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Boondocking at French Farm Lake – Mackinaw City, Michigan

We’ve had our eyes on French Farm Lake since entering Michigan. There aren’t many free camping options in the state, so when we spotted this one on, we knew it was a must-see.

It was our first stop as we pulled into Mackinaw City, and we’re glad we didn’t drag our feet getting there.

Here’s the breakdown:


Location: Mackinaw City, Michigan

GPS: 45.76264, -84.76933

Price: Free, there was no stay-limit posted.

Sites: There are 6 sites available for camping. I wouldn’t recommend that a Class-A attempt to camp here, as the sites are made of loose sand & dirt and the turn around is small. We easily parked our 17’ TT, and imagine a 25’ TT could make it in & out.


Date/Temp: We camped here from June 13-17. The highs were in the low 80s and the low was 50. It was overcast and windy for two days, making it quite chilly.

Amenities: The park has no amenities. There’s no power, water, or bathroom, but each site does have a fire pit. There’s a public beach within walking distance that has a bathroom facility – we couldn’t find any potable water source there, though.

Noise: These sites are super quiet. The campground only has six camping areas and they’re all very spread out. We heard vehicles drive by occasionally, but the road isn’t heavily traveled.

Wifi/Cell: Our T-Mobile received a strong 4G LTE signal, allowing us to stream and upload easily. Our AT&T had a solid  3G signal.

Grocery/Errands: The campsite is 3 miles from downtown Mackinaw City. There are many restaurants and novelty shops on the main strip. It’s a tourist town, but fun to explore for a day or two. We had to drive 18 miles to Cheboygan to do full-on grocery shopping.


Dog Friendly: River had lots of fun at this boondocking site. It was spacious enough to get tons of exercise and it had lots of critters to keep her entertained. The town of Mackinaw City is also dog friendly, allowing her in the parks and even some shops!

Entertainment: Mackinaw City has shopping, movie theatres, pubs, and dining. If you’re more interested in history, there are lighthouses and historical monuments. The ferry to Mackinac Island is located right downtown, as well.


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