The Midwest does not get nearly as much attention as it should as a unique and wonderful camping destination. With varying ecosystems that span across many states there is a lot of options, but having a few narrowed down to cap off a trip across the Midwest is handy. So here are a few locations across the understated beauty of the Midwest.
Badlands National Park – National Park Service – South Dakota
If you fancy traveling to another planet but do not have the budget to fund your own space program, consider a weekend camping trip in the Badlands National Park instead. It will feel like you are standing on another planet only the air is clean and there is no need for bulky space suits. Situated close enough to Deadwood to visit a historic western Mining town, and remote enough for back-country treks across the alien landscape. Badlands is home to interpretive centers, hiking trails, self-guided tours and plenty of wide open space. Spend some time there and see a geological marvel all around you with every step you take.
Hocking Hills State Park – Ohio State Parks – Ohio
Who says you need to go all to the Southwest to experience the “Old West”, head down to Laurelville, Ohio to the Hocking Hills State Park. The park is home to some excellent camping locations, hiking trails, horseback riding, and you can even rent cabins wigwams and tepees if you want! There are plenty of caves to explore, gorges with spectacular views and waterfalls that will take your breath away. You can even get guides to take you on climbing tours for some rock climbing adventures and tours through some of the various canyons and caves. See places like Cantwell Cliffs, the Rock house and Ash Cave which are all part of various hiking trails that cross the large state park. It is a great location for the entire family with attractions nearby as well as vast wilderness areas. Get in some hunting and fishing if that is your cup of tea. There is something for everyone at this park.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – National Park Service – Michigan
Without a doubt, this has to be one of the best places in the Midwest to pitch a tent and take in a wonderful view of a seemingly endless lake. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is home to massive dune formations as well as lakes with hills and valleys that have been around since, believe it or not, the Ice Age. The area offers hiking trails that include dune climbs, where most places want you off the dunes, climbing is part of the experience. There are also some wonderful scenic drives that take you to many of the different campgrounds. There is not a bad place to camp there and with plenty of photogenic locations, you will not want to leave the camera home.
The Midwest is often overlooked and its time the underdog got some love. There are a lot of places to camp across the Midwest and these were just some you cannot miss!