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Camping at Lake Ottawa Campground

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Overview of Lake Ottawa Campground

Lake Ottawa Campground is a serene and picturesque camping destination nestled in the Ottawa National Forest, situated in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The campground provides an opportunity for visitors to experience the beauty of a northwoods setting, with its mix of mature hardwoods, conifers, and the calm waters of Lake Ottawa.


Lake Ottawa Campground is located within the Ottawa National Forest, which encompasses nearly one million acres of forested land. The campground is specifically situated in Iron County, nestled along the shores of Lake Ottawa.

Camping Facilities and Amenities

Campsites: The campground features a number of single-family campsites that can accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs. Each campsite typically comes with a picnic table, campfire ring with a grill, and access to a parking spur.


  • Potable water is available via hand pumps scattered throughout the campground.
  • Vault toilets are provided; there are no flush toilets or shower facilities.
  • There is a boat ramp that campers can use to gain access to Lake Ottawa for boating and fishing activities.
  • A swimming area is also designated for campers to enjoy the lake's waters in a safe environment.


The campground is generally accessible by most passenger vehicles, including RVs and trailers. However, it's always important to check the road conditions prior to your arrival, especially in the fall and winter seasons, when roads can become impassable due to snow.

Recreational Activities

Fishing and Boating: Lake Ottawa is a popular spot for fishing, with species such as walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, and panfish available. Non-motorized boats and motorized boats with electric trolling motors are typically allowed.

Hiking and Biking: Trails for hiking and mountain biking can be found within the Ottawa National Forest, offering scenic vistas and a chance to observe local wildlife.

Wildlife Watching: The Ottawa National Forest is home to a rich array of wildlife, including deer, moose, black bear, grouse, and a variety of songbirds.

Seasons and Weather

The camping season at Lake Ottawa Campground generally runs from late spring to early fall, with peak times occurring in the summer months. The area can experience a range of weather conditions, from warm summers to extremely cold and snowy winters. Visitors should prepare for varying temperatures and pack appropriate clothing and gear for the time of year they plan to camp.

Reservations and Fees

Reservations: Some campsites may be available on a first-come, first-served basis, while others can be reserved in advance through the National Recreation Reservation System (NRRS) or another reservation service utilized by Ottawa National Forest.

Fees: There's typically a nightly fee to camp at Lake Ottawa Campground. Fees can vary, so campers should check the current rates before planning their trip. Fee information can be obtained by contacting the Ottawa National Forest District office or by checking online resources.

Guidelines and Regulations

To ensure the protection of the natural environment and the enjoyment of all visitors, campers are expected to adhere to certain rules and regulations:

  • Please keep the campsites and surrounding area clean to avoid attracting wildlife.
  • Pets should be kept on a leash and under control at all times.
  • Practicing Leave No Trace principles is encouraged to minimize the impact on the environment.
  • Observe quiet hours typically set for nighttime to allow for a peaceful camping experience for all visitors.
  • Be aware of any local fire regulations, especially during dry periods when campfires may be restricted.

Contact Information

For the latest information about Lake Ottawa Campground, including any alerts, conditions, or closures, it is recommended that campers contact the Ottawa National Forest District office directly via phone or visit the official U.S. Forest Service website for the Ottawa National Forest.

Location of Lake Ottawa Campground
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