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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Garden, Michigan / Fayette Historic State Park and Campground

May 2015, Weekday, 3-nights, Lot #32

water near lot 32

Arrival and check-in

The entrance into Fayette Historic Park from the main road is paved and it is over a half mile long. Unfortunately, we did not see any wildlife along the way. There was not anyone in the office when we arrived, and I did not see a posting with our name or lot information. We had reserved and paid for lot 32 online, so we continued to our lot and settled in. 

There were two other campers in the park when we arrived, and a few more arrived during our stay. Every time guests arrived at a campsite, a campground employee stopped to see them a few minutes later. I assume, to give them their campsite documents and such. We expected someone to stop and talk with us; however, no one did until the night before we departed. At that time, someone drove by after checking with another camper who had just arrived. He asked if we had checked in, and we said that we had made our reservation online. He asked if we wanted him to bring us our check-in papers. We said that we had our online receipt, and that it did not matter since we were leaving in the morning. He must not have been concerned about this either, because when he returned with paperwork for the other campers, he did not bring us anything.

When we had walked by the Old School Site that morning, it looked like there was a sign in the window at the contact station that said something about checking in at 8:00 or 8:30 a.m. It seems like we were probably supposed to have completed our check-in at the office our first morning, and we did not realize it. Since we had not seen a sign about reserved lots, and there was not a cone on our lot when we arrived, we were glad that our lot had been open when we got there!

Lot 32

view from lot 32
Lot 32 is a pull-through lot at the end of the second loop near the water. The lot is a good size, and the description says that it is level. The lot actually has a slight incline, which did not present too much of a problem for us. It has 50 amp power, and a water spicket was located across the street next to lot 33. 

Lot 33 is located about as close to the water as you can get in this campground. We had a view of the trees across the road, and we could see a small bit of water through a small opening in the trees. There was a primitive walkway down to the water next to lot 33. 

view from inside on lot 32
Our view would have been obstructed if anyone had been camping on lot 33. We had thought about choosing lot 33, and we were glad we did not. That lot is fully shaded, and even though it says it can take up to a 35' camper, it would have been tight for our 30' 5th wheel.

hill down to the water near lot 32 and 33
A 5th wheel was on lot 24 when we arrived, and someone checked into lot 25 in the second loop before we left. Although the second loop drive goes around the end of lot 32, we did not have any interruptions from vehicles driving by. The only vehicle that we observed drive by was the ranger who spoke with us on the last night of our stay.

We stayed in this campground June 2004, and there were not many campers at that time either.


This campground does not have showers, flush toilets, or a dump station. There are flush toilets in the visitor center and gift shop, which are only open during business open times. There are pit toilets in the campground area, and a trash dumpster with recycling bins.


There are a couple of miles of easy walking trails in this park. The trails were not well marked, and we needed to make sure we were paying attention, so that we did not veer off the trail. The view from the Scenic Overlook on the trail was beautiful! There are more pictures of this campground on Facebook in the Fayette Historic Park album, and there is a video, too.

view from scenic overlook
We rode our bicycles to the visitor center (the hill out was a bit of a climb!), and to the beach picnic area outside of the campground. There is a boat launch between the campground and picnic area, although we did not check this out. We observed a couple of campers with a small fishing boat or a canoe. There is also a walking trail from the campground to the boat launch and the beach/picnic area.

The Historic Townsite was an easy walk from the campground. It is downhill from the visitor center, and there is handicap parking available below the visitor center.

The Fayette Historic site map, which is available online, is a good representation of the park layout and trails.

There is room for about 5 to 8 boats to dock (depending on the size) in the Historic Townsite area. We visited by boat in 2010, and the cost was $10 per night at that time. There is no power or facilities at the boat docks.

On our hikes we observed bald eagles, woodpeckers, and deer. And, seagulls, of course!

Overall and misc.

There is a restaurant called Sherry's Port Bar outside the campground near the picnic area within biking or walking distance. It looked like it was open when we rode out there on our bicycles, although we did not stop.

park on Sac Bay
We drove to the end of the main road to the town of Fairport near the bottom of the peninsula, and stopped at a small county park on Sac Bay. There was not much to see or do; however, we had never been down that far before, so we wanted to check it out. I could not find the park that we stopped at on the map; we had seen a sign for it when we drove out toward the bay.

Fayette Historic Park is a nice stop for a day or two, if you have not been there before. There is a lot of history in the townsite. I suppose if you are visiting the area for fishing or canoeing, a longer stay might make more sense. There were campers in the park with a canoe when we arrived who were still there when we left three days later.

As always, let me know if you have any info to add!