Monday, July 28, 2008

Lake Michigan camping - Part 2

Last weekend, I lucked out again with last-minute availability at another popular beachfront park--this time on the Wisconsin side at Point Beach State Forest near Two Rivers just north of Manitowoc (where the ferry from Ludington arrives). Most campsites in this park were huge and quite private. There was also a large, sandy dog beach just south of the lighthouse right in the park (quite a few nice dog beaches on the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan). Millie had a great time!

No 9:30pm sunsets on this side of the Lake, though. We had to wake up just after 5:00am to catch this beautiful sunrise:

We were less than an hour away from Door County, so on Saturday, I decided to drive up to Whitefish Dunes State Park to photograph it's spectacular rocky shoreline-- really quite unusual for Lake Michigan. I had no idea this kind of scenery could be found so close to home.

Thanks to Jeremy from the T@B forum for tipping me off to this great park!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Lake Michigan camping - Part 1

I've been having nice luck lately in getting weekend camping reservations at some popular parks just a few days in advance (most likely, these were sites that had been reserved months ago but now being canceled at the last minute).

My first reservation bonanza was a weekend electric site at Ludington State Park along the western shore of Lake Michigan.

Western Michigan is an absolute delight in the summertime-- the lake is warm, miles of sandy beaches, great sunsets, and friendly small towns. Ludington is a vibrant small town with lots of downtown activity (thanks to the SS Badger car ferry that makes several trips a day over to Manitowac, Wisconsin) and a pretty park along the shoreline looking out onto a lighthouse (unfortunately, no sunset this night, so I took a shot of what little I could get!)

The state park is really nice with miles of sandy beaches, dunes, and hiking trails through forests, a 1-mile river section between the lake and the beach for peacefully floats, and a large lake with a canoe trail. I was eager to try out my new solo canoe, so opted to do the canoe trail one day. These were a few views from the water:

While it was a great park for me, Millie was not too thrilled with Michigan. Most of their shoreline is off limits to dogs. I was able to find one dog beach, however, at the Lake Michigan National Recreation Area just north of the state park. Millie had a blast at this long sandy beach, and climbing up and over the large sand dune to get there!