Baraga State Park in Baraga, Michigan

Most of the state parks in Michigan are absolutely stunning, wonderful places to stay.  Baraga State Park is not one of them.  In fact, Baraga State Park was the only thing on our Michigan trip that was a disappointment.  We would eagerly return to any of the other state parks where we stayed.  Baraga is a place we will actively avoid.

I’m not sure why Baraga State Park is a state park at all.  Someone must have lobbied pretty hard for it.  It would better be described as a camping rest stop along the road.  Baraga is located on US 41 at the southern end of the Keweenaw Peninsula.  The town of Baraga is the first one you come to as you start north on US 41 on L’Anse Bay and the park is just before the town.

When Tom and I booked a night at Baraga, we thought it would be just as lovely as all the other state parks on the shores of one of the Great Lakes.  The campground is pretty enough, backing up onto a woods with a nature trail.  We checked in easily and appreciated how helpful the ranger was.

Our campsite at Baraga

When Tom and I pulled into our campsite, we were surprised that so few people were there.  All the other Michigan state park campgrounds were very full, even during the week.  We enjoyed our supper and took a hike along the nature trail.  Then, during the night, we discovered why there were so few people at the campground.  Road noise.

US 41 behind our campsite

Tom and I live along OH-3, which is a very busy road near Columbus.  We are used to road noise.  But this road noise was more than an occasional hum during the night.  It was a constant roar.  The proximity of the road to Lake Superior increased the noise as it echoed over the water.  For some reason, all the trucks that drove by felt the need to honk their horns as they went around the curve.  All night long.  It felt like our RV was parked in the middle of an interstate.  We could even fell the vibrations as some of the semis sped by.  We have stayed at truck stops that were quieter than Baraga.

Campground was mostly empty

The next morning we could not pull out fast enough.  Tom even got up early so we could get going.  We weren’t sleeping anyway.

All the other state parks we stayed in and visited in Michigan were wonderful.  We felt that Michigan does a great job with their state parks, keeping them updated and clean.  The other parks are in scenic spots that make it a joy to stay there.  Baraga is definitely the anomaly to avoid.