Kind Reader, if you are looking for a serene camping experience in Michigan, then you need to check out Fort Custer Recreation Area camping. Situated just outside of the city of Battle Creek, this vast 3,033-acre park boasts an assortment of outdoor recreational activities, making it an ideal destination for families, hikers, and nature enthusiasts. With over 200 developed campsites and five different campgrounds, Fort Custer Recreation Area camping is the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Fort Custer Recreation Area Camping Facilities
The Fort Custer Recreation Area offers a total of 219 campsites spread across three campground areas. Each of the campgrounds offers different camping experiences â€“ some are more suitable for RVs, while others are perfect for families and groups. All the campgrounds have electric hookups, vault toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings. Each campsite can accommodate up to six people. The following are the primary campground areas for camping at Fort Custer Recreation Area:
1. Campground Area 1
Campground Area 1 features 147 sites and is the largest of the three campgrounds at Fort Custer Recreation Area. The campsites here are divided into five loops, each with different capacities and amenities. Campsites 1-82 are ideal for tents and trailers and have excellent shade from the surrounding trees. The area also has hiking trails and several lakes for recreational activities.
2. Campground Area 2
Campground Area 2 has 29 sites and is located near the beach area. The campsites in this area are open and spacious, making them perfect for large RVs. These sites also offer access to the beach and some of the best fishing spots.
Rules and Regulations for Camping at Fort Custer Recreation Area
Just like any other camping area, Fort Custer Recreation Area also has rules and regulations that all campers must follow. Some of these rules include:
1. Campsite Occupancy Limits
Campsites at the recreation area can only accommodate up to six people. Additional people and camping units require payment for the extra site.
2. Alcoholic Beverages
The consumption of alcoholic beverages is only permitted at the designated campsites and recreation areas.
3. Quiet Hours
To maintain a peaceful and quiet environment for all campers, quiet hours are enforced from 10 pm to 8 am. All generators must also be turned off during these hours.
Fort Custer Recreation Area Camping: Campsites
Fort Custer Recreation Area has multiple campgrounds available, including three modern campgrounds with electric and a rustic campground. The modern campgrounds are named Prairie View, Motters, and Mistletoe. All three modern campgrounds are located on the North side of the lake and have a large number of electrical sites, modern restrooms, and hot coin-operated showers.
Prairie View is the largest of the state park’s modern campgrounds, with 222 sites that can be reserved in advance. All campsites come with electric hookups (30/50 Amp) and parking pads, picnic tables, and fire rings. Prairie View camping area is located near the nature center and within walking distance to the swimming beach.
The Motters Campground offers 147 sites with electric hook up (30/50 Amp) and parking pads, picnic tables, and fire rings. The Motters campground is located next to the children’s play area.
Mistletoe Campground offers 93 campsites with electric hook up (30 Amp only) and parking pads, picnic tables, and fire rings. Mistletoe is the closest modern campground to the entrance of the park and is located near the park’s modern restrooms and hot coin-operated showers.
The rustic campground, Ruster, is located on the South side of the lake and has 14 primitive campsites. Ruster does not have electric hookups, but it does have vault toilets and hand pumps for water.
Fort Custer Recreation Area Camping: Reservations
Reservations for campsites in the modern campgrounds can be made up to six months in advance via the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website. Reservations open on the 15th of each month at 8:00 AM EST. Reservations for the rustic campground, Ruster, are first-come, first-serve and cannot be reserved.
During peak season, campsites can fill up quickly. It is recommended to reserve campsites as early as possible once the reservation window opens. Visitors will need to create a State of Michigan Recreation Passport through the reservation website in order to make a reservation. A Recreation Passport is required for entry into any Michigan State Park.
Fees for campsites vary depending on location and whether they have electrical hookups. As of 2021, campsites with electrical hookups cost $33 per night, while rustic sites without electrical hookups cost $23 per night. Additional fees may apply for out-of-state visitors and pets.
|1||$33 per night for a campsite with electrical hookup|
|2||$23 per night for a rustic campsite without electrical hookup|
|3||$11 per night for an extra vehicle|
|4||$9 per day for out-of-state visitors|
|5||$5 per day for a pet|
Note: Fees are subject to change. Check the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website for current fees.
|1||Location: Fort Custer Recreation Area, Augusta, Michigan|
|2||Available campsites: 219 modern campsites and 13 hike-in primitive sites|
|3||Amenities: showers, restrooms, picnic areas, boat launches, fishing pier, and hiking trails|
|4||Reservation: reservations can be made up to six months in advance|
|5||Activities: boating, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and wildlife viewing|
|6||Campground fees: range from $16-30 per night depending on the site and time of year|
Fort Custer Recreation Area Campground Facilities
Fort Custer Recreation Area campground provides many facilities for the campers to have a comfortable and enjoyable stay. With the available 219 modern campsites and numerous amenities, visitors can look forward to a relaxing and peaceful vacation.
