Cheboygan is on Lake Huron in the northeastern corner of Michigan’s lower peninsula. It’s about a half-hour from Mackinac City and could make a good base for visiting Mackinac Island. (So would Wilderness State Park.) We camped there for five days.
Day 1: Door County to Cheboygan
We left Door County at 8:05 AM, arriving in Cheboygan at 5:00 PM Eastern. We stopped for gas twice, and also for coffee in Sturgeon Bay. Someone had just delivered some fresh pies, so we got a couple for breakfast. Not the greatest pies, but pretty good. The drawbridge was up at Sturgeon Bay so we had time to eat our pies while we waited.
We stopped at the Dreamland restaurant outside Gulliver in the UP for lunch. Steve had the reuben special; I had their own-made sausage sandwich with fries and slaw. The pork sausage was really good.
There was no ranger at Cheboygan state park when we arrived, so we did the self-check-in by phone which actually worked well. Our site was pretty nice. It backed up to the water, though you could barely see it through the woods. It took some bushwacking to get to the shore. Thankfully we caught a couple of park workers and were able to get firewood. Then we drove into Family Fare and got groceries and some Cheboygan Brewing IPA #11, which we enjoyed.
Day 2: Hiking in Cheboygan State Park
Our key activity our first day in camp was hiking at the state park, which you can do right from the campground. We also walked over to the boat launch to check out the sunset. Despite being on the “sunrise coast” of Michigan, we did have good sunsets here. I also discovered what the Zoe camera on my phone does, so I had some fun with that by the campfire.
Day 3: Oqueoc Falls
Oqueoc Falls are the largest falls in the lower peninsula, but not very big. We wonder how waterfalls are measured since these weren’t very impressive. Still, picturesque, and kids seemed to have fun climbing around and playing in the water. We did the paved and stepped walk to the falls, then took the trail in a mile and back. It was a pleasant hike, though nothing I would drive out of the way for. We stopped at Plath’s in Rogers City on the way back to camp and got some ground beef and summer sausage.
Day 4: North Central Rail Trail
We went to Topinabee (love that name!) to try out the rail trail along Mullett Lake, which is more of a bike trail than a hiking trail. It was more of a walk than a hike, but still more interesting than walking at home. Lots of tiny little cottages down by the water. We had fun speculating on what the heck they were. I think the trail would be much more interesting on a bike and would be pretty easy cycling. We may have to get bikes if we continue to camp …
Day 5: Hanging Out in Camp
Up to this point in Cheboygan we ate in camp. We did have breakfast out on our last day, at the Step Inn. Steve had the Meaty Mess and I had the Meat Lovers breakfast. Both were quite good, and the service was good and friendly.
We spent the day just hanging around in camp. It was surprisingly warm; into the upper 80s.
For dinner we went to This Old House for pizza. Thank god Steve talked me into a medium deep dish instead of a large. We had two pieces left! It was very good pizza. Nice crunchy cheese on the edges, and crust that wasn’t too thick. What is now referred to as “Detroit style pizza” apparently.
The campground has about 80 sites and is quiet. When we were there after Labor Day there was no camp host and rangers were there sporadically. We had reservations and the self-check-in process was posted and easy. We needed an extension cord for the electrical hookup. Firewood was available when a ranger was. Nice hiking in the park. The road to the beach was rough. The beach itself was picturesque and quiet.
There are a few restaurants in Cheboygan and at least one decent-sized grocery store.
There is no public transportation in the area. We were towing our trailer so we had our own vehicle.