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.
My family and I love this campground. It's a bit crowded, but with some internet research, you can usually find a decent site and the lake is a short hike away, with hiking trails and a little stream that runs to lake Michigan. And don't forget the sand dunes. This is one of the few places left without "stay off the dunes" signs everywhere, so it allows for some fun running and jumping on the dunes. The people here are usually respectful, and not too loud, especially after quiet time begins. But there does tend to be an inordinately large number of children. There is a playground for them though, which helps. My only complaint, which is a complaint I have of almost ALL campgrounds, is that they always close the bathroom for cleaning right when nature is calling the loudest. They do have to close them, though, and I'm glad they're getting cleaned, but it is worth noting if you're a person that has their morning ritual. Otherwise this is a beautiful Michigan state campground, the lakeshore here is lovely, and I highly recommend it!
We booked camp site #81 for the last weekend in Sept. Easy reservation and check-in. Site was clean and park was well maintained. Some have commented on buying firewood outside the park. The in-park price is comparable and the cheap stuff locals are selling is pine and will burn in 5 mins. Hiked the trails and the beach, was great time with good weather. Def will be back!
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!
A wonderful park all year round. I usually avoid parks in winter but this one is well-maintained in the winter and delightful ti visit after a good snowfall.
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.