Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has declared July as “Michigan Camping & Recreation Vehicle Month,” following last year’s success in the month of August. Camping, according to a press release, is a key contributor to the state’s $17 billion tourism industry. The declaration supports the economic and recreational contributions that the camping industry provides to Michigan’s overall tourism, as well as promotes camping as an inexpensive and family-friendly recreation option year-round in the state.
Michigan has more than 950 licensed, private, recreation vehicle parks and campgrounds, with more than 111,000 licensed campsites. The state has more than 160 county or government operated campgrounds with over 14,700 sites — from rustic to full-service. Michigan also boasts more than 307,000 licensed recreational vehicles, including motorhomes and travel trailers. In Michigan, first quarter 2012 RV sales are up 18 percent from the first quarter of 2011, and sales are projected to increase throughout 2012.
Camping and RVing encourages visitors and locals alike to partake in activities such as boating, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, paddling, biking, golfing, geocaching, nature watching, photography and other outdoor activities, which also highlight Michigan’s outdoor parks and recreation areas.
Michigan is home to 102 state parks and recreation areas — as well as 134 state forest campgrounds — under the auspices of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and seven forests/parks/lakeshores in Michigan under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service. Collectively, Michigan offers 15,000 sites on state and federal lands designated for camping.
Michigan’s two nonprofit camping organizations — MARVAC (the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles & Campgrounds) and ARVC Michigan (the Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds of Michigan) — equally promote and support private campgrounds and RV parks throughout the state.
All state lands are managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, while the national parks and lakeshores are managed by the National Park Service and/or the U.S. Forest Service. All campgrounds are among the tourism destinations promoted by Travel Michigan and its Pure Michigan campaign.