Camping Along the Pere Marquette River

There are over 2,200 private campsites which are dispersed through the watershed. Other outdoor recreational facilities provided by private sources include golf courses, horseback riding and skiing activities.

Campground Camping within the PM River Corridor

  • Bowman Lake Campground (walk-in campground)
  • Bowman Bridge Campground (also RV camping here for a fee)
  • Claybanks Campground (also RV camping here for a fee)
  • Elk Canoe Campground
  • Gleason's Landing Campground (camping fee required; no RVs)
  • Logmark Rest Stop
  • Sulak Campground (also RV camnig here for a fee)
  • Whelan Lake Area

Group Camping along PM River

  • Bowman Bridge Campground (requires reservation from mid-May to mid-September)
  • Gleason's Landing Campground

Dispersed Camping along the PM River

There is no camping along the Pere Marquette River within 1/4 miles of the river, or outside of designated campgrounds on the National Forest.

There is no permit to camp in National Forests or designated campgrounds. Some do require a reservation and/or camping fee.

For more information, contact the Baldwin White Cloud Ranger District at (231) 745-4631.

Although not located in the watershed, there are several state parks located in the vicinity of the Pere Marquette River. These include Ludington, Newaygo and White Cloud state parks. These parks offer almost 600 campsites as well as picnicking, hiking and playground facilities.

In addition, there are three state forest campgrounds located near the Pere Marquette River. These are: Bray Creek - 9 campsites; Little Leverentz - 7 campsites; and Big Leverentz - 11 campsites.

The U.S. Forest Service campgrounds Timber Creek, Nichols Lake and Highbanks Lake offer picnicking and snowmobiling, and have a total of 43 camping sites. In the past, indiscriminate camping has occurred at the Bowman's Bridge access site. The U.S. Forest Service is currently developing approximately 50 designated camping units at this location to alleviate this problem. New camping units will be located back away from the river and will be designed to protect the natural values of the river environment. Camping at the water's edge will be prohibited in the future.

The City of Scottville operates Riverside Park, a campground on the Pere Marquette River. This facility offers picnicking, playground, boat launch facilities, as well as over 50 campsites.

Boat and canoe access sites are well distributed on the main stream. These include sites at: the Forks, Bowman's Bridge, Rainbow Rapids, Upper Branch Bridge, Walhalla Bridge, Indian Bridge, Scottville, and U.S. 31 Bridge. Access sites are also located on the Baldwin River, Middle Branch, Little South Branch and Big South Branch

Source: USDA Forest Service (revised 2013) and

For more West Michigan camping, campgrounds, parks, and RV park information, check out these additional camping links:

Ludington State Park Camping -- Well-known as Michigan's "Queen" of state parks, make your reservations early since campsites at the Ludington State Park fill quickly.
Camping in Manistee, Michigan -- Enjoy camping along the Manistee River in the heart of the Manistee National Forest, and explore Manistee's historic downtown district and riverwalk.
Campgrounds and RV Parks in Ludington, Michigan -- A favorite vacation spot, Ludington on Lake Michigan has wonderful campgrounds and luxury RV Parks complete with swimming pools and more!
Hamlin Lake Camping -- Just 4 miles north of Ludington, Hamlin Lake is a great destination for boating, fishing and camping! The Hamlin Lake shoreline is also part of the Ludington State Park.
Silver Lake Sand Dunes Campgrounds and RV Parks -- Camping by the Silver Lake Sand Dunes makes for a terrific vacation because you can take your off-road vehicle for a spin on the scenic sand dunes overlooking Lake Michigan and Silver Lake.
Pentwater, Michigan Camping -- Nothing is quite like the quaint, artsy, harbortown village of Pentwater. Several campgrounds and RV Parks are closeby, and don't miss the popular Charles Mears State Park on the Lake Michigan shoreline.
Camping in Scottville, Michigan -- Campgrounds include the Riverside Park along the National Scenic Pere Marquette River.
Camping on the Pere Marquette River near Scottville, Michigan -- Campgrounds include the Riverside Park along the National Scenic Pere Marquette River.

And be sure to check out for our largest list of West Michigan Campgrounds.

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Last Updated: 12-26-2019 01:09 PM ID: 682