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The Modern Camping Experience
Camping is an experience all your own. Whether you’re off in the woods to tent for a few nights, or looking for a full-blown temporary residence to park your RV in for the summer, camping is incredibly rustic when you want it, but totally modern if you need it. One could easily consider it one of the largest outdoor recreational experiences in the United States, and Upper Michigan is not exempt from its staggering popularity.
There are certain things about camping that will always remain the same – fishing, stargazing, incredible conversations around the fire pit… but as we continue to modernize our world, the needs of some campers are bound to change. With much respect to the outdoors experience that camping is, there’s a noticeable, growing need for things like proper cellular service & wifi that are becoming difficult to ignore. For some campers, especially in the age of remote working, learning and the like, their list of potential campsites to visit is very often limited to only those that offer wifi as an amenity on-site.
So, with those campers in mind, we’ve put together a short list here of a few of those campsites that offer wifi right here in Marquette County. Wifi in the outdoors is rarely perfect, as you may have already guessed, so our advice would be to make sure you’re calling ahead of your stay under the stars for specifics on when & where the on-site wifi is at its best, but enough chat-
Campgrounds with Wifi in Marquette County
You’ll find this campground in Marquette, right on the Forestville Trailhead northwest of town. There’s a total of 18 rustic campsites (limit 7-day consecutive stay), and being right on the trail network, there’s plenty of hiking potential. Notably, the Forestville Chalet is nearby, so there’s even some bike & equipment rentals you can check out. While the campsite is fittingly advertised as a great place to “disconnect with the hustle and bustle and reconnect with nature”, it is possible to secure a (spotty) wifi connection.
One of the most popular campsites in the area, Marquette Tourist Park is a hotspot for families, groups & RV camping. Wifi is just one of their extensive listings of amenities at this campground, but keep in mind that their grand total of 110 camping sites will likely eat away at some of the available bandwidth. And don’t forget to check out our post recently written about Marquette Tourist Park as one of our recommendations for a local workcation destination.
This article was actually partially written during a stay at Rippling River Resort (we took some of the article’s pictures here too) so that we could test out the experience ourselves, so if you don’t mind us going a bit meta, we’ll go ahead and recommend this campground as the best modern campground in the area for its wifi. Our stay was in the rustic tenting area, so the signal was a bit spotty out in that forest area, but the closer your campsite is to the main office building, the better. They openly state that the complimentary wifi isn’t accessible from sites 76-95, surely as a result from the distance to the main office (check out the site map here), but one thing we really liked about this campground is that the main office building has open seating (and a bar, we had a few) so it’s easy to work for a few hours there if you need the strongest possible internet connection. Rippling River Resort is definitely a unique camping experience, there’s even a swimming pool area, glamping sites, rentable cabins & more, so there’s lots of flexibility here for whatever your camping needs might be.
East of Marquette, right along the Lake Superior waterfront you’ll find Chocolay River RV & Campgrounds. It’s a little less woodsy than the rest of the spots on this list, but offers a location right next door to the NMU Golf Course, The Ojibwa Casino, as well as some excellent ORV/ATV trails. Its 75-site campground has full hookups for RV’s, and according to their website there are “tent sites also available” as well. With so much to do nearby, the afternoons & early evenings are likely your best chances at a solid internet connection here.
An 80-site campground located in Champion, right on Lake Michigamme, the complimentary wifi here is best suited for those also looking to enjoy some time in the water. There’s pontoon & motorboat rentals, as well as rafts, water toys, kayaks, beach & more to spruce up your camping experience…there’s even a BBQ joint called B Dogs BBQ located right on campground property.
Our only Ishpeming-based campground on this list, walking distance from some local restaurants & grocery stores, this unique site also offers year-round rustic cabin rental & vacation homes. There’s over 100 sites to camp in, mostly for RV’s but there’s also a handful of tent sites as well. At full occupancy, there’s bound to be some occasional bandwidth issues with your wifi connection here, but with a pool & hot tub on-site, we figure it might not bother you too much.
With 11 RV hookup sites, and 12 rustic tent sites, The Northern Lights Campground is one of the smaller campgrounds on this list. Recently opened in the Republic area just a few years ago, this is a quaint, quiet site situated right next to the Michigamme river (great for fishing). In addition to the wifi, there’s also cable TV available. Another thing worth noting about this campground is that the rates for your stay are considerably less than most any other campground out there. Tent sites begin at $5, and RV sites at $20 per night, which is attractively unusual…according to their website, they “want to continue making this an affordable place to camp”. True outdoors enthusiasts.
Located in Champion, there’s well over 150 sites to camp in this massive Michigamme Lake-side State Park. The wifi signal here, we’ve found, is best nearest the on-site bathhouse, so if you’re not camped in a nearby site, you may need to wander around a bit to find a solid connection. The sparsity comes at an honest exchange, however, the actual State Park itself is a glorious 1055 acres of hiking, hunting, paddling, cross-country skiing, swimming & boating potential.
5 Bonus Campgrounds with Wifi in the Greater U.P.
With all of the Marquette County-based campgrounds out of the way, we figured we’d also add in a quick few recommendations for some excellent spots (with wifi) to check out in the greater U.P., starting with-
There are a total of 95 sites at this activity-focused Lake Superior-side campground. Located at the eastern base of the Keweenaw Peninsula, and being one of the only parks in the U.P. that, according to the Michigan DNR, “allows the operation of an ORV between the campground and nearby ORV trails”, this state park is perfect for families or groups of adventures itching to explore the western areas of the U.P. Unfortunately for the winter folk, the free wifi on-premises is only available from early May to late October of each year.
This State Park, located on a scenic southern peninsula between Escanaba & Manistique, is an incredibly unique park that features a historic, 19-century townsite that was once a “bustling iron smelting industrial community” (Michigan DNR), that’s available for tours & walkthroughs. There are 61 modern hookup sites for camping, and for some added fun, on the second Saturday, every August “the park is transformed back to its glory days with period displays, food and music during the annual Heritage Day event” (Michigan DNR).
Similar to the Fayette Historic State Park, the Fort Wilkins Historic State Park is home to a completely restored 19th-century site. A former military outpost, as well as hosting one of the first lighthouses ever built on Lake Superior, the State Park’s 159 camping sites are very popular for families. Found at the northernmost tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula, and open year-round, we can guarantee you’re going to want to be on your internet devices as little as possible up here.
You’ll find Muskallonge Lake State Park in the eastern U.P., about 30 mins northwest of Newberry. Its 159-site campground, like most of the campgrounds on this bonus list, is ripe for some lake-side leisure & activity. Hiking, paddling, fishing, swimming and all the usual campground suspects are here, but this is also an excellent, tried & tested location for rock hunters.
Traveling westwards in Northern Michigan, it’ll be difficult to miss Michigan’s largest State Park, the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. With modern & rustic sites for camping, as well as sites for backcountry camping, this is going to be a must-visit for anyone wanting to camp in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In total, the park boasts roughly 60,000 acres of forest, rivers & gorgeous scenery. There’s bike & boat rentals for your convenience, as well as a disc-golf course inside the park. So stable internet or not, you’ll be getting some work done either way.
Packing It Up: In Conclusion
We hope you’ve enjoyed this quick list of parks, campgrounds & resorts that we’ve put together for you. Obviously, we can’t guarantee the speeds, security or stability of any of the wifi connections we’ve talked about in this article – believe us, we’d happily camp around and test them all if we could – but if anything remains constant, it’s the growing need for accessible internet U.P.-wide, as well as maintaining an incredible, wholesome camping experience besides. Tag us on Instagram and let us know which sites you’ve visited! Happy camping!