My wife and I took our 2 kids around Memorial Day 2012. We are avid campers, we camp rustic campgrounds approximately twice a year.
First the good: This campground's location is fantastic, right on (quick walk) to Lake Michigan the beach is amazing. The campground has plenty of restrooms (out house buildings which are fairly clean), dumpsters for trash and lots of water sources scattered around. There are nice bike trails and the town nearby is very quaint.
Now the bad:
You are restricted in your tent locations to the designated pads each site has. These pads are approx 10'x20' in size and are level (which is good), however they are filled with hard packed road gravel. This can be easily remedied by simply bringing a pad or a air mattress, but there is certainly no sleeping on the ground.
I highly recommend not paying for your entire stay up front but renewing every night for the next day if you want to stay because if you change your mind there are no refunds.
The biggest problem I had with this campground is the Poison Ivy. Every campsite has a small area with a picnic table, a tent pad and a campfire ring. Other than that there is poison ivy everywhere, I mean everywhere, like a blanket on the ground. It was hanging over the tent pads, it was hanging over brushing your feet on every trail. Our kids had to either play on the road( yea, thats a good idea) or sit on the picnic table because it was impossible to keep them out of the poison ivy. Our dog would run through it then come and brush against us, balls would roll into it and then the kids would get it on there hands then touch there faces, trust me its a nightmare. After 3 days of this we wanted to leave but we paid for 5 nights and again... NO REFUNDs.
I would not come back to this campground primarily because my family felt trapped and contained on our little space because the poison ivy. The "park rangers" love it because they dont want anybody going anywhere that is not a designated trail. So much for enjoying the great outdoors. Like my title says, it has such potential but too many problems especially for a family with kids who like to run and be adventurous.
2345 N US-32 N, Traverse City
460 Munson Avenue, Traverse City
3575 North US 31 South, Traverse City
1000 US 31 North, Traverse City
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Address: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Traverse City, Michigan, United States