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Camping Along the Pere Marquette River

There are over 2,200 private campsites which are dispersed through the watershed. Other outdoor recreational facilities provided by private sources include golf courses, horseback riding and skiing activities.

Campground Camping within the PM River Corridor:

  • Bowman Lake Campground (walk-in campground)
  • Bowman Bridge Campground (also RV camping here for a fee)
  • Claybanks Campground (also RV camping here for a fee)
  • Elk Canoe Campground
  • Gleason’s Landing Campground (camping fee required; no RVs)
  • Logmark Rest Stop
  • Sulak Campground (also RV camping here for a fee)
  • Whelan Lake Area

Group Camping along PM River

  • Bowman Bridge Campground (requires reservation from mid-May to mid-September)
  • Gleason’s Landing Campground

Dispersed Camping along the PM River

There is no camping along the Pere Marquette River within 1/4 miles of the river, or outside of designated campgrounds on the National Forest. 

There is no permit to camp in National Forests or designated campgrounds. Some do require a reservation and/or camping fee.

For more information, contact the Baldwin White Cloud Ranger District at (231) 745-4631.

Although not located in the watershed, there are several state parks located in the vicinity of the Pere Marquette River. These include Ludington State Park, Newaygo and White Cloud state parks. These parks offer almost 600 campsites as well as picnicking, hiking and playground facilities.

In addition, there are three state forest campgrounds located near the Pere Marquette River. These are: Bray Creek – 9 campsites; Little Leverentz – 7 campsites; and Big Leverentz – 11 campsites.

The U.S. Forest Service campgrounds Timber Creek, Nichols Lake and Highbanks Lake offer picnicking and snowmobiling, and have a total of 43 camping sites. In the past, indiscriminate camping has occurred at the Bowman’s Bridge access site. The U.S. Forest Service is currently developing approximately 50 designated camping units at this location to alleviate this problem. New camping units will be located back away from the river and will be designed to protect the natural values of the river environment. Camping at the water’s edge will be prohibited in the future.

The City of Scottville operates Riverside Park, a campground on the Pere Marquette River. This facility offers picnicking, playground, boat launch facilities, as well as over 50 campsites.

Boat and canoe access sites are well distributed on the main stream. These include sites at: the Forks, Bowman’s Bridge, Rainbow Rapids, Upper Branch Bridge, Walhalla Bridge, Indian Bridge, Scottville, and U.S. 31 Bridge. Access sites are also located on the Baldwin River, Middle Branch, Little South Branch and Big South Branch

Source: USDA Forest Service (revised 2013) and

More Pere Marquette River area info:

Planning a visit to the Pere Marquette River area? Have questions about your trip? Here’s where you can find help: 

Scroll below for more articles about the Pere Marquette River area.

Experience the Pere Marquette River

Top Events Along the Pere Marquette River

All year long, there are activities going on in the Scottville area to keep everyone happy. No matter what the season, there’s always plenty of great events to keep you coming back. Boredom is never a problem here!