RV Park Review – Mill Creek Campground, Mackinaw City, MI
A huge and pricey, but pleasantly green & wonderfully-located campground just 3 miles east of Mackinaw City on the “northern tip” of the MI mitt.
- Site quality = 3.5/5
This is a HUGE campground with over 200 acres of land and 600 sites including RV sites, tent sites and cabins so it’s hard to give a concise overview. On a top-level basis this park has a very “state-park like” atmosphere with lots of trails and trees throughout the property. Sites are generally dirt/rock with sizes varying from smaller/tighter to very large (huge!), from primitive (no hookups) to full hookups (50Amp/water/sewer). All sites contain picnic table and fire-pit and there is generally a very “green” feel throughout and decent privacy except for a few of the tighter or more open sections:
- Entrance Section (A,B, C, L, M, N, P, T): The sites closest to the entrance are the most noisy (closest to the main road) and also the tightest, but they are also the cheapest. This is the “super saver” section of the park with prices ranging from $12/night (primitive) to $19/night (30 Amp electric/water). The sites here are heavily forested, close together and have limited or no hookups. This is mostly a tent or small-rig camping area and does NOT allow larger RVs.
- Eastern Waterfront Section (D, E, F, G, S, J): These sections are the ones closest to the swim beach. A mix of forested sites here, some tighter than others mostly offering water/electric hookups. Water-front sites are somewhat close together, but have excellent beach views. Most are best-suited for medium-sized rigs, but some can fit larger RVs. Lake view sites are $40 and up per night.
- Central Section (1-9): RV’s are in long rows here with generally more “open” feel (less trees/privacy) and more regular “private RV park-like” arrangement (side-by-side rows of sites). The sites towards the front (water-side) of the row are the nicest here since you get a very nice, open view of the water and bridge. The sites towards the back (furthest from the water) are located close(ish) to what smells like the sewer drain field for the campground (some days were quite smelly back there), so if you stay in this section I definitely recommend keeping to the front (water-end) side of the loops. Sites here can fit medium to large RVs.
- Western Section (10-19): Sites in this section are larger with more privacy and green, especially in the rows one back from the water (10, 11, 12). This is by far the most spacious/private part of the park with the highest site rating (easily 4/5 for the largest sites) and is the best-suited area for large/very large RVs. Some really HUGE sites in this section, plus it was really nice & quiet. You are also closer to the area where you can take your dog to the water. This is area we stayed in and the one we absolutely preferred. The prices here vary from $35/night up to $80/night for the largest water-view sites.
- Cabins & Group Sites: The campground also offers several areas with cabins and large group RV sites. Both were nice. In fact this would be a great campground to have a large group gathering or RV rally.
- Facilities = 4/5
Nice facilities here. Several flush toilets around camp and a big central shower facility with large, individual shower stalls. All were clean while we were here. The only dings were that there was really only one main shower area (long way to walk for the folks camped furthest away) plus showers have those annoying push-buttons.
- Amenities = 4/5
Some very nice amenities here, with just a few dings. There is a large swim-beach area on the eastern end of the campground plus a central recreation area with a nice swimming pool, several playgrounds and a basketball court. The central area also had a camp store selling food, coffee, various camp/grocery items, bike rentals & ferry tickets to Mackinac Island (at a discount -> the campground also offers free shuttle service to the ferry). There are also lots of places around camp to sit & enjoy either a picnic or the views along the waterfront path. The two biggest dings was lack of a laundromat & poor WiFi. Due to water restrictions there is NO laundromat on-site. Also, there is paid WiFi (Tengo), but it was far too slow to be usable the whole time we were here.
- Location = 5/5
Location is what this campground is all about. You are RIGHT on the waterfront of Lake Huron with excellent views of Mackinac Bridge and lots of shoreline to enjoy the view. You are also RIGHT next to the lovely 3-mile biking path to town and within easy access to everything there is to see and do in Mackinaw City. For convenience and location it’s hard to beat.
- Pet friendliness = 4.5/5
This is a pretty dog-friendly spot apart from one main ding. Lots of space to hang out in camp, plus plenty of trails and woods to walk around the 200 acres of property. Biggest ding is pets are not allowed on most of the waterfront except for a small section on the very western-side end of the park. So, if you want to take doggie in the water you have to hike to the western-most tip of the park. The park does have plans to build a dedicated dog-park in 2017, but it was not ready when we were there.
