I am originally from the area and have many options of places to stay, but this is my #1 choice. The campground is one of the best I have ever been to. The sites are wooded and mostly private, the bathrooms are always clean and well stocked. But the best thing of all is the other campers you meet, most are so friendly and considerate of others. I lost my brand new camera right before we were ready to leave, someone saw my flyers and called me that they had found it. They mailed it to me. Nice honest people!!!!!!
Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
I found this place by mistake while searching for firewood for a trip to the area and camping at another campground http://www.torchlakefirewood.com/ I couldn't say enough nice things about this place, it is truly a gem! Besides having the "Wood Guy" right outside the park with good dry wood to have a great campfire (3 for $10, $35 half, $65 full face cord), there is a nice hardware/general store/gas station with diesel around the corner on US31, a DNR beach access for Torch Lake just east of US31 on Hwy 88, where we could take the dogs to swim in the lake. Torch Lake just had a few small rocks near shore but otherwise a sandy bottom.
Many of the sights were plenty spacious for our 35 foot three slide fifth wheel. The sites are up on a bluff, but there is a nice stairway down to the sandy beach, but the lake was full of rocks, basically flat but completely covered in rocks, so water shoes are a nice thing to have, but not a complete necessity like camping on some parts of Huron or Superior.
We picked a site and a worker stopped by in the evening for payment, though we stopped by the office on a few occasions during our stay to purchase a t shirt, no one seemed to be there, but being after Labor Day this wasn't a big surprise. I noticed some negative reviews due to refunds, we managed there clearly stated policy by just purchasing a few nights then adding as we decided to stay longer, as no refunds is on the board at the office. While the sites that may be reserved were okay, there are plenty of nicer sites if you can come in early in the week or during the off season pretty much anytime will allow a decent site choice. You can easily switch sites first thing in the morning, if one opens up you like better and take care of it later in the day. There are no paved sites and dirt will be an issue.
This place is kept clean! We had vault toilets nearby and used them on occasion since they were closer, the regular restrooms were clean and as every other thing in this park, very well cared for. Showers were 5 minutes, though it took nearly 30 seconds for warm water, the temp was controllable. There are garbage cans every several sites so getting rid of trash is easy, and there is a recycling area for other items near the office, which is nice to get rid of stuff that doesn't need to enter a landfill.
There are several trails in which to walk, or in my case tire out the dogs, which were also well maintained and wide enough to easily walk my two Rotts. Wish we could have taken the dogs to the beach there but it was clearly stated to be a $25 fine.
Verizon normally worked but would loose 3/4 G at times. Satellite TV could be tough due to trees, but since I don't know how they work there could be possibilities. We were able to watch the 4 big networks of ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox with no issues, along with some PBS channels.
All in all this park will be on our annual hit list as it has turned into an instant favorite for the wife and I.
Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
We spent the weekend in Eastport, Michigan. As far as I can tell, there are two reasons to go to Eastport - camping on Grand Traverse Bay or Torch Lake. The beauty of Grand Traverse Bay is undisputable and the locals say that National Geographic magazine once ranked Torch Lake as the third most beautiful lake in the world. Eastport is nestled in between the two of them.
We camped at Barnes Park. It is a campground on Grand Traverse Bay and it administrated by Antrim County. We arrived with some friends on a Thursday and found plenty of campsites from which to choose. We selected sites four and five. They were both roomy and were located up a small hill from the beach. It pays to look around before choosing a site. Most of the sites are pretty roomy but a few are small. Most sites have electricity but none have water. There are several places in the campground where campers can fill water containers.
There are two buildings with modern plumbing and showers. We used the newer of the two (located near the stairs that go down to the beach, see map on web site). The front portion of the building had men's and women's bathrooms complete with changing tables. The back of the building was split up into four individual shower rooms which provide complete privacy. Be sure to take some quarters as showers cost 25 cents per five minutes of water. Hot water was never an issue.
They take reservations for some campsites but most of them are first come, first served. Some of the sites designated for reservations we liked, others we did not. We felt the best campsites were amongst the ones not available for reservation.
The friends we were with have camped here for many years but this was our first time. It is easy to understand why they keep coming back. It is a beautiful campground with a great location. From what we are told, the campground is not promoted so many people have never heard of it. Eastport is an extremely small town so if you can find it on the map (north of Elk Rapids on US-31) you will not have any trouble finding the campground. August 2009
This page last updated on 1/9/2015.