Traverse City State Park
Address: 1132 US-31, North, Traverse City, MI 49686
Spring has sprung friends! It is hard to believe that just a week prior to this we were slopping through snow, sleet, and rain to walk from the house to the camper. In a crazy turn of events, the sunshine decided to show up just in time for National Park Week!
National Parks are just another wonderful beautiful part of Michigan. We love our state parks, but we are so blessed to also have some beautiful National parks here in the Mitten. This week is National Park Week, so entrance to all of the National Parks are Fee Free! We thought we’d take advantage and head up to Sleeping Bear Dunes.
While booking a campground for this trip I quickly learned that most campgrounds in the area do not open prior to May 1st. There are a select few State Parks that are open year-round though, and Traverse City State Park is one of them. This park is about 25 minutes to the Sleeping Bear Dunes, so we figured it was a great place to park the camper for our visit.
Surprisingly, We’ve never stayed at this park. It’s such a popular area, but then, we tend to like a little more quiet and Traverse City State Park is RIGHT in the middle of the city. We heard two ambulances buzz by just in the short amount of time we were setting up camp. Thankfully, that was all for the entire trip.
This campground is located on a BUSY road. It is, however, fenced all the way around, so it’s safe to let the kids roam. Since it’s April, there were only a handful of other campers, and the boys had a lot of room to wander.
There is a small playground for the kids- but don’t get too excited. There are 4 swings, two slides, and a small bounce toy. It’s main playground is actually not located in the campground, but across the street at the State Park Public beach. It’s a really nice area, but again, across the busy road. We spent an hour or so here, basking in the sun and letting the kids play.
I do love that this is a year-round campground, those are a little hard to come by, however, we still payed $30 a night and the water was not turned on. This included electric only. They were hooking up the water as we were leaving. The bathroom house with showers and toilets was open and available for use though, thankfully!
We found this guy lurking around the campground. Not sure where he came from. 🙂
Although in the city, this campground does offer ample amounts of trees. I do love that about this space. We had a lot of fun playing in our new eno hammock, reading, and making breakfast below the trees.
Although we spent a lot of our time at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore during this trip, we did take a Sunday Drive up the peninsula. If you’ve never been to this area, this is a MUST. At the end of the peninsula you’ll find Old Mission Lighthouse. This is a nice little spot for a picnic lunch. The drive is filled with many wineries, road side stands, and little antique barns if you have the day to waste, which is always a recommendation.
Overall, the Traverse City area is a really beautiful place to visit.
Things we love-this one’s centrally located with all the things you could ever want to do within reach. The campground is full of trees although in the city, which makes it a true State Park.
The only downsides are the campground is a little on the “city” side for us, and the playground within the campground is lacking. If we’re camping in the area again though, it’s definitely a place we’d go back to.
Thanks for reading friends! Check out the second half of this trip and our adventures at Sleeping Bear Dunes, Here.