Water sources are conveniently located around the campground for easy access to potable water. Campers can obtain fresh water to fill their drinking containers or refill their RV water tanks from the water stations scattered throughout the campground. Some of the campsites also come with their water hookup.
Clean bathroom facilities contribute significantly to a comfortable camping experience, and Fort Custer Recreation Area offers up-to-date bathroom facilities that cater to campers’ needs. Flush toilet facilities, showers, and sanitation dump stations are available throughout the campground, providing basic amenities for every visitor’s comfort.
Electricity and Lighting
Electricity is necessary in today’s society, and the Fort Custer Recreation Area campground offers electricity access to each campsite. The electrical hookups supply 20/30-amp electric service. Additionally, there are lights located around the campground for visitors’ convenience and safety at night.
Other services available at the Fort Custer Recreation Area campground include picnic areas, playgrounds, beach, hiking, boat rentals, swimming, and fishing. These facilities make the campground a perfect spot to host fun events and social functions such as family reunions, weddings, and other gatherings.
Types of Camping Sites at Fort Custer Recreation Area
For campers who prefer a traditional approach, Fort Custer Recreation Area provides plenty of tent sites for those looking for a more rustic camping option. There are also plenty of RV sites for those who prefer a more modern approach, with electrical hook-ups and dump stations. Additionally, there are even a handful of cabins available for rent.
There are five main campgrounds at Fort Custer Recreation Area that offer tent sites: Prairie View, Hickory Lane, Eagle Point, Whitetail Loop, and Lakeview. Each campground has its own unique features, but all offer well-maintained sites equipped with a fire pit and picnic table. Most also offer easy access to restroom and shower facilities.
Fort Custer Recreation Area also offers nine campgrounds with RV sites that have electrical hook-ups and dump stations. These campgrounds provide plenty of space for RVs and many have waterfront or wooded views. The sites are available for rental on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is advisable to arrive early to secure a spot.
Note: If RV camping is new to you, Fort Custer Recreation Area is a great place to learn. The staff is friendly and helpful, and there are plenty of experienced RVers who are more than happy to help newbies get set up.
Fort Custer Recreation Area also offers nine cabins for rent. Each cabin is equipped with a number of amenities, including a full kitchen, heating and cooling, and a private bathroom. Most cabins can accommodate up to six people, and each comes with a fire pit and picnic table outside. Reservations for cabins can be made in advance, and they tend to fill up quickly during peak camping season.
Group Camping Sites
For larger groups or families, Fort Custer Recreation Area offers group camping sites. These sites are located in Hickory Lane and can accommodate up to 25 people. They come complete with a large fire ring and picnic tables.
Equestrian Camping Sites
Fort Custer Recreation Area also caters to equestrian enthusiasts. There are three equestrian campgrounds available at the park, each of which offers unique access to the park’s network of horse trails. These sites offer electric and water hook-ups, as well as manure pits and hitching posts for horses.
Backpacking and Hiking Sites
For backpackers, Fort Custer Recreation Area offers two hike-in campgrounds, Eagle Point and Whitetail Loop. These sites are more secluded and provide a more primitive camping experience, with no electrical or water hook-ups. They are also ideal for hikers, as they offer easy access to the park’s many trails.
Best Time to Camp at Fort Custer Recreation Area
Fort Custer Recreation Area is open all year round for camping, but the best time to camp depends on individual preferences and the purpose of camping.
Summer Camping at Fort Custer Recreation Area
Summer is the most popular camping season at Fort Custer Recreation Area. During this time, the weather is mild to warm, and the park is alive with activity. Visitors can enjoy hiking, fishing, swimming, and boating during the day. The campgrounds are more crowded in the summer, which may be a good thing if one is looking for a livelier camping experience. Fireflies are abundant in the summer and can add some magic to the camping nights.
