Beaver Island features 2 campgrounds, 2 light houses, and Caribbean blue clean fresh Lake Michigan water.  Enjoying the sunset every night from one of the Islands pristine beaches is a camping dream.

Reaching Beaver Island is an adventure of its own.  Most visitors take the ferry out of Charlevoix ran by the Beaver Island Boat Company.  Their website has prices and schedules but for adults it is about $60 round trip making it a very affordable expedition for camping.  You can take your bike, canoe, or even car with you for additional fare.  If you get seasick or visit Beaver Island during the winter you will need to take a quick air flight which will run you about $100.  During the summer especially after a storm the ferry can encounter large waves and many visitors will get seasick while heading to the island.  Fresh Air Aviation services the island by air 12 months out of the year.

There are two campgrounds on Beaver Island both are operated by the townships on the island.  St James Campground is located on the North side of the Island and Bill Wagner is located on the East side.  Both campgrounds are primitive rustic campgrounds and have limited resources.  Pit toilets and hand water pumps are located at the campgrounds.  Many campers that visit Beaver Island camp in the State Forest that covers approximately 1/3 of the Island.  Check with the DNR about regulations for camping on state land.  If you are on a budget this can be a great way to enjoy the wilderness and save money too.

St James Township Campground
on the North side of the island is a favorite of campers on the island.  The views from the campground are incredible with views of Garden Island and several other neighboring islands in the distance.  The Lake Michigan view from this campground will be a treasured memory for you and your family.  Open April 1-November St James Township Campground offers 12 rustic campsites for $5 per night.  Availability is first come first serve but the campground is rarely full even in peak season.

Bill Wagner Peaine Township Campground
is located on the East side of Beaver Island.  Bill Wagner campsites are in an old pine forest on the beach.  There are 22 rustic sites and pit toilets with a hand water pump.  The price for each campsite is $10 a night and even during peak season there is almost always availability at this first come first serve campground.

While camping on Beaver Island and enjoying the solitude of nature there are great resources the island offers for campers to make the stay less rustic.  Emerald Isle Hotel has hot showers for $10 so you can clean up during your stay.  There is a Spartan Grocery Store and several convenience stores and gas stations on the island for camping supplies and food.  Visiting the world famous
Shamrock Restaurant and Pub or one of the other great restaurants on the island will give you a taste of island culture during your visit.

The Island has a rich history that is shared with its camping visitors.  Beaver Island is the only Kingdom that was ever formed inside the United States.  During the 1850's Mormons came to the island, their leader pronounced himself King James and along with his 2500+ followers kicked the other residents off the island.  His Kingdom only lasted 8 years before his eventual death when mainlanders ran his followers off the island.  During the late 1800's Fishing was big business on Beaver Island.  At one time the island was the largest supplier of freshwater fish to the United States.  There is a rich traditional fishing heritage on the island that can still be seen today.

Today tourism is the primary industry on the island.  Camping and Backpacking on the island are favorite activities of those looking for a primitive camping experience.  Residents of the island are always friendly and will offer you advice of where to go and what beaches you have to visit.

Camping on Beaver Island is one of Michigan's most exciting vacations.  Beaver Island is approximately 50 square miles in size and located in Lake Michigan.  The Island can be reached by Ferry from Charlevoix or by air.  Charlevoix is only about a 6 hour drive from Chicago or Detroit making Beaver Island an excellent remote camping experience that can be done on a long weekend.
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