Tawas Point State Park

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Campground – 210 Sites

686 Tawas Beach Road
East Tawas, MI 48730

My stay:  June 28-30, 2011
Campground Site Map
DNR Website

Tawas State Park - entry to campground

This is as you enter the campground just past the registration station. Campground host on the right. The far right side of the campground are the sites on the beach of Tawas Bay.
Tawas - Middle row
This shows a middle row, starting with Site 91 on the left.

Tawas - Site 36

Site 36 backs up pretty close to the bay, although it's hard to see it in this picture.

Tawas - Site 42
This is site 42 and also shows the walkway to the beach.
Tawas - beach by CG
Here's the beach right past that fence you see above. Gorgeous weather, blue skies and cool breezes really made my stay here superb!
Tawas - Site 50-51
This shows the bend in the road with one of the mini cabins (Fox Den), then Sites 50 & 51.
According to the Park Supervisor, Chuck Allen, the most requested site is #50 as it's tucked away a bit here by the bay. Site 132 to the left in the next row is another popular one due to its proximity to the path leading to the lighthouse and is a bit more set off by itself with a more secluded feel. Site 200 seems best for big rigs and there are several pull through sites.
Tawas - me in #196
I was on the left side of the campground in Site 196. Across the street is a pond and lush greenery. I liked how it was shady on one side and open on the other, allowing me to get DirecTV from my rooftop dish.
General Info:  There's a good mix of shady and partially sunny sites, with some pull throughs. No 50 amp service to any sites.
When I asked Chuck what was a "must see" here besides the lighthouse, I was told that one obird-cagef the park's biggest claims to fame is that Tawas Point is known as one of the area's best "migrant traps." I'm no "official" bird watcher, but as much as I love to see them, that didn't sound like a good thing to me…

…So I looked it up and the AuSable Valley Audubon Society explained that it's "a geographical feature – in this cbirdlaughingase, Tawas Point – that is favorably situated along the migration route creating the concentration of a variety of birds in a small geographical area. This leads to exceptional birdwatching."  Basically, it sounds like to me that the birds get tired of fighting the wind and weather conditions created by the point and take a break and party at the park.     

Bird Checklist for Tawas Point State Park
Tawas Point Birding Festival
Wildlife Viewing at Tawas Point State Park

So I was too late for the trapped birds in mid May and too early for the congregation of Monarch butterfiles journeying south to Mexico in mid August…

 …and this was my shortest stay at any MI state park so far. Not only due to availability, but the main problem I had was that I could not stay consistently connected to the internet, which is necessary for me to be able to work and pay for gas. I verified I was able to connect using my Verizon air card when I first arrived and the first night it did okay. Phone had a lot of static, but I was able to use it. The next day I had trouble connecting and when I finally did, I kept getting kicked off. The phone had trouble connecting and kept dropping calls once I did.

It's just too inconvenient for me to have to go to town to connect or use another wi-fi. I usually work at night, need two monitors for some tasks, as well as a foot pedal for dictation transcription, so I need to be able to connect from the RV.

So I'm sorry I didn't have more time or the right time for some things, but I did get to explore my first Michigan lighthouse, and got my bike out for the first time and enjoyed the great paths here. And I'm just going to be thankful for the time I did have and just keep on truckin' around Michigan!


Compass-goldGPS coordinates of registration station for campground checkin:
N 44.25727° – W 83.44406°
Elevation: 586.29 feet
Note: both Garmin and Streets & Trips got me here with no problem using the street address.


lighthouse-buttonVisit the Tawas Point Lighthouse:  The "sole representative of a true Victorian-era style station on the Great Lakes."



I'd love to hear your own experiences about places I've been - and what you think are "must-sees" - and I really value any suggestions and feedback from readers, so please let me have your 2 cents in Comments below:

  • Debbie

    Malias, It was wonderful to meet you at River Plantation! I just had to put my input on Tawas Point. Thanks for showing the pictures….I grew up there and there was no park when i was growing up. All Beach….While there isn’t a lot to do in the Tawas area….It’s a wonderful place to grow up. Once again…Thank you for the pictures and again it was our pleasure to met you…keep in touch and hope to run across you again.

    • Hey Debbie! That’s great that we have the MI connection, too! I absolutely loved my summer there and fully intend to visit again. But for now I’m totally in love with Tennessee – the beauty and meeting great folks like you! I really appreciate your sharing about Tawas Point. I bet it is a really cool place to have grown up – I have a FB friend that camp hosts there and she loves it. I may end up in Asheville at some point, so I really do hope we can visit more and swap travel tales!

  • Debbie

    Good Morning, Glad you had a wonderful time there. It is a beautiful place and it will always be home….but….I’m like you, i fell in love with Tennessee and the friendly people. Home is for visiting now. Let us know when you come to Asheville would love to spend time with you, you have a very exciting job and yes….we could definitely swap travel story’s. We could maybe have dinner. You’ll have to let me know your friends name, my brother camps out there if not in Harrisville. Have a wonderful day.

    • My friend’s name is Viola Cook (she’s on Facebook) and I’m sure she’d love to hear from you. Also, did you see the page I did on Harrisville? Another MI State Park gem! Will definitely let you know when I’m heading toward Asheville!

  • Debbie

    I’ll look her up….what a fun job that would be to be a host. I’ve not been to the page you did on Harrisville,but…I hear it’s nice. My brother leaves tomorrow for a week there (they camp there all the time and love it) I’ll be sure to check it out.

    • Lucky your brother! Harrisville is on my top 10 list of campgrounds I visited in Michigan. Of course, that’s tough since there were so many I loved, but the proximity to the beach and the bike path to Harrisville – that was special!

  • Cher, I’m not affiliated with the park in any way, so would not want to speak for them. I suggest you call and ask them directly to get the real scoop. 🙂

  • kaylab.cpg

    I’m not 100% on this but I believe the only way that you can have a golf cart (other than park staff) is if the cart is street legal. Without it being street legal, it probably falls under an orv category and wouldn’t be allowed in the park. But it definitely doesn’t hurt to call and ask, park staff is always very friendly and helpful.