The Best, Most Beautiful Campground Sites in the Midwest

It’s almost the end of summer and the kids are getting ready to head back to school as you continue to work 40-plus hours a week. Before everyone gets back into the hustle and bustle of sports, band and other extracurricular activities, take the family camping in the best place for connecting with nature — the Midwest.

The Midwest is full of beautiful forests, lakeside beaches and quality campgrounds for the family to enjoy. Here are some of the best campgrounds in the Midwest for your end-of-summer camping trip.

Meramec State Park – Sullivan, Mo.

Meramec State Park, Sullivan

         Meramec State Park 

Meramec State Park is a great choice for those who love having options when it comes to outdoor activities. The park is well-known for its caves, namely Fisher Cave, which contains intricate calcite deposits and various cave wildlife. Visitors can also explore the Meramec Upland Forest; canoe, float or swim in the Meramec River; and hike the park’s many nature trails.

Campers have access to sewer, water and electric campsites as well as areas for roughing it in tents. The park also offers laundry facilities, cabins and even motel rooms for those who prefer to sleep in comfort.

Brown County State Park – Nashville, Ind.

Brown County State Park

            Brown County State Park

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to ride horseback through forested hills and wooded trails, Brown County State Park is the perfect place for your next camping trip. Pony rides and guided trails are also available so your kids aren’t left out. However, there are plenty of hiking and trail options for those who prefer to get around on their own two feet.

Other activities include fishing, tennis, mountain biking, picnicking and playgrounds. Campgrounds in the park come with tent camping, electric camping and full hookup camping, and there are special camping areas for horsemen. No matter how you get around or where you sleep, the “Little Smokies” provides campers with an outdoor experience resembling the beauty of the Smoky Mountains.

Devil’s Lake State Park – Baraboo, Wis.

Devil’s Lake State Park

                Devil’s Lake State Park

You don’t have to travel to California or Florida to spend a vacation at the beach. The kids will love building sand castles and swimming in the lakeside beaches at Devil’s Lake State Park. Canoeing and kayaking is another family friendly option, as is hiking and biking through the Uplands Trail. Experienced climbers can scale the rock cliffs in Baraboo Hills — one of the most popular climbing areas in the Midwest.

Campers can choose from standard electric and non-electric tent and camper sites, and restroom and shower facilities are available.

Ludington State Park – Ludington, Mich.

Ludington State Park – Ludington, Mich.

                Ludington State Park

Ludington State Park is a laid-back camping option for those who want to relax and enjoy nature. The park is sandwiched between Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake, making it a prime spot for boaters and beachgoers. No trip to Ludington would be complete without visiting the historic Big Sable Point Lighthouse on the shore of Lake Michigan. Your family can also enjoy fishing and swimming in the lakes, as well as biking and hiking on one of the many trails throughout the park.

You’ll have no problem adjusting to camping life at Ludington — most campsites have laundry rooms, swimming pools and convenience stores nearby. Of course, roughing it in tents is always an option, too.


No matter where your camping adventures take you, always be prepared for unexpected emergencies. Bring a first aid kit, an emergency stash of food and water and flares when camping, and protect your family with a reliable travel health insurance policy from a company like HCC Medical in case anyone needs to be hospitalized during the trip.

Don’t let summer fly by without creating lasting memories with your family. Take them on a camping trip to one of the Midwest’s best parks to connect with nature and each other.

Four of the Most Common Mistakes that New Backpackers Make

A famous man with the last name Einstein once said “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” If you want to try something new, you will make a mistake. No matter what it is that you’re trying, mistakes are part of life.

When it comes to backpacking, this is especially true. Sometimes mistakes are as tiny as taking a wrong turn on the drive to the trailhead; other times backpacking mistakes can be much more serious Continue reading

10 Items to Have for Wilderness Survival

This guest post was written by Charlie Curtis-Jones of, who can offer expert guidance on the best radio communications device for the great outdoors.

Preparing for Wilderness SurvivalThe ability to enjoy a wilderness experience often comes down to how well-prepared you are for wilderness survival. Things you normally take for granted, such as dry feet and clean water can make all the difference between experiencing a life-changing adventure and enduring misery. The items you place in your wilderness survival kit will vary depending upon where you’re going, what season it is and what your skill level is. Yet there are basics that every wilderness adventurer should have for proper shelter, safety and to meet basic needs.

It’s smart to research your wilderness trip environment beforehand and have a good idea of upcoming weather to help you know exactly what to put in your survival kit. While you don’t want to weigh yourself down, you do want to have the basics necessary to safeguarding your health and well-being. Use this list to help you as you prepare your wilderness survival kit.

10 Basic Wilderness Survival Kit Items Continue reading

5 Tips For Pitching Your Tent

This guest post was written by Callum Pragnell of, a camping equipment store in the UK.
tent-campingIf you’re thinking about escaping to the great outdoors with the family or friends sometime in the near future, any tips and advice to pick up before you go is great – especially if it’s your first time! Camping is a great way to have fun in the outdoors whilst also enjoying quality time with your nearest and dearest; but make sure you know what you’re doing. Make it a trip to remember – not a trip to forget!
One of the first things most people encounter when going camping is setting up their tent, this can be quite complicated and to make sure you don’t have any problems with this on your trip, it is worth following these 5 key steps before you leave!
1.      Choose your tent wisely. Continue reading

Say Hello to Pinnacles, Our Newest National Park


Rock Formations at Pinnacles National Park (source: Wikipedia)

Pinnacles National Park became the 59th national park in the U.S and the ninth in California on January 10th this year. Located about 80 miles south of San Jose,100 miles west of Fresno, and the nearest city being Soledad, CA, it’s about midway up California. This park’s highlight is its rock formations (“pinnacles”) formed by an eroding ancient lava field that resulted from its location near the San Andreas Fault. However, it features many other unique qualities and recreation opportunities, from the unique chapparal and woodland biome, to a notable wildflower season in Spring, and of course hiking, interpretive programs, and camping.

Camping and Attractions at Pinnacles National Park Continue reading