Always a beautiful state park. I camped here several times when I was a kid. You can tell that the State of Michigan is starting to invest in its parks again: everything was in good repair. The facilities were clean, and they were mowing in the Riversbend campground while we were here. Cell phone reception is spotty in Riversbend but OK higher up in Overlook campground. Wi-Fi access is the same, depending on your ISP (our Virgin Mobile MiFi hotspot didn't get a signal). We had a pull-through site in Riversbend Site No. 14, and were able to pick up satellite for DirecTV. Mosquitoes were awful. We actually had a departing camper walk up while we set up, asking if we needed mosquito coils he had left over. It IS in the middle of expansive cedar swamps, so mosquitoes are expected, but worth the stay. There's a great lady who drives her truck through with firewood: a very friendly vendor.
Not extremely busy during our stay, early in the season. Facilities are extremely clean and well-kept, right down to designated bins to dispose of ashes. Some of the RV sites are narrow and surrounded by wooden posts; good solid gravel bases--our site was very level and utilities worked great. Wi-Fi accessible at our site in Loop #9, but we didn't use it. The wide-open grassy area between the numbered loops and Lake Huron is GREAT--lets everyone have access to the shore and views of the islands and Mackinac Bridge. Drawback: flush toilets in ONE building near pool, showers in that building and a second one next door (but no toilets in that building). The bathrooms are spotless, and the primitive toilets are too (even vented with fans to prevent smell). Roads are narrow with many turns. The nice things outweigh the drawbacks.
Well-kept and clean, probably because it isn't advertised and isn't near the tourist traps. Payment is honor system. Good grassy sites (about half of them have tree shade), good gravel roadways, some site butt up to the road and there is a bit of road noise (not much, since this isn't on the main tourist road). Each site has a picnic table and grill. Satellite reception is decent. Electrical is 30 amp. There's a dump station and the pit toilets are pretty clean. Very basic and inexpensive place, which is great if you're self-contained and don't want hordes of screaming children or amenities like pools...this is a great home base for exploring around Mackinaw City. From US-23 or from I-75 Exit 337, turn SOUTH on Nicolet Street/Mackinaw Highway; cross over I-75 and go south about a mile. The campground is on the left (east) side of Mackinac Highway at Paquet Road.
Yes, the check-in office is "cluttered", but I'm not camping in the office (and I carry my own soap and towels, for that matter). The owners are friendly and gave me maps for how to get around road construction in Duluth; the sites are level and totally grassy in the pull-throughs (they ask that you NOT use patio mats, and you don't need them with the grass anyhow). While the sites are narrow for rigs with huge slide-outs, it was the fastest set-up I've ever had. Fire-rings and picnic tables are at each site (they even brought out a picnic table for my site, unasked, while I was setting up.) The bathrooms and showers are simple but clean. Pool was nice. WiFi worked fine. The only drawbacks: it's a little ways into Superior to find gas, groceries, or stores; and a chain-smoking woman with dogs in a 5th-wheeler next to me "snuck" into my site in her robe during the night to blow out two citronella bucket candles I had lit to keep mosquitoes and flies away (I watched her from my window in disbelief). If you're expecting concierge service, hot towels, hors d'oeurves, and entertainment, this is not the place for you, but I'd go back again.
Grounds are immaculate, sites are essentially all grass and mowed. My site, #46, was mostly level, had a decent view of Chequamegon Bay and a small beach. Bathrooms clean, pay showers, easy to get in and out of, groceries and supplies are blocks away in town. Cable TV is included (look for cable connection on the side of the electric boxes), great cell reception. Only problems. LOTS of seasonal campers that seem to take the best spots then leave their boats and their junk only to be in the campground on weekends. Lots of traffic in and out with townspeople at the boat launch and picnic area and some non-campers using the bathroom and shower facilities. Very nice all the same!
Pretty nice place, very new and well-maintained. Staff outside of the office are very helpful. Security escorts you to your site and helps to get you perfectly lined-up in place. Access to the park is via key-carded gate. Most of the people there seem to be seasonal RVers without many kids. If I'm in the area again, I'd return.
I'm old enough to remember when this campground (it's not an RV park with modern entertainment!) was Benzie State Park with gravel roads, pit toilets, and the like. My elderly parents and dog went with me--the sites are all mostly private, paved and level pads, picnic table and grill/firepit in each site, and where we were in Loop 1/Site 124, we had a clear shot for satellite to watch TV on cold nights. Hot showers do cost $1 for 2 3-minute tokens, but it reminds you to not waste water or energy. NPS staff are incredible--the ranger who checked us in actually came out to my vehicle to verify my parents' senior status and saved us money! While there is no water or sewer on the sites, the sanitation station has two lanes and is easily accessible. Hands-down the best blend of camping and RV amenities for those who don't need a pool, room service, or 24-hour entertainment in order to experience nature. We will be back!