15 Best Places to Camp in the Midwest

Find the perfect place to pitch a tent this summer

••• Camp right at Silver Dollar City in Missouori. VIsit Missouri

The Midwest has a diverse selection of camping areas surrounding the Great Lakes, as well as other parks with rivers, plains, hills, valleys and waterfalls. You’ll find opportunities whether you're looking for modern amenities or a place to pitch a tent and rough it.

1. Badlands National Park, Interior, South Dakota

This 244,000-acre park contains one of the richest fossil beds in the world. It also has plenty of animals roaming the plains, from prairie dogs to bison.

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2. Ludington State Park, Ludington, Michigan

This park offers beautiful views of the forests and marshland and has more than six miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. You’ll also find plenty of hiking and a must-see lighthouse.

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3. Devils Lake State Park, Baraboo, Wisconsin

You won’t run out of nature’s beauty while camping here. The park is filled with natural wonders, such as a sandstone bridge, gorges and an incredible lake for boating and fishing.

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4. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Honor, Michigan

The dunes, hills, valleys and lakes at Sleeping Bear can be traced back to the Ice Age. This shoreline is one of the best places in the Midwest to set up a tent.
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5. Hocking Hills State Park, Laurelville, Ohio

This park has it all, from caves and bridges to waterfalls and gorges. You’ll want to spend your days hiking them and spend your nights in one of the area's campgrounds.

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6. Indiana Dunes State Park, Chesterton, Indiana

In addition to some of the best beaches in the Midwest – on 15 miles of shoreline – this park has more than 70 miles of trails through prairies, forests and dunes.

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7. Voyageurs National Park, International Falls, Minnesota

This is the only national park in Minnesota, and it’s located on the border of the United States and Canada.

Four unique lakes give way to 344 square miles for water sports.

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8. Brown County State Park, Nashville, Indiana

Indiana’s largest state park has plenty of rolling hills and waterfront for biking, hiking, swimming and fishing. There’s also a large indoor aquatic center.
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9. Blue Bell Campground in Custer State Park, Custer, South Dakota

Scenic views are everywhere at this campground inside one of the country’s great parks, which is filled with rock formations, green meadows, brooks, vistas – and a lot of buffalo. Put this great place to camp on your list if you're visiting the Midwest.

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10. Hayward KOA, Hayward, Wisconsin

Families will especially enjoy this spot with a 300-foot waterslide, a Jumping Pillow bounce house, mini-golf and two playgrounds, all next to the Namekagon River. 

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11. Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, Ashland, Nebraska

This Midwest state park is a modern camping spot with a family-friendly aquatic center, a lodge and restaurant. The park also has a nature center.

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12. Silver Dollar City’s Wilderness, Branson, Missouri

Between the Silver Dollar City amusement park and popular Table Rock Lake, you can find scenic campgrounds in the wilderness.

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13. Shades State Park, Shades, Indiana

Enjoy the quiet along the sandstone cliffs as you overlook Sugar Creek and hike to the Pine Hills Nature Preserve at this spring and summer camping destination.

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14. Walnut Point State Park, Oakland, Illinois

Although bird and animal watchers love this Midwest park, the real attraction is the trees. You’ll find sassafras, maple, oak, hickory and walnut around the 59-acre Walnut Point Lake and hiking trails.

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15. Peninsula State Park, Wisconsin

This area has some of the best camping in the Midwest. Just outside the 468 campsites at this Door County park are a golf course, beach, lighthouse, bike trails and high bluffs that are part of the Niagara Escarpment. 

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