Northern Michigan Camping and Its Hidden Gems – Mackinac Island

March 10, 2022

Northern Michigan Camping and Its Hidden Gems – Mackinac Island

Living in Northern Michigan, there comes a time when we have to winterize our RV and wait for spring to arrive. When spring appears again, it's time to plan all the adventures of the short summer months. This past June, we decided to take our dogs on an RV trip and visit Mackinac Island, Michigan. It was our first trip with the travel trailer for the summer, and we were all very excited to get out there and go!

Mackinac Island is a small island in northern Michigan that can only be accessed by a ferry. There are no cars allowed on the island, and you get everywhere by walking, taking a bike or a horse-drawn carriage. We had never taken the dogs to this fantastic place, and it was finally time to make it happen.

We loaded up the travel trailer and headed to a campground near St. Ignace, Michigan. We stayed at the Straits Area State Park Campground. From here, we had about a 10-minute drive to get to the ferry that took us over to the island. Our dogs had no idea what they were in for.

We got to our campsite late in the evening and set up our area.  One of the things I love about our Jayco Travel Trailer is how easy it is to set up, and we can park it in almost any spot since it's so tiny. We decided to walk around the campground and enjoy some stunning views of the Mackinac Bridge at night. We made sure to get to bed early that night because we had a long day ahead.

In the morning, we got up, made coffee in the travel trailer and packed up everything we would need for the day. We had a backpack full of snacks and things we might need for the dogs, and we headed to the ferry. The ride from the ferry in St Ignace to the island usually is around 15 - 20 minutes, but we decided to take the ferry that took us under the bridge for some exceptional views. The dogs loved the ride! After getting to the dock on the island, we started the real adventure of the day. 

There are only a few ways to get around the island, and even though many of the horse-drawn carriages do allow dogs on them, we decided that we would walk as much of the island as possible. Visiting the island feels like you are stepping back in time. Downtown Mackinac Island is the hustle and bustle center, with people everywhere during peak tourist season. And among all those people, you hear the fantastic sounds of horse hooves clopping on the ground. The dogs were amazed by the horses and were more curious about them than anything else on the island. They didn't bark at them and behaved very well. 

We hiked downtown and then headed to Fort Mackinac (which allows dogs). The dogs got an adorable photo with one of the staff in the fort, and we walked them through many of the buildings. After leaving the fort, we hiked to Arch Rock and just took our time exploring the island.   My husband and I had not been to the island in over ten years, so we also enjoyed remembering how amazing it is! 

After hiking over ten miles, we headed down to the ferry to leave the island and head back to camp. The dogs were exhausted, and so were we. My husband built a fire so we could make some pie iron sandwiches. One of my favorite things about camping is cooking over the open fire. The dogs slept outside the camper as we ate dinner and watched the sun go down. Once it was bedtime, we loaded up in the travel trailer and snuggled into our favorite sleeping spots. It was the perfect end to a perfect day, and we were all ready for a good night of rest. Our travel trailer really does feel like a home away from home.

Contributor Section 

Jess and Jamie Hatch – Snow Dogs Vlogs

The Snow Dogs Vlogs, Jess and Jamie share their lives with Siberian Huskies! Their current pack consists of Memphis and Kira. Memphis is an eight-year-old snuggle bug who loves to be around people and experience all the smells she can. This dog loves to be hugged and snuggled but is always ready to hit the road for an adventure! Kira is a two-year-old who is already growing into being the next Diva of the family. She has the puppy spunk and energy and is constantly getting into trouble and making everyone laugh. She has already figured out that when they start packing their Jay Feather Ultra Lite, it means adventure is coming! They live in beautiful Northern Michigan, and many of their travel adventures focus on their home state. Their Jayco travel trailer has opened up so many travel possibilities for them. They have used their travel trailer in all kinds of weather, including snow.


Jayco Ambassador: Jayco Jay Feather Ultra

@snowdogsvlogs on Instagram

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