Friday, July 17, 2015

Campground Review: Seven Lakes State Park Holly, MI

My camping friend Becky and I visited Mackinaw Island and from there traveled south into the lower peninsula to Seven Lakes State Park near Holly, MI.  Becky had an extremely early flight home so our strategy was to spend her last two Michigan days camping within a reasonable drive of the Detroit Airport.

You camp at the Sand Lake Campground within Seven Lakes SP.
Sand Lakes was originally going to be a commercial development but the developers couldn't make a go of it and in 1969 sold the 1400 acres of forest and farm land to the State of Michigan.  The campground at the park is in a small bowl that contains a small lake (big pond?) that was actively utilized during our stay for swimming and kayaking. 

Campground from the top of the bowl, lake in the background.
After carrying the kayak all the way from Houston it was fun to be able to get it off the roof of the Tank and actually use it!

Ahoy from on Dickinson Lake!
Here's the Seven Lakes State Park data sheet:

Hookups:                                 20 amp, 30 amp
Fire ring:                                  Yes
Water Access:                         Yes
Fresh Water:                            Yes
Trash Service:                          Yes
Toilets:                                    Yes
Showers:                                 Yes
Dump station:                          Yes
WiFi:                                       No
Level sites:                              Yes
Laundry:                                  No
Store:                                       No
Pool:                                        No
Shade:                                     Not at the campground                      
Verizon reception:                   4G, 2 Bars
Internet reception:                   2 out of 4 bars
Cost:                                      $22 / night

There was a lot to do at Seven Lakes.  Activities included hiking along the approximate 5 miles of trails, fishing in one of the lakes, kayaking and swimming in Lake Dickinson, geocaching (we found one) and campfires being just some.

Most of the Park's trails weren't this pristine, but they were fun.
Although the Park consists mostly of forest the campground itself takes a little ding for not really having any shade.  For the first time in a long while we found it necessary to put up my camping cover to make our own shade.

If there's no shade you have to make your own.
The park was quiet to camp in, maybe because of the bowl like structure the campground resides in.  No street or road noise with just an occasional distant train.  We heard this distant rumbling once and it turned into...

This guy got his balloon within a few feet of the water then took off.
Theres's a decent sand beach and marked off swimming area (no lifeguard) on Lake Dickinson and the kids seemed to really enjoy it based on Marco Polo games played.

The swimming beach with the boat launch in the foreground.
For a park in the more developed portion of Michigan's lower peninsula Seven Lakes State Park gives off a more rustic vibe.  If I had been brought there blindfolded I would have guessed we were much further north than Holly, MI.  The rangers at the park are really helpful and friendly and the camping experience is enjoyable as long as you have a way to generate shade and some insect spray for when you hike the trails.  Bring a canoe or kayak and you'll have a great time!

Thanks for reading!

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