Looking for something off the beaten path? While most Michiganders associate camping with warm summer nights, there’s ample opportunity to get up close and personal with nature even in the peak of winter. With a few ways to enjoy the great outdoors aren’t typically available in the summer months, we look at a few reasons to pitch a tent in the snow and a few locations where to do it.
A place to yourself
First and foremost, one of the hardest parts of camping is finding a secluded spot far away from other travelers. If you’re looking to enjoy nature by yourself or with a close group of friends, the winter months are perfect as you will most likely have the area to yourself. You also won’t have to rush to reserve a spot at a state park because winter camping is much less popular than summer camping.
The sound of silence
In today’s age of distractions, it’s truly rare to be able to enjoy absolute silence. The lack of urban hustle and bustle is obvious on a general camping trip, but winter camping takes it to a whole new level. Without the buzz of insects or rustle of leaves, you’re free to enjoy the silence that so many campers seek when they hit the trails.
Speaking of insects and bugs, not having to deal with them crawling into your sleeping bag is another huge plus to winter camping. Without the worry of mosquitos, there’s no need to purchase bug-spray or worry about something biting you. Get the campfire roaring and enjoy peace of mind without something buzzing in your ear.
An evening with the stars
One benefit to shorter days in the winter months is more hours under the stars. Most camping destinations are far away from large urban cities, meaning the stars will be shining bright on clear nights. If you’re lucky in the spring months, you might catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
A whole new world of sports
While we don’t recommend jumping into a lake as you would in the summer, there’s still opportunity to get out and get active while camping in the winter. Michigan is a perfect state for snowshoeing, cross country skiing, fat tire biking or simply going for a hike, in addition to countless other activities.
Now that you know why winter camping can be so enjoyable, you’re ready to plan your trip. You can visit any of the below state parks this season, all of which cater to camping in the cold.
- Algonac State Park – Marine City
- Bay City Recreation Area – Bay City
- Brighton Recreation Area – Howell
- Fort Custer Recreation Area – Augusta
- Ludington State Park – Ludington
- William Mitchell State Park – Cadillac
- Muskegon State Park – Muskegon
- North Higgins Lake State Park – Higgins Lake
- Pickney Recreation Area (Backpack camping only) – Pinckney
- Rifle River Recreation Area
- Tahquamenon Falls State Park – Paradise
- Tawas Point State Park – East Tawas
- Tippy Dam Recreation Area – Brethren
- Keith J. Charters Traverse City State Park – Traverse City
- Waterloo Recreation Area – Grass Lake