Camp the Mitten member, Andy was kind enough to share this review of the campground at Straits State Park!
Straits State Park is located on the North side of the Mackinac Bridge, just outside of Saint Ignace in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, which is nicknamed “God’s Country,” and for good reason! If you’re looking for a central location to use as a base camp to explore the eastern UP, this is it! We have stayed here many times, and visited all of the attractions and natural beauty that the UP has to offer.
Our Campsite at Straits State Park
Straits is divided into two main camping areas, the Upper and Lower loops, which are vastly different. The Lower loop is situated on Lake Huron; most of the sites are decent size and are mostly wooded. Around 15 of the sites are situated on the lake and offer a direct view of Mackinac Bridge. After a day of exploring the area, nothing is better than kicking up your feet and enjoying an un-obstructed view of Lake Huron and the Mackinac Bridge (that lights up at night) with a fire going. In my opinion, site 10-A is the best site for this, which offers privacy (you can literally not see any other campers from the site) and is large enough to fit most big rigs, but is also a good tent site too. Site 10-A, pictured below, may be one of the top sites in the entire state park system. As a word of caution, the row of sites on the lake are semi-modern, meaning they offer no electricity but do have access to the shower building. All other sites in the campground offer power. The Upper loop has wooded sites, but mainly along the outside edges. Some of these sites offer good privacy, with woods behind your site. We stayed on site 264, also pictured below. This particular site only accommodates a unit up to 20’, but a lot of the other sites can handle larger campers.
The Campground at Straits State Park
The best thing about this campground is the Mackinac Bridge, and the unique views and vantage points you can view it from, that can only be seen from the campground. There is a mile-long hiking trail that connects both loops in the campground and offers several different views of the bridge. When you visit, make your way down to the beach area for pictures at sunset with the Mighty Mac in the background. The upper loop has older bathroom facilities, but the park staff seemed to take very good care of them. The lower loop has brand new bathrooms, which is a huge plus.
Area Surrounding Straits State Park
When you visit Straits, be sure to visit the Father Marquette National Historical Site on the other side of I75. There is a Family Fare just outside the entrance to fill up on supplies and food. A couple of local vendors sell wood, but we found that the better deal is to actually buy it from the park. It was very reasonably priced, dried and burned well. As a reminder, you are NOT allowed to transport firewood from the Lower Peninsula to the Upper Peninsula. Straits is conveniently located to all of the ferry services, which transport you to Mackinac Island. You are also within biking distance to all of the neat shops, downtown area and restaurants in St. Ignace. Saint Ignace has a firework show every Saturday night in the summer, which can be seen from the campground. Within an hour or so drive from Straits, there are MANY things to do. You can visit the sand beaches and sand dunes along US 2 and Lake Michigan, Kitch-iti-kipi (Michigan’s largest big spring), Cut River Bridge, Tahquamenon Falls, Oswald Bear Ranch, Whitefish Point and Sault St. Marie. The area also offers many miles of hiking trails through the national forest. Two casinos are in the area, one in Saint Ignace and another in Brimley. Many local restaurants serve fresh fish right out of Lake Superior. Be sure to visit Brown Fishery in Paradise…you will never find a better whitefish dinner!