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 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.
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.
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 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.