The Hiawatha National Forest is tucked between two of the Great Lakes, which means that it receives lake-effect weather year-round. Escape the summer mosquitoes and stay comfortable when the temperature dips at night by bringing an RV on your camping adventure. Rent an RV from RVshare, and you can start your trip from any convenient nearby city.
Get the full Hiawatha National Forest experience at Petes Lake Campground. It sits in the center of the forest, surrounded by trees and set on the shore of a small, clean lake. The campground is small and rustic, with non-electric sites tucked into the trees. All sites come with a picnic table and a fire pit, and you'll find drinking water and vault toilets within a short walk. Fish for walleye and pike from the dock, swim at the sandy beach, or explore the lake by boat. A hiking and biking trail runs through the campground. Rates range from $22-$24 per night.
If you're in search of peace and quiet, head to the tiny Indian River Campground. With just five sites, it makes a lovely home base. Sites sit just minutes off of M-94, so you can get off the road and into camp quickly. The Indian River runs nearby; you can launch a canoe or fish for brook trout and brown trout. The campground offers drinking water and toilets. Rates start at $20 per night.
Experience the magic of Lake Superior at Munising / Pictured Rocks KOA Journey. Located on the northern edge of Hiawatha National Forest, this thickly wooded campground offers plenty of perks for RVers. Take a swim in the heated pool, enjoy full hookups, connect to the Wi-Fi, or relax with the cable TV connection. The park offers RV sites up to 90 feet long, making it a popular choice for big rigs. Rates vary based on the date, the size of your RV, and the type of hookups you need, but you can expect to pay between $35 and $50 per night.
Wake up to stunning sunrises over Lake Michigan at the Portage Bay State Forest Campground. With 23 rustic spots, this lovely campground sits close to the sandy beaches south of Hiawatha National Forest. Bring your motorboat or kayak for fishing or exploring the shoreline, or hike the Ninga Aki Pathway. Vault toilets and drinking water are available in the park. Reservations are not accepted; arrive as early as possible in the summer months to snag a lake view site. The campground is open all year, and sites are $15 per night.
The Bruno's Run Trail is a loop trail that's open to hikers and bikers in the summer and snowshoers and cross-country skiers in the winter. It passes by a variety of small lakes, making it a popular option with anglers. In the autumn, it's a lovely way to experience Hiawatha National Forest's fantastic fall colors.
Length: 9.25 miles
The North Country National Scenic Trail runs across the United States from New York to North Dakota. You'll find 83 miles in the northern section of the Hiawatha National Forest. Access the trail from Munising — head west, and you can explore the spectacular Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Head east to discover the deep forests and hills.
Length: 83 miles (one way)
If you're traveling with little ones or people with limited mobility, experience the history and natural beauty of the Upper Peninsula at the Bay Furnace Historic Site and Interpretive Trail. This short, easy route takes you around a blast furnace from the 1800s. As you hike, keep an eye out for a glimpse of Grand Island, which sits just off the Lake Superior coast.
Length: 1/8 mile
The Bayshore Trail is one of the few year-round hiking options in the Hiawatha National Forest. It's located on the southern side of the forest in the Little Bay de Noc Recreation Area. Offering lovely views of Lake Michigan and beach access, it's fun for the whole family. If you want a longer hike, turn off on the White Pine Trail to add a 1.3-mile loop.
Length: 1.1 miles
The Hiawatha National Forest has been home to Native American people for centuries. Explore the fascinating cultural shifts on the Maywood History Trail. Flat and easy to navigate, it's a fun, relaxing hike. As you walk, make sure to read the many interpretive signs to learn about the natural area and the history of the people who have made their home in the region.
Length: .9 miles
Popular with bird-watchers, the Au Train Songbird Trail is known for its high avian population. Come in the morning, and you can hear the songs of chickadees, nuthatches, and more ringing through the trees. Au Train Lake is close to the trail, offering more wildlife-watching opportunities.
Length: 2 miles
Create a custom hike on the Bay De Noc Grand Island National Recreation Trail. Stretching 40 miles from Rapid River to Ackerman Lake, this route offers mostly level terrain interspersed with sections of glacial hills. In centuries past, Chippewa Indians used the trail as a portage between the two Great Lakes. If you're not in the mood to hike, bikes and horses are also welcome.
Length: 40 miles
The interior of the Hiawatha National Forest features a large variety of small lakes and rivers; many are open to swimming, canoeing, and fishing. If you're a paddling enthusiast, bring a canoe or kayak to explore the 51-mile Indian River Canoe Trail. In the spring, the water levels are high; make sure to scout your route for any rapids or potential dangers. On land, the forest offers biking, hiking, picnicking, and horseback riding. If you're interested in geology, head to the stunning rocky shoreline near Munising.
From mid-June, the river is calm and gentle, taking you through untouched forests and rolling hills. Lake Michigan offers beautiful sand beaches and pleasant water temperatures. If you're brave enough, head north to Lake Superior for exceptional kayaking and bone-chilling swims.
As for wildlife, there are over 250 species of birds at this national forest, and you'll also see white-tail deer, black bears, and gray wolves. Lakeside Daisy, Pitcher's Thistle, and Dwarf Lake Iris are a few of the endangered plant species you can find in the forest.
In the winter, try snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing. Some of the most spectacular views in the Hiawatha National Forest happen after dark. This part of Michigan is sparsely populated, allowing beautiful views of the stars.
Address: 820 Rains Drive, Gladstone, MI 49837
Fee: Entry fee $0
If you're in search of wild, untouched natural areas, Hiawatha National Forest makes the perfect getaway. Explore two of the most beautiful Great Lakes, camp deep in the forest, and spend your days hiking, biking, and fishing. With an RV, you'll be able to experience everything the forest has to offer in complete comfort.