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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Campground Review- Little Smokey Lake – Holmes Park campground Iron County, MI

(this is one of series of posts of various campgrounds we have been to over the years... I am going through my files in alphabetical order and posting past camping trips in my blog.... something to do over this long long winter---- sigh)

This is a very small county run campground of only 6 or 7 sites along a small lake just on the southern edge of Iron County, MI.   We like going here, as it's very close to some hunting land that my brothers lease each year.    The campsites are not really defined, and it's pretty much park where you find a good spot.   If you don't like where the firepit is, move the ring of rocks to a better spot.   There usually aren't any envelopes by the self-pay tube, so be sure to bring an envelope to drop in your $6 fee.  

Rustic camping, no hookups, not even water.  Nobody seems to pick up the trash in the overflowing barrel by the outhouse either.  So we haul our garbage back out with us.  Not a "Big Rig Friendly" park.  I don't think we can manage the sloped entrance apron with our diesel pusher.  We camped here last in our Coachmen 28' and we had to take it at an angle. 

The other negative is that the cars on the roadway whiz by fast,  so keep a close eye on your little ones and off-leash pets.  The lake water is shallow, so launching a boat is difficult.   I think these things keep most folks away from this campground.   All sandy bottom though, so it's fun to wade around and play with the dogs.  Just about EVERY time we have been here, we have been the ONLY ONES here.  It's such a lovely little lake with good fishing for the guys.   We let our kids paddle canoes around the perimeter too.   Down on the south end of the lake are a few cottages, but the rest is all woods.   At night you hear the coyotes howl....

shoreline 3

(this is the BEST site along the edge of the shoreline!  and my sister took it) 
parking close

These photos are from a time we came here when we had our older motorhome, the Coachmen... we parked right up to the shoreline, nose first, in in order to keep our back end off the gravel roadway---
 what a great view!
view 1 

The next morning we woke up to heavy fog... 
fog 1

It didn't take too long for the sunshine to come along and burn it off.
 fog 2 fog 3

The fog was still around during coffee time.. but we didn't mind.  We knew we had a great day of weather ahead of us.  This is another "favorite phote of Steve"
camping man

The shoreline was almost picture-perfect for an autumn day....
shoreline 1

Ducky appreciated the view too... actually she was just waiting to see if her Auntie Schmoo was coming out of her trailer, and bringing a pocketful of doggie treats.....
ducky looking out

The dogs love to run free and fetch in the water... as long as there weren't any other campers there, we could let them enjoy some off-leash time.  (keeping them far away from the main road) 
linda and dogs

Here is Auntie Schmoo (my sister Linda)   with her dogs... "The Girls"     One is named Wee-Wee with the red collar and the other is Booger with the blue collar.  Otherwise I can't even tell them apart.   We had also hauled our fourwheelers up in the campground too, to take a ride later into hunting camp.

 linda at peacelindas dogs

In and out all day long they played, fetched, swam and rolled in the sand and dirt on the shore, just to jump in again and wash it all off. 
dogs fetching

racing dogs 1racing dogs 2
 racing dogs 3racing dogs 4

 This sure is one batch of Happy Doggers! 
racing dogs 5

Duchess (a.k.a. Dumb Ducky) was crowned the Princess of the Park

royal duchess

 The calm surface of the lake just invites more photo taking opportunities-- 
as long as there aren't any dogs sloshing in and out and in and out
shoreline 2

 We hopped on our fourwheeler ATV's and headed out to Da Camp... which is some hunting land my brothers and sister lease each year.   We loaded a cooler with ummm beverages and took a nice ride in the woods.  All the birches and popples were yellow and the maples rich reds... it was a wonderful day for a ride. Steve and I normally take up two fourwheelers for trips, but this time we decided to just take one and I rode behind Steve.  Otherwise we each drive one.  I love to hit the puddles, and he likes to stay clean and dry!  haha!  
steve in the woods

We also took a ride back to a friend's trout hatchery... 
It was a perfect blue-sky day with no clouds and no wind.  The day was a memorable one.
country road (1024x768)

Schmoo and Fuzz were ahead of us on the trail and stopped for a pit-stop (potty break)   At least I waited till he was back outta the woods before I took this pic
road in to camp

I took this one from the back of the fourwheeler----wheeeeeeee

That pretty much captures the essences of the day...


  1. Beautiful scenery at that campground. Wow! The trees are fantastic. Loved the tiara on the royal dog!!

  2. Looks like a wonderful place. Someday I hope we can get up in that direction.

    I love your dogs. They are so beautiful. Are they full size Collies?

  3. AWww Margie.. don't tell her that, she will think she is due more royalty and honors!

    Karen, the big one, Duchess is a collie... the little guy, Duke is a Shetland Sheepdog, (a.k.a. Sheltie) some folks call them a Minature Collie, but that is a mis-nomer. The Shetland sheepdog is a breed unto itself, and not a miniturized version of the collie. They do have a common ancestor, the Toonie Dog that rode on the Norsemen's ships through the isles and bred with the native dogs of both Ireland and the Shetlands. That is why they have similar colorings.

    (more than ya wanted to know, huh?)

  4. I ran across your Holmes Park post and whated to comment. I was born and raised in Beechwood and our church always had their summer picnic at Little Smokey. As you are facing the lake, if you walk along the lake to your left about 1/4 mile, there is a small private sandy beech to swim on.....my favorite. Also on the right, there used to be very long, large trees floating on the lake. They made great docks to walk out on and fish....many BIG happy memories from a small place.....I enjoyed the pictures... Thank you....we will be going back to Michigan this summer and plan to camp there for a few days in our trailer....Henry


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