Overall rating = 4.2
BONUS ALERT = Park in a 200-acre campground with great views of Lake Huron & Mackinac Bridge!
Summary: We were having a hard time finding a place to stay in Mackinaw City and ended up staying here simply because it was the only campground that had an opening to take us. It’s a private RV park with over 600 sites so I was prepared for the worst and really didn’t expect to like it. What we discovered when we got here however was a lovely green “state-park like” environment with over 200 acres of land, a fabulous waterfront view and a very relaxed setting. In other words exactly the type of campground we like! The sites were nicely green, trees provided good privacy, there was lots of places to walk the dog, and the environment felt very laid-back despite how many people were camping here. The sites themselves are gravel/stone with picnic table and fire-pit. They are not manicured like a high-end park, but rather have a very natural feel. There’s a dizzying array of site prices (anywhere from $12/night to $80/night) and some sites are definitely nicer than others. Sites closest to the entrance are tight and forested, but also inexpensive (this is their “super saver” area). Sites by the eastern water-front are closer together, but do get excellent water views and direct access to the swim beach. Sites in the central section are more like a “regular” RV park (side-by-side rows of sites), but do have a more open feel & get some nice views towards the water-end side. Sites towards the west-end of the park are the furthest from the swim beach, but are also largest and most private (this was by far our preferred area). Lots of amenities in camp (swim beach, playground, park store, bike rentals etc.), very friendly hosts and you’re in a great location to explore everything there is to do and see in Mackinaw City. The park is also right next to the lovely 3-mile bike path into town and an easy 15-min drive to Mackinac Point Lighthouse and ferry to Mackinac Island. The only real dings were price (it was pricey) and the fact that the park doesn’t allow dogs along most of their waterfront (only on the camp road), except for a small section on the very western-end tip of the park. Overall however we really enjoyed our stay. We loved our spacious campsite, totally enjoyed walking the waterfront everyday (great views of the lake & bridge) and loved how to close to everything we were. We’d definitely stay here again.
Extra Info: Tengo WiFi (paid) offered on-site, but we found it slow and unusable. Weak, but stable/usable cell signal (1 bar Verizon LTE, 2 bars ATT LTE unboosted). Sites cost anywhere from $12/night (super-saver sites) to $80/night (large, lakeview) depending on what kind of site and which time of year you stay here. Click THIS page for detailed site costs.
Extra Info – OTHER CAMPING? There is plenty of other camping in the area, although most campgrounds get VERY full and book out VERY early especially in summer. Some of the other locations we considered were:
- Tee Pee Campground (= closest to town): This is a small no-frills campground and rather close to the main road, but it is also the closest to town (only 1 mile away!), has a small swim beach, nice bridge/water views and gets decent reviews online. Rates $30-42/night in summer. See more HERE.
- Mackinaw City Campground (= cheapest): This is a city park just a few miles inland from Mackinaw City. It’s very, very basic (just a few sites side-by-side on a large grassy field with pit toilets) but it offers water/electric for only $20/night (by far the best deal in the city) plus it’s right on the bike trail to town. Lastly it’s the only first-come-first-serve campground around, so if you haven’t reserved ahead, you have a chance to get in here. We checked this out when we were in town and it had lots of open spots even during the (very) busy week-end we were there. We could easily have stayed here. Great option for those who don’t mind basic grass-camping and want to save a few $$. See more HERE.
- Straits State Park (= nearest State Park): This is the nearest State Park to Mackinaw City (just across the bridge in St. Ignace) and gets very good reviews. Limited big rig sites here (it was fully booked out for our size when we looked), but it looks like a great option if you can get in. Sites cost $28-$30/night. See more HERE.
- Tiki RV Park (= Passport America): This is also across the bridge in St. Ignace, so it’s not right next to town but it does offer nice full hookup sites and Passport America discount (4 nights only. PA not valid during special events, the last weekend in June, and Labor Day weekend). With the PA discount the price is excellent ~$20/night. See more HERE.
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