Sorry for the hiatus from here. No we did not quit RVing nor did we fall off the face of the earth, I’m just behind on updating my blog posts. The past month and half have kept us quite busy with projects and visiting family and friends. But before I get to that I wanted to share with you one of our favorite spots and our last one in Michigan (the lower portion). We stayed there for 11 days at the beginning of October. I’m late posting about it but better late than never, as this was a true gem.
Green Road Dispersed Camping
After leaving the UP I felt like we were suddenly thrust back into civilization. Turns out being up there made me want to stay in more remote areas away from the hustle and bustle of regular life. We stayed overnight at a state park a couple of hours into the lower part of Michigan but my sights were set on an interesting place I found on Campendium.
Our spot at Interlochen State Park. A stopover before moving on to a more remote location. We actually tent camped at this park several years ago on our way up to Canada.
That interesting place was called Green Road Dispersed Camping and it’s exactly what it sounds like. Dispersed camping off of Green Road in the Manistee National Forest and part of the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness. Located just 3 miles (1.5 miles driving and 1.5 miles hiking) from the shoreline of Lake Michigan and at the price point of $0, it was a steal. That’s right, free campsites near Lake Michigan with plenty of space to spread out. They had me at dunes and wilderness.
Note: this is true dispersed camping, no toilets or water so come prepared.
Also one negative thing happened here. While scouting out a spot in the car, we left behind our empty cooler and a life jacket to hold the spot. In the 5 minutes we were gone, some asshole stole our cooler and life jacket. Not the end of the world but enough to irritate me. We did not have any further issues the rest of our stay.
It was so quiet and peaceful here. I honestly could have stayed forever. There are several established sites along this road. Most had a fire ring of some sort and they varied in size. We found one that was huge, we could easily have fit 3 or 4 Ralphies in the space. It was a bit back off the road and surrounded by trees with a nice open spot for solar collection. At this point we did not have our lithium batteries and it either rained or was overcast on many of those days. But we were able to collect some solar and charge up our batteries running the truck on occasion to supplement.
This was truly a gem. A large site situated in a national forest, peace and quiet and we could not see any neighbors. Tucked away on a dirt road it was pure bliss. We parked it there for 11 days and the only fee we paid was a grand total of $10. That $10 was two $5 day pass use fees to hike out to the Nordhouse Dunes. The hike was beautiful leading out to a gorgeous beach relatively under attended, right on Lake Michigan.
Because of the rain we were only able to hike out twice but I was grateful for those times. The rest of the time we hiked around our campsite as there were trails right behind our spot. Josie loved having free range of a large campsite with no neighbors nearby to disturb.
Then came our last day there and the most beautiful hike and sunset. We took a different trail on the right side of the parking lot this time and I enjoyed this one even more than the first. When we emerged out onto the beach of Lake Michigan I was in awe. We were treated to a most beautiful sunset sky, despite it being overcast earlier in the day. I felt like it was the proper send off from Michigan. We knew our time was drawing to a close, as the weather was getting cooler. But this beautiful sunset made me want to stay forever despite knowing we could not.
As we started our trek back, I turned around and took one last look at Lake Michigan. Silently I thanked it for the beautiful send off. We hiked back using the light of our cell phones as guidance as the sun had set and the trail quickly became dark from all of the tree cover. Along the trail back we were treated to a few more glimpses of Lake Michigan. I treasured that hike more than I can express.
Packing up and leaving was tough. It seemed unreal to have such a free and wonderful spot. This inspired us to look for more spots like this. Tucked away, free, and remote is definitely our style. RV parks and crowded state parks are not our style.
There is much more to share but in the interest of keeping this post a reasonable length I’ll stop here for now. Stay tuned next week as I catch you up on our time spent in Indiana before FINALLY heading south.