August 12-18, 2011 – At the recommendation of another RVing buddy with good memories of Gitche Gumee RV Park, I decided to make this my homebase to explore things in Marquette (Presque Isle) and Munising (Pictured Rocks Boat Cruise). Since it is located in between those two towns and right across the road from Lake Superior, it looked like a good choice to me.
The campground is multi-level, with the top level being closest to the beach and the lower level more heavily treed with larger sites, much further apart with more privacy between sites. See Site Map for layout of sites.
This shows highway M-28 with the beach access across the road from the campground entrance. Of course, I walked over there every day of my stay.
“By the shores of Gitche Gumee, by the shining big-sea water…”
So begins Longfellow’s poem “Song of Hiawatha” — the scene takes place here on these southern shores, and it’s easy to see why what we call Lake Superior, the Native Americans called Gitche Gumee, meaning “big water.”
This shows the entrance to the campground and the top level of sites 31-37. I was in Site 33, and this shot was taken from that perspective.
As you go down the hill, to the right is this row beginning with Site #39.
Site 53, a large pull through. I talked to Mary and Don here and they were happy with this site because while they liked the secluded, forest feel, there was enough clearing for them to get their satellite TV. Mary is originally from Marquette and they both said they really loved this park – it’s clean and they appreciate the natural landscaping, wild blueberries, and the width and privacy between sites.
Don also pointed out to me that his site (and many others) have dual sewer hookups (one toward the front of the site and the other toward the back). So wherever your hookups are located, you’re able to reach – nice feature!
Here you’re looking down the row that begins with the Camping Cabin (#30) and RV sites that begin with #29.
These sites on this side of the park (from Site 8 – 29) are water and electric only – no full hookups.
Sunset on beach across the road. This is one of the best “attractions” to me of this park and its location, so don’t miss a sunset or two over Lake Superior while you’re here!
I always do short recaps of pros/cons of parks I review:
The upper level sites are closest to beach access. They are lower priced than the larger sites downhill.
Those sites are much closer together, have no fire pits, picnic tables or grills. And although M-28 is not a busy highway, you do hear more road noise. The only other thing I noticed about my site was that the water pressure was pretty low.
Other Camper Comments – I met a woman from Washington State as she and her daughters were coming back from the beach. They said they liked the large pull through they were in, the close access to the beach, and how the lake bottom was sandy all the way out.
Other Campground Features:
Big rig friendly – many large pull through sites
Laundromat (4 washers/dryers)
Lodge with pool table, games, lending library, big TV
Free movies nightly in a large covered pavilion with huge screen
High end air compressor for filling big rig tires (no charge)
Open year round
Rates: When I was there, rates ranged from $35 – $49, but they aren’t published on the website and change with the season and electric useage is metered, so check with Jeff for your particular needs.
Malia’s 2 cents: If you’re looking for a meticulously manicured, concrete pad at every site, resort type of park, this is not it. Here you’ll find a more natural setting but still with the convenience of full hookups, cable, wi-fi, etc.
I was here less than a week and there were lots of things to see in the surrounding area, so I didn’t spend a lot of time at the park itself, so can’t comment on all its features, but I’d have no problem staying here again in this area.
I did visit with the owner, Jeff, a little while and was impressed that he’s literally built this park pretty much all by himself (his engineering background surely helped). He said for the past 40 years he has “lived and breathed” this park. He has obviously put a lot of himself into it, but an accident a couple of years ago left him unable to continue the pace he had been used to. So now he is preparing to turn it over to his son, who has the same vision and passion to create a great RV park in this beautiful area of the UP. Next on the list for major improvements is a swimming pool. Best of luck to you, Ranger Jeff!
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: