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Camping on the Boardman River



There are countless fantastic campsites scattered throughout northwest Michigan, many within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, but there are very few places to camp directly on the Boardman River.

There are 2 State Forest campgrounds on the river and both provide excellent river access, handicap accessible vault toilets & potable well water from hand-pumps; each campsite has a picnic table & fire ring. (no reservations)

There is also 1 private campground on the main portion of the Boardman and there are large tracts of state land on the North Branch that are open to dispersed camping.

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Forks is a rustic, State Forest campground located the furthest up-river and next to the public launch on Brown Bridge Road.  The campground is very small, only 8 sites, but most are situated directly on the river which helps make this a popular site.

Scheck's Place is a larger SF campground (30 sites) and is surrounded by Brown Bridge Quiet Area; it is located about 3.5 miles west of Forks on Brown Bridge Road. No campsites are directly on the water, but there is ample river access throughout the campground. There is also access to several hiking trails from Scheck's, including the fabulous North Country Trail which is the longest scenic trail in the United States.

Ranch Rudolf has the only private campground on the Boardman River. The Ranch is a full-service, rustic resort that has been in business for several decades with the same owners.  In addition to camping they offer lodging, horseback riding, a restaurant, pool & river trips. They are located on Brown Bridge Rd, between Forks & Scheck's.

Dispersed camping sites on State land along the North Branch of the Boardman River can be found down many of the 2-tracks off Gurnsey Lake Road/N River Rd (via Broomhead Rd & Supply Rd).

View camping locations on the Boardman River Recreation map.

 Local Camping Tips

Important Information
via the Michigan Department of Natural Resources 

State Land Rules (pdf)
Moving & Purchasing Firewood
Michigan laws & info
Current wildfire conditions in the 
Traverse City area call (231) 922-5280
via the US Forest Service
leave no trace of your visit

In an 
EMERGENCY dial 911
For police, fire or medical 
HELP!


Bearscougars & other wildlife live here, too.
Don't be scared be aware & prepared!

Encounters are very rare, but it's a good idea to carry a whistle & bear pepper spray.


State Forest & State Park camping info 
(fees, winter camping, pets, cabins & more)

All Michigan State Park & State Forest Campgrounds
require a MI-Recreation Passport sticker for entry
(also required at most DNR Trailheads & boat launches)

CAUTION: Cell phone coverage can be unpredictable on rivers & in low, dense forest areas.

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View all sites on the Boardman River Recreation map.

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DISCLAIMER: Every effort is made to provide current & accurate information, however, it is for reference only & NOT guaranteed. Please follow the appropriate links to learn detailed information & current conditions. Please note that websites can and do change links often; thank you for reporting broken links. Questions and comments are always welcome.


All original photographs & text Copyright © 2016 @TheBoardman

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