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Monday, October 24, 2016

Battle Creek, Michigan region / Fort Custer Recreation Area

September 2016, Weekend, 1-night, Campsite 218


Our decision to camp in Fort Custer Recreation Area was last minute, so we did not have an advance reservation. We had never been to this park before, and the campsite photos would not show on my phone when I tried to view the available sites before our arrival. The ranger picked site 218 for us, which she said is a corner site. She had told us we could drive through and pick our own site if we wanted; however, there are over 200 sites in this park and it was late in the day. It was not dark yet, although we had not eaten dinner, and we did not want to spend another 20 minutes or so driving our 5th wheel through the park and then returning to the office.  

Sun rising over Jackson Hole Lake

Campsite 218

Looking at the campground map, it did not look like site 218 is a corner site; however, it basically is. The corner between this site and site 125 is all trees - site 125 is not actually on the corner like it is shown on the map. The campsite photo on the DNR reservation site for campsite 218 is accurate looking straight in from the road. I have included more photos below, which can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Campsite 218 is a large, level, and private site. There is a tar pad, and the rest of the ground cover was mostly dirt. Most of the sites in this campground were spacious and private.

Electric box in the distance on site 216

View from front of site

It was quite a distance to the electrical box, which was pretty much located on site 216. We backed in a good distance, and parked so that all our tires were on the tar pad, and our back jacks were on the dirt. We observed other campers parked all of the way on the dirt, rather than the tar pad - I assume because they did not have as much power cord as we did.

View looking out window toward site 216

View looking out the side window

The restrooms and showers are pretty close to campsite 218. The location of the fresh water spigot on the campground map by campsite 204 is accurate.

Facilities: restrooms, showers, sanitation station 

The restrooms and showers looked well maintained and fairly clean. We did not use the showers, and we only walked to the restrooms once. The campground was nearly full the night of our stay, and we expected a line at the sanitation station the next day, as there are no sites with full hookup. We left around 10:00 a.m., and only waited a couple of minutes. The stench in the dump area was overpowering. This was the worst smelling sanitation station we have ever used. In fact, a camper who was emptying his tank on the opposite side of where we had pulled in warned me to plug my nose when I walked up.

Recreation: hiking, biking, fishing, swimming

Ft. Custer Recreation Area is over 3,000 acres with many activities: swimming, fishing, boating (no wake), hiking, mountain biking, equestrian trails, and more. This was an impromptu stop for us on our way home from vacation, and we did not have as much time to enjoy the park as we would have liked.

Eagle Lake

Eagle Lake

The beach on Eagle Lake was nice and sandy. There were people swimming even though it was late September, and the concession rental stand was open. There are boat launches on Eagle Lake, Jackson Hole Lake, and Whitford & Lawler Lakes. We do not have mountain bikes, so we bicycled to all of the lakes via the paved road in the morning before we left. The last road into Jackson Hole Lake was dirt.

Eagle Lake 
I forgot to label this photo -
it was taken at the south end by Jackson Hole Lake

Please let me know if you have any information to share. This was a short visit for us, and I did not gather as many details as usual.