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Author Topic:   Detroit: 200-Mile Radius: Boat Camping Destinations
Ben posted 02-11-2007 10:30 AM ET (US)   Profile for Ben   Send Email to Ben  
I am looking for some fun family adventure suggestion to take the kids camping via boat. I want to get to camp by boat, and the camp location should be within walking distance of mooring the boat. I don't mind a 30-mile boat trip to destination but would not like to trailer the boat more than 200 miles from Detroit. Any suggestions? One was Manitou Island, but when I looked it up they do not allow you to keep your boat tied to the island over night. I appreciate the suggestions! Trying to plan the summer early.
Barfly posted 02-11-2007 06:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barfly  Send Email to Barfly     
Try Beaver Island off the coast of Charlevoix. Great fun and lots of secluded beaches.
Dorkmeat posted 02-11-2007 09:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dorkmeat  Send Email to Dorkmeat

put in at Cheboygan and boat across Heron 20 miles

This island is set up for the boat camper.

Dorkmeat posted 02-11-2007 09:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dorkmeat  Send Email to Dorkmeat     
The anchorage is on the government bay side of the island.

There are picnic tables and a camping area. You're quite close to Cederville where you'll find courtesy docks if you need to get anything or to go for breakfast. Great area to explore around the island there.

Sounds fun!

home Aside posted 02-11-2007 09:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
WOW!!!! What a great thread, only I don't know any of the Posters thus far, and I thought I knew just about everyone in the Michigan area who posts here on CW....

Beaver Island is 32 Miles off Charlevoix, Mi
the Les Cheneaux Islands,
Mackinac Island
The Inland Waterway, Mullet Lake, Indian River, Etc
Lake Erie to the south
Grand Bend on Lake Michigan to the west,
Tons of places to see in the area


Buckda posted 02-11-2007 09:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Government Island in the Les Cheneaux Islands is a great place.

The best campsite is actually near the Yacht Entrance, right at the mouth of Scammons Harbor on the North East side of the island. Great spot.

Not sure how far Tobermory is, but that's the jumping off point for the Georgian Bay/the North Channel - and there's plenty to do and see there!

Welcome to the site.


home Aside posted 02-12-2007 10:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
Where are you at in the Detroit area? What model of Whaler do you have?


Moose posted 02-12-2007 07:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moose  Send Email to Moose     
Darn it! It's 284 miles from Detroit to Cheboygan.

But, it's all for the best, wouldn't want to see Cedarville and Hessel become discovered & crowded.

It's worth the extra drive...

dfmcintyre posted 02-12-2007 07:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Ben -

Tough parameter with it being within 200 miles of Detroit....most of the posts are well beyond that. I don't know about the distance as the crow flys, but if the crow is driving a car that's pulling a Whaler, 200 miles north of Detroit is just a dozen miles north of the I75 / 127 interchange.

One place that has gotten my interest is over at Toronto Island. There are a number of small islands and canals right off the city shoreline. Don't know if there is camping or not, might need some research.

What about the Holland area?

Another spot is up on the east side of Lake Huron. Grand Bend and the Pinery Prov Park.

Regards Don

jimh posted 02-12-2007 07:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Moved discussion to TRIPS & RENDEZVOUS.
jimh posted 02-12-2007 11:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It sounds like only an island camp ground will fit your criteria. The only ones I can think of that are within 200-miles of Detroit are in Lake Erie.

If you can drive farther, you will open up many more possibilities.

Ben posted 02-13-2007 08:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ben  Send Email to Ben     

Thanks for moving the thread - was not sure how to do it. I would be willing to travel a bit further - maybe 300 miles but that would be tops.

dfmcintyre posted 02-13-2007 05:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Ben -

How old are the kids, and what size is the (I'm assuming) Whaler?


Ben posted 02-14-2007 09:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ben  Send Email to Ben     
Kids are 7-9-11 and we have a 1977 21 Ft outrage and a 1984 Montauk. Thanks for all the suggestions. Keep them coming. Anything in the Ohio or Indiana areas?
DIVE 1 posted 02-15-2007 05:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for DIVE 1    
You may want to check out the state park campground at Kelley's Island, Ohio.
dfmcintyre posted 02-16-2007 11:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Ben -

Ok, farther ideas....

Lake Cadillac / Lake Mitchell. There's a canal between the lakes and adjoining state park. You can moor the boat along the canal (bring fenders). Easy zip across the lake to downtown Cadillac for lunch / dinner and mooring at the city docks.

The whole Inland Waterway can and is a huge fun spot. Much to to there.


Buckda posted 02-16-2007 03:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Ben -

You're asking a lot that the campsite be ONLY ACCESSIBLE by boat in that narrow of a radius around Detroit.

There are likely some areas where you could find an anchorage and stay aboard the boat, with access to shore, in that radius - I would think that some of the island areas of the St. Clair river leading to Lake St. Clair would qualify there.

There's also a State Park in Grand Traverse Bay, and even Manitou or Beaver Islands in Lake Michigan - but they may be further than your initial range.

Government Island in the Les Cheneaux is the closest "remote" camping island that I can think of that is nearby and allows overnight camping.

The Inland Waterway offers two state parks (Burt Lake and Aloha) which would allow boat access, however, they are also accessible by car.

For really good island Camping, you need to explore a bit more remote locations, which will require a greater time commitment on your part - the islands in the North Channel of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay are the absolute best I can think of that are nearby.

For real adventure, Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior would be a blast for your kids, but probably best as they enter their early teen years.

There is also an Island (I forget the name) in the Apostle Islands National Seashore (Lake Superior) that would be great.

For when you have older teens, consider a trip to the Slate Islands and/or Michipicoten Island (Lake Superior).

Those require a day to get to the launch point, a day out and the same for the reverse, meaning that they're week-long trips, minimum.

Also consider that the remote location may have impact on cell phone coverage.

Even Government Island in Cedarville has spotty cellular coverage - you need to clear penny island and you can then pick up the tower from the Lower Peninsula across the lake in Cheboygan. Gov't Island is also rustic - outhouses and picnic tables are provided, with a few trash barrels too - when we go, it's ship out what you ship in! You'll also be well-connected to civilization with other campers present, and sometimes the noise of the nearby dolomite mining operation can be annoying in the early evening.

A good anchorage at a day-time use only park would work, so long as you and the kids don't mind bathing in the lake.

Royboy posted 02-17-2007 11:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
The Inland Waterway is an excellent choice because there are a range of possibilities there as Dave (Buckda) mentions. There's also easy access from Cheboygan to Bois Blanc and Mackinaw Islands. Cheboygan also has a very nice State Park located on Duncan Bay. That whole area has a lot to offer, from the touristy to the wild and wooly.


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