Amazing Camping in Oscoda, MI
Looking to do some camping in or near Oscoda MI?
The Lake Huron coast of Michigan isn’t called the Sunrise Side for nothing, and there are so many amazing camping sites in Oscoda where you can get up with the sunshine, camped out right on the edge of a lake. Or you can wake up in the woods, listening to birdsong and smelling pine trees.
If you’ve got the camping bug, we’ve got a spot for you. Thanks to both Lake Huron and the AuSable River, there are many campgrounds near Oscoda that offer access to beaches, hiking, kayaking and many other fun outdoor activities, and even ORV trails.
There are options for primitive camping or a site a little closer to town, with water and sewer hookups. Read on for some of the best camping in Oscoda, MI.
Oscoda Michigan is one of the top family vacation destinations in northern Michigan, surrounded by lakes, rivers and the pristine forest. Charming downtown Oscoda is home to Oscoda Beach Park, a beautiful lakefront park with prime Lake Huron beach and many accessible amenities like a boardwalk, picnic area, splash pad and more.
Old Orchard Park
883 East River Road, Oscoda Township, MI, USA
Phone: 989-739-7814 ext. 2
Any question that starts with “Does Old Orchard Park have…” is likely to have “yes!” as an answer.
Campers at Orchard campground have their pick of one of the 525 sites, which could be primitive, waterfront, or modern sites, as well as having the option of staying in a cabin, group site, or a yurt. Tents and RVs alike are welcome while the park is open, March 15 until November 30. Pets are welcome as long as they’re not in a cabin or yurt.
Old Orchard Park has (deep breath) a beach, a boat ramp, watercraft rental, a playground, multiple trails, a general store, a playground, dumping stations,canoe rental, bath houses, a pavilion, shuffleboard, and (shall I go on?) recreational programs like volleyball, arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, and hayrides.
My number one tip for camping at Old Orchard Park is to book your reservation early. Spots in the campground go quick. It’s no wonder, given the location and amenities.
5401 Monument Road, Oscoda, MI 48750
Visitor Center Phone: 989-362-8961
Located along the River Road National Scenic Byway, Lumberman’s Monument is a must-see. And if you like what you see (and you will), you can stay a little longer, camping out in the campground next to the Lumberman’s Monument Visitors Center.
May 21-September 13, you can camp beneath the pines that were planted in 1938 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. There are paved spots for RVs of most sizes, with vaults and wheelchair-accessible toilets. Picnic tables and grills give you an excellent chance to unwind and take in the spectacular beauty of Lumberman’s Monument.
The views from the monument bluffs are stunning anywhere you look, and there are stairs or dunes near the Visitors Center that bring you right down to the river. You can learn about the area’s rich history as an important logging center and even climb a “log jam” that’s taller than you are.
Hiking trails take you along the bluff or into the woods, meaning that you can’t go wrong with any of those paths. Be sure to drive along the river to Iargo Springs, which offers panoramic views of the Au Sable River.
River Road Trail Camp
Huron Shores Ranger Station
Phone: (989) 739-0728
Another spot on the delightful River Road, the River Road Trail Camp is unique among Oscoda camping sites because of its location on Michigan’s Shore-to-Shore Trail, which connects Empire (close to Lake Michigan) with Au Sable (close to Lake Huron).
Another unique feature is the option to bring your horse(s) here and go riding. Though there are no corrals, loading ramps, or hitching sites, there are 21 individual camping spots, as well as one group site that can accommodate 30-250 people.
A reservation is required, but there are no fees.
Huron-Manistee National Forest Camping
Looking for primitive or semi-primitive camping in Northeast Michigan? Huron-Manistee National Forest is what you’re seeking. There are 102 campsites, all meant for single families, along 55 miles of the incredible Au Sable River.
You can camp on the shoreline or on bluffs, depending on the site. If you really want to get off the grid, there are lots of spots that are walk-or boat-in only. Fishing, canoeing, hiking, and bird-watching options abound in the National Forest. Check the U.S. Department of Agriculture website to see what fish you can catch and/or eat.
You’ll need a reservation during the open season, which is between April 15 and September 30. There’s a camping fee as well as a one-time reservation fee, and the reservations are easy to make.
Because there are just so many camping options in the Huron-Manistee National Forest, we’ve broken the area down into sections. Many of the general guidelines stay the same, though, so keep in mind a few things:
-Any site marked as drive-in can accommodate RVs, but there is a 25ft length limit.
-There’s no water, electric or sewer hookup and no dumping.
The sites tend to be dirt (hard-packed), and when in doubt, you want a high-clearance vehicle. Practice good environmental stewardship techniques, like pack-in, pack-out (if you bring it in, you bring it out; there are no trash cans or removal services).
Alcona Pond has six drive-in sites and one boat-in area for camping. Site 006D and 007D in particular are good for anyone looking for something a little more open and slightly less woodsy.
Loud Pond features seven boat- or walk-in sites, all right along the river’s edge, and Five Channels boasts four boat-in sites also directly on the water.
Cooke Pond is probably one of my favorite camping spots in the Huron-Manistee National Forest. With 11 boat-in, eight walk-in, and seven drive-in spots, Cooke Pond has campsites that run the gamut from the bank to the bluffs, so you can find a place to suit your fancy. I want to give a special shoutout to site 034C, which is a boat-in site on a bend in the river, giving you a camping spot that feels like your own little peninsula. Another one to 060W, a walk-in that combines woods and water in one site (cue a happy sigh).
Sawmill Point enjoys 16 drive-in sites, with open spaces and more woodsy options. Foote Pond is the place to be if you like camping with a view from up high. Many of the 12 drive-in, 7 boat-in, and 5 walk-in sites are located on bluffs, and boy are those views gorgeous.
Au Sable River Primitive Camping
Au Sable River Semi-Primitive Nonmotorized Area is largely boat-in, with 10 such sites and only two walk-in spots and one drive-in campsite. The boat-in sites are riverside seats to a lovely camping trip, and the walk-in spots take you through thick woods before you arrive at your home sweet camping home.
Oscoda K O A
3591 Forest Road, Oscoda, MI 48750
One of the premier spots for RVing in Oscoda, the KOA is a great spot to park the camper and enjoy the outdoors for a long while. With electricity, free WiFi, TV, laundry, a seasonally-available pool and garbage pick-up, the KOA can take care of you while you take care of having a lot of fun. There’s gem mining, a swimming pool, a dog park, and a place to shoot some hoops while bouncing on a trampoline.
One of the top RV Parks near Oscoda, the KOA is one of the closer camping spots to downtown Oscoda, which puts you in easy reach of the Lake Huron shoreline, ice cream, and grocery stores. It’s also a snap to get to the national forest, the River Road National Scenic Byway, or the lighthouse down at Tawas Point.
More to Explore Near Oscoda
East Tawas and Tawas City Mi are just a shore ride south along M-23. You’ll find a cute downtown in East Tawas with fun shops and restaurants. Tawas Point State Park, offers camping near Oscoda, too. You can find a tent site, or RV sites here, it’s one of the most popular Michigan campgrounds.
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About the Author-
Sydney Weber is a Feature Writer for mymichiganbeach.com and a graduate of Indiana University. She grew up in the Detroit and Lansing areas and spent many weekends going down side streets to see what’s what. Sydney loves finding little gems of places wherever she goes.