A Mini Camping Vacation To Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Part 1 

Hello Indian Lake State Park in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula!

In January when I made out my list of things I wanted to do in 2017, going on a camping trip was one of them. The way the summer was going and working 6 days a week, the idea of a camping trip before Megan went back to college seemed like a pipe dream! That is until there was an opening in the work schedule in late August. So I took advantage of that opportunity to take a breather, pack up the tent and other camping gear and head to the UP with Megan for 4 days at Indian Lake State Park near Manistique, Michigan.

We had never been camping at this or any other State Park before, but Indian Lake State Park came highly recommend from my Sister-In-Law’s parents, and them being way more experienced campers than myself, I took their advice and made reservations online that night. For the most part I just wanted clean restrooms and showers. Plus it was on a lake, so taking the kayaks would be a perfect idea.

The reservation process was easy enough for a first timer. Even trying to decide which site to reserve was relatively easy given that each site had at least one picture and description with it (sunny, shady, level, uneven). Based on the info, I reserved site 143. Located in the first section, it was near the restrooms, easy access to the beach, and shady.

Why Manistique?

The reasons I choose the Manistique area were the access to a inland lake versus staying right on Lake Michigan. It was in relatively close proximity to St. Ignace (1 hour 43 minutes) for a day trip to Mackinac Island by ferry. Plus it was close to Kitch-iti-kipi which is the big Spring a few miles down the road. Visiting there was part of my plan. Also, Manistique has an excellent boardwalk along Lake Michigan and I wanted to not only relax and read on this vacation, but also get some exercise too. What better way that walking along the beautiful lake!

So, on a Sunday morning, we finished loading everything, hoisted the kayaks to the top of my Honda Pilot and began the nearly 4 hour drive to Indian Lake State Park.

Arriving at Indian Lake State Park

We arrived around mid afternoon and checked in at the park entrance. I purchased a Park and Recreation sticker, gaining admission to all Michigan State Parks for a year (you can also purchase daily passes). This was a separate purchase from our camping fee, an absolute bargain! ($24 a night with electric)

Right away I was impressed with the staff. The attendant that checked us in was friendly and informative. Never being there before, I didn’t know what to expect. We purchased a bundle of firewood (hello s’mores!) and off we were to find our site and pitch our tent.

First impression, the campground was clean, well maintained and has wonderful fire rings. Although the reviews said it can be quite noisy and busy, I found most of the sites to be spacious enough that you had plenty of room to spread out. Of course, being late August, there were many sites open and I noticed campers coming and going all the time. There is a clean sand beach, hiking trails, a picnic area, and a boat landing. Our section of the campground has a clean restroom with 3 outside shower rooms.  There is several places to get water. I will be sharing some videos I took of the park soon!


Beach area
Part of the 1 mile hiking trail.

It didn’t take us long to get set up, despite the fact we had not used the tent in 2 years (okay, so maybe I had practiced setting it up a few days before we left), but anyway, in no time we had a fire going and lounging in our zero gravity chairs with books in hand! The day was sunny, nice temperature, and a few campers were at the clean sand beach swimming in the lake.

Home away from home for 4 days

Time for some much needed rest and relaxation

Vacation had begun. The goal was to relax and recharge from the hectic summer. I was excited to spend a few days with Megan before she began her second year of college. With both of us working much of the summer, we had no chance to connect. It was important to me to spend time with her. She was happy doing absolutely nothing, while I was restless, trying to calm my mind and try to get over the guilt I felt for not blogging as much as I wanted to this summer. Working many 6 day work weeks has left this 54 year old girl drained! Plus a severe case of tendinitis in my right hand/wrist has put a damper on my typing ability. So these 4 days were much needed for my body and soul.

Pretty soon we were hungry and it was time to break out the hot dogs and the fixings for the s’mores. For some reason, there is nothing like hot dogs over the campfire!

Not a s’more, but a nutella and marshmallow pudgie pie! Yummy

By this time it was late. The s’mores were eaten, the light was gone, we were tired, and it was time to hit the sleeping bags (on our air mattresses of course! No ground sleeping here). Day one of camping trip at Indian Lake State Park complete!


Watch for part 2 of our camping trip coming soon! Thanks for reading!

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