Nothing beats a night spent in the great outdoors, especially when you’re situated near a Great Lake. Sault Ste. Marie has a handful of campgrounds and state parks that make for excellent camping trips, whether you’re looking to rough it or bring your camper.
All the options for camping in and near the Soo bring tons of awesome opportunities. Most are close to the water for easy paddleboard/kayaking access. And they aren’t too far off the beaten trail, meaning shops, restaurants, and attractions are still easy to visit. Of course, if you’re after seclusion and campfires, there are plenty of places to camp in the Soo.
Here are our top picks for camping near Sault Ste. Marie:
Located within city limits, Aune Osborn Campground offers a great view of the St. Marys River and is located just minutes from the downtown area. It gets bonus points for being next to the Sugar Island Ferry and Clyde’s Drive-In. Plus, if you’re into “clubbing,” the campground is across the street from the Sault Ste. Marie Country Club. Aune Osborn Campground has sites for rustic camping as well as electric hookups, a fish cleaning station, and a boat launch.
The Soo Locks Campground is located on Portage Avenue near the Valley Camp. It’s just a short distance to the Soo Locks. We highly recommend bringing your bicycle since the campground is so close to the downtown area and the Soo Locks. There are 100 sites with water and electric available. Amenities include a dump station and restrooms. Both the Soo Locks Campground and Aune Osborn Campground are both excellent for watching freighters.
Another campsite located within Sault Ste. Marie city limits is a fan favorite for locals. Sherman Park features a pavilion for rent, a public beach, a large picnic area, outdoor grills, a volleyball court, and playground equipment. And of course, you can still see freighters from this upper river location. If you have a large group, we recommend Sherman Park.
Located about 15 minutes west of Sault Ste. Marie, Brimley State Park features 237 modern sites with electricity available. There are mini-cabins and a dump station available. Brimley State Park is one of the oldest parks in the Upper Peninsula. It features hunting, fishing, boating, camping, hiking, and beach access.
For the outdoor enthusiasts, nothing beats a weekend at Tahquamenon Falls State Park. Pro-tip for the ultimate nature lover: you can camp at Tahquamenon year-round. At the heart of the park is the Tahquamenon River and its accompanying waterfalls. The state park offers rowboat rentals (we highly recommend) and concessions. Whether bringing a tent or a camper, we recommend bringing bug repellent.
If you’re planning a camping trip in the Soo, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Dress in layers: The Upper Peninsula can be unpredictable, and temperatures can drop significantly at night. Bring warm clothes and be prepared for rain.
- Bring bug spray: Mosquitoes and black flies can be a nuisance in the summer months. Make sure to pack plenty of bug spray to keep them at bay.
- Be mindful of wildlife: Northern Michigan is home to a variety of wildlife, including eagles, deer, coyotes, bears, and moose. Be sure to store yourf ood in bear-proof containers and keep a safe distance from any wildlife you may encounter. Also, be sure to properly dispose of any trash or food scraps to avoid attracting unwanted visitors to your campsite.
- Respect quiet hours: Many campgrounds have designated quiet hours to ensure a peaceful and restful experience for all guests. Be sure to respect these hours and keep noise levels down during the designated times.
- Be prepared for limited amenities: While many campgrounds offer basic amenities such as restrooms and showers, some may have limited facilities or be more rustic in nature. Be sure to do your research and come prepared with any necessary supplies or equipment, such as portable showers or cooking gear.
- Stay hydrated: Even on cooler days, it’s important to stay hydrated, especially when engaging in outdoor activities such as hiking or kayaking. Bring plenty of water and consider bringing a water filtration system if you plan to be out for an extended period of time.
Whether you’re looking to rough it or bring your RV, Sault Ste. Marie offers an ideal location for an unforgettable camping adventure. Share your summer camping photos and recommendations with us by using the hashtag #ilovethesoo. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest for more camping and outdoor recommendations.