Why pitch a tent when you can spend the night in a yurt?
Spending the night under the stars is arguably the best way to experience Pure Michigan. And now at a number of Michigan state parks, you have more options than rustic cabins or the old family tent. As part of a unique initiative from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, you can experience the outdoors while “glamping” in luxury tents, brand-new mini cabins, and even yurts and teepees. And you won’t need to spend top dollar to do it.
Check out these 18 creative ways to stay in state parks in Michigan.
All descriptions as quoted by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. They have been modified slightly for brevity and grammar.
Highland Recreation Area Safari Tents
5200 Highland Rd., White Lake MI, 48383
“This campsite is located in a meadow at the Dodge 10 Unit location of Highland Recreation Area. Equipped with a pre-set sturdy canvas tent on its own wooden deck platform, it comes furnished with a queen-size memory foam mattress, two side tables, a lantern, a broom, a fire extinguisher, a smoke detector, in addition to a 10 x 10 pop-up tent. Outside are two wooden Adirondack chairs, a picnic table, a food pantry cabinet, a fire pit with a grill and a lovely forest/meadow relaxing view!”
Port Crescent State Park Mini Cabin, Hammocks, and Geodesic Domes
1775 Port Austin Rd., Port Austin MI, 48467
“Mini Cabin A is located at the western end of the park’s modern campground. The cabin sleeps four in two bunkbeds. The cabin has a microwave, mini fridge and coffee maker. There is a fire pit, grill, table and cement patio outdoors.”
“Located in the park’s modern campground and set along Lake Huron’s lakefront, these hammock-only sites (sites #H66 and #H67) provide a unique camping experience. Each site includes four posts and hooks that accommodate up to four hammocks, a picnic table, electric service and a fire ring. The ground is relatively flat and sandy.
“Hammock rentals (not included in the reservation fee) are available on a first-come, first-served basis by calling the park. There is a $25 deposit.”
“Two accessible geodesic domes, located in the center of the campground, offer an intimate setting with spruce paneling, skylights and views of Lake Huron. Each dome sleeps up to four and offers air conditioning and heat. There is a queen bed, and up to two can sleep in cot-style bunks. In addition, there is a sitting area, coffee maker, microwave and mini fridge.
“The grey dome (The Voyager) features modern furnishings, and the gold dome (The Nomad) features traditional furnishings.”
Sleeper State Park Mini Cabins and Safari Tents
6573 State Park Rd., Caseville MI, 48725-9799
“The park’s mini cabin is located on the eastern end of the modern campground. The cabin sleeps five people and includes two sets of bunkbeds (one double bed and three single beds). The cabins include a mini refrigerator, microwave, heater, ceiling fan and lighting. A picnic table, a fire pit and a waist-high cook grill can be found outdoors. The cabins have electricity, and water is available in the campground.”
“This spacious safari-style, canvas-walled tent is set on a raised wooden platform and is outfitted with a comfortable bed for a good night’s sleep, Adirondack chairs for resting and a fire pit perfect for camaraderie and stargazing (don’t forget to bring marshmallows).
“These walk-in sites are located in rustic areas outside the park campground, some in a wooded area and others on a forested dune overlooking Lake Huron (just steps from the shoreline). They all require a short hike from the parking area. There is one accessible site with a parking spot. Each site includes a queen-size memory foam mattress on a sturdy bed frame, Adirondack chairs, a fire pit, a fire pit grill and a picnic table with a pantry storage cabinet. There is no electricity, so please bring your own lanterns or flashlights.”
Ionia Recreation Area Mini Cabins
2880 West David Highway, Ionia MI, 48846
“Cabin 32 (now known as Monarch) and Cabin 34 (now known as Cottontale) have been given a fresh remodel!
“Located in the modern campground and backing up to the woods, these mini cabins offer plenty of shade. Maximum capacity is four people, and each site may have up to two vehicles. Each cabin includes a kitchenette (mini refrigerator, microwave and coffee pot), a beautiful reclaimed wood hearth area (complete with electric stove), a ceiling fan, electrical outlets with USB ports and a bar area with stools. There are two bunkbeds (full mattress on the bottom and a twin on top) and bunk cots.
“A new covered front porch, picnic table, fire pit and grill are found outdoors. The cabins are close to vault toilets and the modern toilet/shower building (open April 15 to Oct. 30) is just a .25-mile walk. A water spigot is located within 200 feet.
“The cabin comes with the use of a canoe that is just a short drive away and stored at the Point Picnic Area.”
Pontiac Lake Recreation Area Cottage Cabins & A-Frame Mini Cabin
7800 Gale Rd., Waterford MI, 48327
“Recreation Resource Management, a private operator and DNR partner, manages this mini cabin that sleeps two. Guests may bring another tent to accommodate up to four additional guests. The mini cabin is outfitted with two single beds and one dining table for two. The site also includes a picnic table and fire grill/pit combo to help round out the outdoor camping experience! This rental is electric-only, providing a ceiling fan for cooling. There is no running water, but campground restroom facilities are a short distance away.”
