Review of Charles Mears State Park in Pentwater, Michigan


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Average Score: 4.5 out of 5.0

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Swimming conditions sign on Lake Michigan in Pentwater, Michigan.

On last minute notice, four people pile into a small Geo Prizm to drive 3.5 hours to Pentwater, Michigan. A lovely little community just south of Ludington, a major tourist and vacation spot in northwest Michigan (lower peninsula). We drive to meet two of our friends for just one night at Charles Mears State Park. Not knowing what to expect when we arrived, I found myself to be pleasantly surprised by our surroundings. We were directly on Lake Michigan, literally steps away from the water in a slightly wooded and hilly area. I would have loved to just lay on the beach all the next day, but I had to get back to a weekend job. We had no time to check out the lighthouse that’s in view from the beach and the nearby trail.


My friend who booked the site requested a site close to the beach. We couldn't have been closer to the beach without sleeping on the shore. The only thing seperating us from the beach was a small sandy hill atop which grass grew. Trails were located not far away for those who want to avoid the beach.

Each site offered a properly enclosed fire pit, picnic tables, and ample parking and set-up space. Bathrooms with showers were located nearby. Firewood and supplies could be bought just outside the campground along the road and at nearby downtown Pentwater.


My friend requested a site as near the beach as possible. She received confirmation of the site number and there were no problems upon arrival. She paid in advance over the phone. If there were any concerns, the manager's RV was located at the entrance to the campground.


There are 175 modern sites for RV and tent camping available, priced at $27 each for a night. This allows for up to four unrelated people to camp together. The price applies to eight related campers (family members).

One lodge is available for $1,200 per week.

There is an $8 dollar reservation fee.


The lack of privacy was the only negative factor at Charles Mears State Park Campground. I would definitely come back here again for the scenery, the fresh air of nearby Lake Michigan, unique camp surroundings, and delicious ice cream shop on the beach!

The service encourages me to do so as well. The camp manager offered us a lump sum of $27 for one campsite plus the $8 fee to reserve it for six people total. This price is usually limited to four non-related people, but he made an exception since we came so late and only stayed one night. Just goes to show you how relaxed the atmosphere at Charles Mears State Park is.

Photo: Matthew Arnold

Any views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of OutdoorHub. Comments on this article reflect the sole opinions of their writers.

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