Camping close to home
Setting up camp at Groveland Oaks feels like joining a group of family friends for a weekend away – that’s the kind of welcoming vibe you’ll find at this Oakland County summer-favorite park. Situated in Holly, a bit northwest of Pontiac, the campground offers an array of sites and activities to keep your kids busy – till they’re roasting s’mores and chatting about everything they’ve done that day.
“We have a lot of recreation opportunities for people of all ages,” says Boyd Brokenshaw, the park supervisor. “There’s swimming, fishing, biking, a skate park – that’s just (to name) a few.” He adds that Thursdays-Sundays host crafts and other activities for campers. And each weekend has a different theme, from Dad’s Day Weekend – you guessed it, June 15-17 – to Mystery Mania, Frontier Fun, Hawaiian Luau and other family-friendly options all summer long.
Groveland Oaks includes a variety of camping options for families. Besides its 267 standard campsites, reserve a cabin or one of four yurts. The sturdy circular tents offer a cool way for your kids to sleep under the stars. Its newest yurt just opened over Memorial Day – it’s located on Cottage Island and reachable by small footbridge.
From birding to beaches
Not far from the Michigan-Ohio border, on the outskirts of Toledo, Maumee Bay State Park feels like a world apart. The 1,336-acre escape includes a boardwalk that follows the Lake Erie shoreline. Pack binoculars for the kids – the area is known for birding. Spot plenty along the five-mile bicycle/pedestrian trail, which also takes in an inland lake where kids can swim, build castles on a sandy beach or just hang out. For campers, there are 252 sites, with shower houses and restrooms nearby (and, if you’d prefer the comfort of a cabin, they have those, too!).
An Arkansas adventure
Stretching from the highest mountain in the state over 1.2 million acres, Ozark National Forest in Arkansas is speckled with camping spots. Take your pick from mountainside, lakeside or forest getaways. If your preference is primitive camping, its wilderness areas don’t disappoint. Save time to explore Blanchard Springs Caverns, too – a massive cave system where forest service guides walk you through the underground world.