“Each cottage cabin is outfitted with one set of bunk beds and one queen bed in the back bedroom, a futon in the living room and a dining table, mini kitchenette (mini fridge, microwave and coffee maker) in the common space. Each site also includes a picnic table and fire grill/pit combo to help round out the outdoor camping experience! These rentals are electric-only, providing heating and cooling. There is no running water, but campground restroom facilities are just a short distance away. All cabins have a screened-in front porch and patio furniture, allowing visitors to enjoy the hilltop views.”
Cheboygan State Park Teepees
4490 Beach Rd, Cheboygan MI, 49721
“There are two teepees for rent. Both have a wooded floor, contain two sets of bunk beds, and have 20 amp service outlets. The swimming beach is three miles from the campground.”
Craig Lake State Park Yurt
Intersection of Nelligan Lake Road and US 41, Champion MI, 49814
“Secluded in the dense forest surrounding Keewaydin Lake, the 20-foot-diameter yurt sleeps six people and is outfitted with two bunk beds, an armoire, tables and chairs, a woodstove (for heat) with a cooktop, a small propane grill (bring your own 1-pound propane bottles). Running water and electricity are not available, but a vault toilet is located nearby. There is a canoe available for guests and available at the yurt.”
Muskegon State Park Yurt
3560 Memorial Dr., North Muskegon MI, 49445
“This 20-foot-diameter yurt sleeps seven with two log bunk beds and stacking cots. You’ll also find a table, chairs, a solar lantern and a wood stove for heat (firewood provided). During the warmer months, the modern toilet and shower building are available at the Lake Michigan Campground across the road, otherwise no electricity or running water is provided.”
Pinckney Recreation Area Yurt
8555 Silver Hill Rd., Pinckney MI, 48169
“Glenbrook Yurt is located on a ridge overlooking Portage River and Halfmoon Lake. Accessible by biking, hiking and driving, it is just steps away from Potawatomi trail and only one mile from Hell, Michigan.
“This yurt sleeps five and includes a picnic table, grill and fire circle, hand-pump water well and an outhouse outside. An indoor propane cooking stove and heater are available but you must bring your own propane canisters. Boat rentals and a chain of lakes are also nearby.”
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park Yurts and Tiny House
33303 Headquarters Rd., Ontonagon MI, 49953-9087
“Each yurt sleeps four people and is equipped with bunk beds, mattresses, a wood-heating stove, table/chair, fire circle, axe, bow saw and cooking and eating utensils. There is no running water or electricity. A vault toilet is located nearby (bring toilet paper). You must provide your own linens and towels.
“The yurts require you to hike in from a designated trailhead. The shortest hike is 100 yards, and the longest is 2.5 miles. In the winter, snowshoes or cross-country skis are needed mid-November through May.
“Potable drinking water is not provided. Unless carried in, all drinking water should be boiled for one minute or filtered through a 0.5-micron filter.”
“Set along the shores of Lake Superior inside Union Bay Campground, this facility was constructed in 2020.
“The tiny house sleeps four (two on the main floor and two in the loft) and includes a kitchen (small electric stove, microwave, mini refrigerator, coffee pot), table/chairs and seating. There is an accessible ramp. There is electricity and a propane heater. Potable water can be found in the campground.
“A fire pit, picnic table and charcoal grill can be found outdoors.”
Tawas Point State Park Yurt
686 Tawas Beach Rd., East Tawas MI, 48730
“The yurt is located within the modern campground and overlooks a pond that is home to turtles and is a stopping point for many species of waterfowl. This 16-foot diameter structure sleeps up to six people and is furnished with two sets of bunk beds (two are full beds and two are twin beds), table and chairs, lighting, a small refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot and electric heater. Outside there is a deck, picnic table and fire pit.”
Waterloo Recreation Area Yurt and Tiny House
16345 McClure Rd., Chelsea MI, 48118
“The accessible yurt is set in the Green Lake Rustic Campground and sleeps up to five. The yurt is outfitted with a twin-size loft bed and two full-size futon beds. A small table and chairs, a camp stove (guests must bring their own propane canisters), fire pit, picnic table and an outdoor table/chairs are provided. Guests are required to provide their own bedding.
“There are no modern restrooms or electricity available, but interior solar lighting is provided. A hand pump and vault toilets are located nearby.”
“The park’s new accessible tiny house offers a lake view and is located in the Sugarloaf Lake Campground near the designated swim beach. It sleeps four people with a full-size bed and a single trundle bed on the main floor and a single bed in the loft.
“The cabin has electrical service, including air conditioning, ceiling lights and a fan. There is no running water or a bathroom, but guests have access to the campgrounds’s modern restroom/shower building. Potable water can be obtained at the campground’s fill station.”