Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

The Great Lakes Offer an Even Better Beach Campground Experience

By Rick Hazeltine



When most people think of the Great Lakes, the state of Michigan quickly comes to mind. But there are eight states that border the five lakes that make up the Great Lakes Region, making a beach campground easy to find but tough to choose.

Lake Michigan Of the eight states bordering the Great Lakes of Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, Lake Superior and Lake Erie, Michigan leads with nearly 30 state parks that offer a beach campground. On the other end is Pennsylvania, with no state parks offering a Great Lakes beach campground.

Here’s a look at what the states offer in your search for a Great Lakes beach campground.

Michigan


The state has one of the finest parks systems in the nation. And thanks to having more coastline than any state other than Alaska, Michigan offers plenty of opportunities for finding a Great Lakes beach campground.

There are nearly 30 state parks that offer a beach campground in the Michigan State Park system. Some of the best parks include Holland, P.J. Hoffmaster, Traverse City and Albert E. Sleeper.

For more information on the many state parks that offer beach camping, visit the Michigan state park website.

New York


The state is known more for the Big Apple than the Great Outdoors, but New York is second only to Michigan in opportunities to stay at a Great Lakes beach campground.

Evangola State Park is known for its arc-shaped shoreline and natural sand beach on Lake Erie. Golden Hill SP features the historic Thirty Mile Lighthouse, and Fair Haven Beach SP has one of the finest public lakefronts in upstate New York along Lake Ontario. Southwick SP is known for its long sandy beach.

Other state parks that offer a beach campground are Robert Moses, Coles Creek, Jacques Cartier, Kring Point, Dewolf Point and Westcott Beach.

For more information on New York state parks that offer a Great Lakes beach campground, visit the New York state park website.

Wisconsin


Point Beach State Forest offers six miles of shoreline along Lake Michigan. The park has a lighthouse and large sand dunes. Kohler-Andrae State Park in Sheboygan has full-service sites along Lake Michigan. For the adventurous, Rock Island SP has 40 campsites, but visitors need to take a ferry to the island to access the 912-acre island.

For more information on Wisconsin state parks that offer a Great Lakes beach campground, visit the Wisconsin state park website.

Minnesota


Gooseberry Falls State Park is known for its spectacular waterfalls, river gorge and camping near the Lake Superior shoreline. The park has no electric but does have flush toilets and showers.

For more information on Minnesota state parks that offer a Great Lakes beach campground, visit the Minnesota state park website.

Illinois


Illinois Beach State Park has more than six miles of sandy shoreline along Lake Michigan. It also encompasses the only beach ridge shoreline left in the state. The park has 240 premium sites with electricity.

For more information on Illinois state parks that offer a Great Lakes beach campground, visit the Illinois state park website.

Indiana


The state has the least amount of contact with the Great Lakes, but enough to offer Indiana Dunes State Park, with 2,182 acres. 140 sites with 50-amp service are available.

For more information on Indiana state parks that offer a Great Lakes beach campground, visit the Indiana state park website.

Ohio


Maumee State Park offers everything from a golf course to a marina to its own lake. And it has a beach along Lake Erie. Maumee has 250 sites with electricity.

Other parks offering a beach campground are Geneva, with a 300-foot guarded swimming beach along Lake Erie, and East Harbor, which has a 1,500-foot beach on the lake and 225 sites with electricity.

For more information on Ohio state parks that offer a Great Lakes beach campground, visit the Ohio state park website.

Read another article on lake camping.