcountry cabins, meaning you hike in to your campsite or cabin. The Porcupine Mountains are known as a backpacking destination.

 

 

11. The North Country Trail passes right by the Presque Isle campground.

Presque Isle campground. north country trail. backpacking the porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

 

 

12. There is no electricity at the campground.

 

 

13. There are specific areas where generators are allowed, along with generator-free areas.

So if this is important to you you’ll want to look for this on the campground map when you make your camping reservation. 

 

generator at Presque Isle campground. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

no generator at Presque Isle campground. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

 

 

14. There are no showers at the campground.

 

 

15. There are simple no-flush toilets at the campground.

Presque Isle campground bathroom, toilet. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

 

 

16. There are faucets for drinking water.

 

 

17. There’s a garbage dumpster for campers.

Presque Isle campground trash, garbage. porcupine mountains camping. up michigan travel blog

 

 

18. There are bears in the Porcupine Mountains

According to Michigan State Parks:

Black bear are frequently encountered in the park.

Never feed wild animals as this damages their health, alters natural behaviors, exposes them to predators and causes them to lose their natural fear of humans.

This also makes it even more important that everyone does their part to pick up after themselves!

There are also “bear-proof” trash cans in the Porcupine Mountains.

 

Presque Isle campground. bears, camping in porcupine mountains. up michigan travel blog

 

 

19. It’s a 45 minute drive to Lake of the Clouds.

The Presque Isle campground is on the opposite side of the park of Lake of the Clouds, possibly the most popular spot in Porcupine Mountains State Park. From here is also where you can access the Escarpment Trail, possibly the best hike in the Porcupine Mountains.

 

Presque Isle campground to lake of the clouds. things to do in porcupine mountains. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground to escarpment trail. things to do in porcupine mountains. up michigan travel blog

 

For more activities, see the best of the Porcupine Mountains.

 

 

20. Summer days are long!

Ontonagon MI is the city where the Porcupine Mountains State Park is located. In June and July, there are days when sunrise is just past 6am and sunset isn’t until nearly 10pm in Ontonagon!

That means time for lots of outdoor activities!

 

 

Read the reviews of the Presque Isle campground.

 

 

🌳

 

 

 

Now…

How to make camping reservations at Presque Isle campground

Presque Isle campground. how to make camping reservations for porcupine mountains. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground. how to make camping reservations for porcupine mountains. up michigan travel blog

 

This is the official website for making Michigan State Parks camping reservation.

You can choose Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, and then go from there to choose Presque Isle campground.

You’ll be able to find an updated campground map too.

You can also see the individual campsites that are available. If you click on an individual campsite, it will also give you the basics of the campsite.

 

Presque Isle campground map

Presque Isle campground map. camping in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog
Off the the left side of the map is where the walk-in sites are located.

 

 

Cost of camping at Presque Isle campground

Presque Isle campground cost of rustic camping in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

In 2020, the cost of camping in Porcupine Mountains State Park at the Presque Isle campground was around $17 per night. There is an additional reservation fee. See here for updated camping fees.

Also, as a Michigan State Park, a Michigan recreation passport is required for entry.

If you’re a Michigan resident, hopefully you already have the annual recreation passport, in which case there’s no additional fee.

If you don’t have the recreation passport, or you’re from out of state, for Michigan residents the annual pass is around $17 when purchased at a state park and for out-of-state residents it’s around $34. See current fees here.

 

 

Checking in to your campsite

Then, once you arrive at Presque Isle Scenic Area, you’ll stop by the campground office to check in and get your camping permit!

 

Presque Isle campground checking in for camping permit in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground checking in for camping permit in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground checking in for camping permit in porcupine mountains state park. up michigan travel blog

 

Then off you go to find your campsite!

 

Presque Isle campground campsites. porcupine mountains state park camping. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground campsites. porcupine mountains state park camping. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground campsites. porcupine mountains state park camping. up michigan travel blog

Presque Isle campground campsites. porcupine mountains state park camping. up michigan travel blog

 

And that’s a bit about Porcupine Mountains rustic camping at Presque Isle campground!

 

Learn more about the modern Union Bay campground in the Porcupine Mountains, with Lake Superior lakefront campsites available.

And then there are more camping spots in the Porcupine Mountains.

See more about how to spend your time in Porcupine Mountains State Park:

More in the western UP:

The rest of the UP:

For more campgrounds directly on Lake Superior:

And see more Great Lakes camping spots on the list of best Michigan state park campgrounds in the UP.

 

HAPPY CAMPING AT THE RUSTIC PRESQUE ISLE CAMPGROUND!

 

Presque Isle campground: Rustic camping in porcupine mountains wilderness state park. river, lake superior, rustic camping in michigan state parks. western upper peninsula. up michigan travel blog

 

 

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Things to pack for your Michigan vacation!

The ultimate beach towel for travel?!
Turkish towels are considered to be more lightweight than your average beach towel while still being absorbent. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
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Instead of using plastic silverware, try out bamboo silverware like this set!
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You can beach-proof your phone with a simple waterproof phone case like this.
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!
Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're swimming in Lake Michigan or Lake Superior! Less sunscreen also means less chemicals from that sunscreen will enter our precious Great Lakes!
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Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.