Destinations

Camping in the Popular Interlochen State Park

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The Interlochen State Park is a public recreation area located between Green Lake and Duck Lake, and about 15 miles south of Traverse City. It is relatively small park with the area of only 187 acres. The park has two campgrounds: modern and rustic. It has a beach, volleyball and basketball courts, baseball diamond, boat launch ramps, swimming area, pavilion, picnic area, park store and short hiking trails.

Interlochen State Park boat launch
One of the boat launches.

The park is nested between the two lakes, and the primary activities focus around water. I have seen many fishing boats, kayaks, canoes and SUPs in the campground. However, there are a lot of other attractions relatively close, so you don’t have to be a watersports enthusiast to enjoy staying there.

You need the Recreational Passport to enter the park.

Camping in a Popular Interlochen State Park
Modern campground.

Interlochen State Park Attractions

  • Access to two lakes – Green Lake from rustic campground area, or from boat launch; Duck Lake from main campground, beach and boat launches, or stairs to the lake.
  • Beach – beach is relatively small.
  • Playground for kids – next to the beach.
  • Volleyball court
  • Basketball court
  • Baseball diamond
  • Picnic area – with picnic tables and a small pavilion.
  • Hiking trails (not on any official maps; check out the Up North Trails link at the bottom – the map shows only one of the trails)
Beach area
Beach area.

Interlochen State Park Campgrounds

The are two campgrounds:

  • Modern (on the east (Duck Lake) side with 431 campsites, some with 50 amp service. Few are paved and pull through. The campground is divided into north and south sections. The campground has also 3 cabins and 2 tents (rent-a-tent) to rent. Both sides have modern bathrooms with showers. There are also water faucets throughout.
  • Rustic campground is called the Green Lake Campground and is located on the west (Green Lake) side. It has 59 sites. It also has the north and south loops. The campground has few vault toilets and water faucets throughout.
Rustic campground
Rustic campground.

The campsites in the modern campground are relatively cramped, with a little privacy. There are few bigger campsites here and there. Most campsites have trees and some degree of shade.

The rustic sites on the other hand are pretty big, with a lot of privacy.

The campsites rates vary for each of the locations but generally range from $25 – $29 per night for a modern site, $17 – for rustic site, $36 – for a rent-a-tent, and $90 – for a cabin. Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance.

The park does not have a wi-fi service available.

Camping in a Popular Interlochen State Park
Cabin.

Park Store

The park store is located in the modern campground between the north and south sections, by the beach. The store has the basic food, beverages and firewood.

Interlochen State Park store
Campground store.

Final Thoughts

The Interlochen State Park is a good place to camp in the northwestern part of the Lower Peninsula. It is definitely great, if you plan some water activities like boating, fishing, kayaking, etc.

The modern campground does not provide much privacy, and at times can be loud till late hours. Therefore, if you are looking for some privacy and peace and quiet, I suggest, you camp in the rustic campground.

Restrooms in modern campground
Restrooms in modern campground.

The park is quite popular in the warm season of the year, so try to make your reservation relatively early, or you might be out of luck.

For active people, there is a lot to do in the area. There are some hiking trails nearby. Then, further away, there are parks, like Sleeping Bear Dunes, and there are more bike trails, more hiking trails, lakes and rivers for paddling.

The area is a popular with tourists and travelers and therefore there are plenty of restaurants and stores nearby.

Paddling on Green Lake
Paddling on Green Lake

Resources

Shoreline Visitors Guide – Interlochen State Park   

Up North Trails – Interlochen State Park   

DNR – Interlochen State Park   

Interlochen State Park

Rich S. is a lifetime photographer and traveler based in Metro Detroit area. He has been traveling the Great Lakes area for over 30 years. Follow his blog about his trips, interesting activities and destinations in the Great Lakes region.

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