Camping Off the Beaten Path in the Midwest

The best part of camping is “getting away from it all.” But the most popular camping sites are just that: popular. While our national parks are great for camping, they’re not for everyone. If you’re looking for genuine solitude and a chance to relax with nothing but you, your family and nature, it’s time to go camping off the beaten path. But where are the best places to go? Here are a few secluded campgrounds to whet your appetite – plus some tips for finding more places for camping off the beaten path.

An RV parked at a secluded waterfront location.

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Wisconsin

While a National Forest may not seem very “off-the-beaten-path,” these 1.5 million-acre woodlands offer more than enough space to get away from it all. If everyone in your family loves different activities, don’t worry, Chequamegon-Nicolet has something for everyone:

  • Bicycling
  • Fishing
  • Geocaching
  • Hiking
  • Horse Riding
  • Hunting
  • Water Activities
  • Rock & Mineral Exploring

With beaches, forests, trails for both motorized and non-motorized travel, you’ll run out of time before you run out of things to do. And the best part is you can do it all while feeling truly unplugged from the world. The sheer size of Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest makes it a popular place to enjoy camping in solitude. When it comes to camping off the beaten path, it’s hard to beat!

Mouth of Two Hearted River, Michigan

This rustic campground is located far into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  As the name suggests, you can find it by following the Two Hearted River to its mouth at Lake Superior. While it does have vault toilets and potable water, plan to camp with the bare minimum of amenities. Most travelers prefer to camp in tents, but for those with smaller RVs that can maneuver through the sandy roads, you can easily find a place to enjoy.

This campground recently closed, and was only reopened five years ago following the Duck Lake Fire. While it’s off the beaten path for sure, it’s still a popular location for sight-seers due to the aftermath of the fire. Many travelers find the approach surreal, as you travel through the areas recovering from the fire to arrive at the beautiful beach. For those that appreciate a unique adventure and can’t resist the allure of a waterfront view, this campground is a must-see!

Be mindful of the roads and the distance from civilization! This site is truly off the beaten path – with difficult roads and typically poor cellular service. It can be difficult to drive through and many campers report having to push their vehicles if the weather gets bad.

Paint Creek State Park, Ohio

Tucked away in quiet southern Ohio are the 5,652 acres that make up Paint Creek State Park. With a large lake ideal for boating, swimming and fishing, this park is a popular during the spring – despite being about 80 miles from the nearest major city. It’s located right at the edge of the Appalachian Plateau, and was the home to Shawnee Indians many years ago.

The eight miles of stunning nature trails offer hikers plenty to do and see. If mountain biking is more your speed, packs your bikes in your RV and enjoy the 14 miles of trails! Uniquely, Paint Creek State Park has a popular disc golf course – just remember to bring your own equipment! If you’re a hunter or fisher, the park also includes designated hunting grounds plus the 1,200 acres of Paint Creek Lake to sate keep you busy.

The park also holds events, often on Fridays and Saturdays, with a wide range of activities to enjoy. Learn to canoe, fire a bow or enjoy the Hayride Safari! Make sure to check out what events are coming up when you plan your trip.

Tips for Camping Off the Beaten Path

Take Advantage of America’s Vast Public Lands

Anyone who’s interested in camping off the beaten path should take a long look at the Bureau of Land Management’s website. There are over 245 million acres of public lands to enjoy – though many of them are along the west coast. If you’re not worried about amenities, these sites can offer you a peaceful, secluded trip without the hustle and bustle of a packed national park.

You Don’t Have to Stray Very Far

Many of America’s hidden gems are right around the corner from major attractions. If you’re traveling the country, some of the best secluded attractions are located near the popular campsites. Places like the Grand Canyon or National Parks are often surrounded by smaller parks or cities with a lot to offer. When you’re planning your trip, make sure to look just a few miles away from the big locations to see if something unique catches your eye.

Be Prepared to Dry Camp

The more distance you put between yourself and major campsites, the lower your chances are of finding places to hook up your RV. If you’re not used to dry camping, read our tips for efficiently camping when you don’t have access to electricity or water. You should also do your research to make sure there’s somewhere within the range of your RV to dump, recharge and refuel!

Never Travel without First Aid

This holds true even for standard camping. If your goal is to get away from other people, you need to keep some basic emergency items to stay safe. Pack medicine, wraps and other first aid equipment so you can treat an accident while you wait for emergency services.

It’s also a good idea to pack a repair kit for your vehicle, too. Some extra gas, a spare tire and a paper map are all it takes to help make sure you don’t get stuck in the wilderness.

Find an RV Built for Camping Off the Beaten Path – Contact RV Wholesale Superstore

If you’re looking for the right RV to take on adventures miles away from popular tourist locations, the professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore are ready to help. Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH or call us at 844-601-1171


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