P. J. Hoffmaster State Park
P. J. Hoffmaster State Park features over three miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, a 297 site modern campground, towering Lake Michigan dunes, and the Gillette Visitor Center. Miles of hiking and skiing trails offer stunning views of Lake Michigan and subtle beauty at every turn.
We camped at Hoffmaster for a week with 3 children (7, 5, and 2) in July 2017 and enjoyed it immensely. The site was pretty good - lots of beautiful trees behind it. The campers beach, despite the walk, was well worth it. The day use beach was fine too, though with small kids, we preferred the campers beach. The Butterfly Hike, turtle program, and dune hike (to find ant lions and tiger beetles) were great activities for us and the kids. Kudos to the park rangers who led them! We like to try different parks, but we'd consider a return visit!
Great place to camp if you don't mind the crowd. Playground kept the 3, 5 and 7 year old kids happy while the cleaned-often bathrooms and showers made the adults happy. The sandy hike to the beach was long for the active 3 year old but the 5 and 7 year old had no problems other than sandy shoes. Little Black Creek runs into the camper beach and it often is warmer than Lake Michigan. Don't miss the nature center with its sand dune exhibit, fish, snakes, nature programs and more. Family fun is number one at Hoffmaster.
The hiking trails are a little hilly but beautiful. There are lots of trees and shade to walk in and take in nature's beauty. The visitor center has an awesome little museum with information about dunes, the parks founder, botany, and much more. The beach is also gorgeous and very easy to get to.
The shower/toilet building is very clean, and we'll kept. This campground has electric but no full hookups but that's not a deal breaker as there is water available for campers (see the map). The beach and dunes are a must see. Beautiful sunsets, and no matter that the campground is full this place is still quiet. Friendly people and campers. This is our second year camping here, and we will be back again.
This an absolutely lovely place to go for a day-hike or to set up camp. The facilities are clean, everyone is friendly and the trails are gorgeous. There are plenty of routes to choose from, but I prefer those that take you down past the dunes to the beach, at which point you can walk along the beach or cut back into the forest. The trails can be a bit challenging to those with limited mobility, but otherwise entirely family-friendly and safe.