Cool, clear air, zero bugs and no crowds. Spring camping is as fresh as can be.

There are few better ways to immerse in the great northern woods than spending a night in it. Go to bed by the light of flickering stars instead of the backlit screen of a mobile device. Wake to the sounds of the forest coming alive all around, versus the monotonous tune of an alarm. Camping brings us back to simpler times and removes distractions of the modern world.

Northern Michigan has vast public lands and state campgrounds with excellent facilities, making it easy to get into the woods. There are also trails where you can set up camp just about anywhere you’d like. The Manistee River Trail near Mesick offers incredible views and camping opportunities. The trail is part of the Manistee National Forest and meanders 11 miles along the river and on top of bluffs overlooking the valley. If you are interested in a longer backpacking and camping trip, a bridge connects the Manistee River Trail to the North Country Trail. This creates a 23-mile loop through natural, wild, undeveloped Michigan forest.