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Camping at Waterloo Recreation Area
Camping at Waterloo Recreation Area

Camping at Waterloo Recreation Area

Camping in Waterloo
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Waterloo Campsite

In November 2020, we did a short overnight camping trip at Waterloo Recreation Area in Grass Lake, Michigan. This was our impression after a quick trip.

The Waterloo Recreation Area

If you haven’t been to Waterloo Recreation Area, you are in for a treat. It is a beautiful and huge area that stretches from Jackson, Michigan in the west all the way to Pinckney, Michigan in the east. This entire area is covered in rolling hills, woods, and a handfull of lakes. There are 47-miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, as well as horse back riding. This area is also open for seasonal hunting and fishing.

The Waterloo State Recreation Area includes four campgrounds all together (2- modern, 1- rustic, and 1- equestrian). When you hit the road be sure you know which campground you are staying at as they are scattered throughout the area.

Beach at Waterloo Recreation Area - Portage Lake
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Portage Lake Beach
Camping at Waterloo Recreation Area

We stayed at the modern campground on Little Portage Lake. There are over 100 sites at this campground with three very clean showers and restroom buildings. Some of the sites are more level than the others. The site we booked was on the side of a hill.

Since it is a modern campground, each site is equipped with 30 Amp electric hook up, a picnic table and a fire pit. Fire wood can be purchased at the check-in area. The campground is also pet friendly, so bring your furry friends.

At the Portage Lake Campground, there are many family friendly activities to do. The 36-mile Waterloo-Pinckney Trail starts here next to a beautiful 18-hole disc golf course. For summer months, there is also a boat launch and a sandy beach.

Depending on the season, each site costs $24-$30 a night and you will need a Michigan Recreational Passport for all cars entering the campground, beach, or trailhead.

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Hiking the Waterloo Recreation Area

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Waterloo-Pinckney Trail

As mentioned, the 36-mile Waterloo-Pickney Trail begins at the Portage Lake Campground. This is a beautiful, hilly trail worth exploring. It is pet friendly. However, this area is open for seasonal hunting, so be sure to wear bright clothing and be alert when hiking during open season.

If you are looking for a shorter adventure, there is a one-mile paved trail around the beach and campground as well.

Camping at Waterloo Recreation Area
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Ready to Explore

Thanks for reading. ~KiteBikeVan

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