Muskallonge Lake State Park in Michigan’s UP

Muskallonge Lake State Park was our next camping destination after staying at Soo Locks Campground.  Located on the east side of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, it seemed like a good jumping off point for seeing Pictured Rocks.  If we had done a little more research, we might have stayed on the west side of Pictured Rocks, but we enjoyed our time at this isolated and beautiful state park.

Muskallonge Lake State Park is located between Lake Superior and Muskallonge Lake.  In other words, it is on the shores of both, with County Road 407 dividing the park in half.  The half on the south side of the road contains a 159 site campground.  The half on the north side of the road contains a beautiful, undeveloped beach along Lake Superior, perfect for searching for agates.

It took us several hours to get to Muskallonge Lake from Sault Ste. Marie.  We stopped at a Meijers before we left Sault Ste. Marie because we knew we would be staying an hour away from another grocery store at Muskallonge Lake.  Tom and I also stopped in Newberry because we knew we wouldn’t have cell service for several days.  We wanted to call my mom and dad before we headed into the wilderness.

Muskallonge Lake is a beautiful state park.  We registered with the ranger and then filled our water tank before easily finding and parking in our site.  All the sites were very level.  The campground office had wifi, with several picnic tables close by where you could use it.  Some of the campsites had a cell signal due to a booster at the Camphost site.  We did not have a cell signal, but the Shaws, next to us, did.

Campground registration
Some of the campsites
An unusual setup
The Shaws site
Our site
Muskallonge Lake
Lake Superior is so clear
Tom and Sandy looking for agates

As soon as we got set up, we headed across the county road to the beach.  There was a 1/2 mile trail from our campsite to the beach and it was an easy walk.  I have no interest in searching for agates.  I wouldn’t recognize an agate if it hit me on the head.  But Sandy and Tom spent a long time walking up and down the beach looking and talking to other agate hunters.  Agates are hard to spot unless you really know what you are looking for.  Most of them look like regular rocks until you cut them open.  Tom and Sandy didn’t find any but enjoyed looking and finding other pretty rocks.

The Lake Superior beach was our favorite part of staying at Muskallonge Lake State Park.  The campground was very quiet until the weekend when a lot of ATV campers came in.  There are ATV trails all over the Upper Peninsula and riding is very popular.  I have never understood the attraction.  ATVs are loud, smelly, and ruin the ecosystem.  I would prefer to hike in solitude and quiet.  But a lot of people in the UP seem to really enjoy riding.

We spent most of our time during the day away from our campsite.  But we enjoyed the quiet and the gorgeous, starry skies at night.  While we were at the campground we had our second campfire.  We had a lot of leftover marshmallows to use up!  I had gotten some Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies at the grocery store.  I had read that they were good around toasted marshmallow.  Sandy and I tried it and both loved them.  The cookies were a little crumbly, but the chocolate on them melted as soon as it hit the toasted marshmallow.  Sandy polished off half the cookies.  I was a little more constrained, but not because I wanted to be.

One of the things that we really enjoyed while we were traveling with the Shaws was the nightly games of Farkle.  We played a game most nights after supper but before we turned in for bed.  It is an easy game to learn but has enough strategy that it can keep being fun.  We kept track of who won each night and I think Eric and Sandy ended up with the same number of wins.  Tom also won.  Mr. Walliser and I were too conservative in our play to win.  But we always enjoyed playing.

I would recommend staying closer to Munising if you want to see Pictured Rocks National Seashore.  But Muskallonge Lake Sate Park was a wonderful place for some peace and quiet along the beautiful Lake Superior shore.