Winter Camping at Fort Custer Recreation Area
Winter camping at Fort Custer Recreation Area can also be a delightful experience. The park is open all winter, and visitors can enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing. The park’s serene beauty during winter can be awe-inspiring, and fewer crowds offer a quieter, more peaceful camping experience. However, it’s important to note that not all campsites are open during the winter season, and proper gear and experience are necessary for winter camping.
Camping with Pets at Fort Custer Recreation Area
Fort Custer Recreation Area welcomes pets, but pet owners must adhere to certain regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable camping experience for everyone.
Pet Regulations at Fort Custer Recreation Area
When camping with pets at Fort Custer Recreation Area, pets must be physically restrained on a leash no longer than six feet. Pet owners must be in control of their pets at all times. Pet owners are also responsible for cleaning up after their pets. Pets are not allowed on the beaches and swimming areas or in any park building. Additionally, pets should not be left unattended at the campsite. Fines may be imposed for violating the pet regulations.
Best Trails to Hike with Dogs at Fort Custer Recreation Area
Fort Custer Recreation Area offers over 20 miles of trails that pets are allowed to use, with the exception of a few trails. One of the most popular trails to hike with dogs is the Bluebird Trail, which is a 1.7-mile loop that offers scenic views of the park’s diverse habitats. The Eagle Lake Trail is another popular choice that is about 3.2 miles and leads to a beautiful lake. Both trails are easy to moderate, and hiking with dogs can be a great way to explore nature and bond with pets.
Choosing the Best Campsite
There are various campsites within the recreation area, so choosing the best for your needs will depend on the kind of camping experience you plan to have.
Location and Scenery
Fort Custer Recreation Area has several campsites that cater to the different needs of campers. If you are enamored by nature, choosing a campsite closer to the lake and within the woods would be a great idea. The choice of a campsite will also depend on the activities you intend to undertake. For instance, if you plan to indulge in water activities such as swimming, a campsite near the Gull Lake would suffice. Moreover, a campsite with a great and panoramic view would enhance your camping experience.
Size and Space
The campsites also vary in size and space. If you have a large family or group of friends, you may require a larger campsite for your tents and other camping gear. If you are driving an RV or a travel trailer, you also require a spacious campsite, which will not only accommodate the vehicle but also allow you enough space to move around freely. Kids may require a bigger space to play games and run around. Small campsites are perfect for individuals and couples, especially if you are on a romantic getaway.
Fort Custer Recreation Area Campground Map
If you’re planning to stay at the Fort Custer Recreation Area campground, it’s important to get familiar with the layout of the area. To help you do this, the park offers a detailed map that shows the location of each camping loop and site, as well as other useful information such as restrooms, picnic areas, and hiking trails. The map is available on the park’s website, or you can get a copy when you arrive at the park.
How to Read the Fort Custer Recreation Area Campground Map
The Fort Custer Recreation Area campground map is color-coded to help you quickly identify the different camping loops and site types. Here’s what the colors mean:
|Blue||Mini Cabins & Rustic Sites|
|Purple||Tent Only Sites|
You’ll also see a legend that shows the location of amenities such as restrooms, trash dumpsters, shower buildings, and water stations. If you’re having trouble figuring out where your site is or how to get to a specific location, don’t hesitate to ask one of the park rangers for help.
Things to Do Near Fort Custer Recreation Area Campground
If you’re looking to explore the area outside of the Fort Custer Recreation Area campground, you’ll find plenty of options nearby. Here are a few popular attractions that are worth checking out:
Kal-Haven Trail State Park
The Kal-Haven Trail State Park is a 34-mile biking and hiking trail that stretches from Kalamazoo to South Haven. It’s a beautiful trail that takes you through woods, farmland, and small towns, and it’s a great way to experience the beauty of Southwest Michigan. The trailhead is located just a few miles from the campground, so it’s easy to access.
The city of Battle Creek is located just a few miles from the campground, and it’s home to a variety of attractions including the Binder Park Zoo, the Full Blast Water Park, and the Firekeeper’s Casino. If you’re looking for dining or shopping options, downtown Battle Creek has plenty of choices.
The city of Kalamazoo is located about 20 miles from the campground, and it’s worth the drive. Kalamazoo is home to several colleges and universities, so it has a vibrant downtown scene with plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops. Some popular attractions include the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, the Kalamazoo Nature Center, and the Kalamazoo Air Zoo.
Fort Custer Recreation Area Camping FAQ
1. Can I make a reservation for camping at Fort Custer Recreation Area?
Yes, you can make a reservation for camping at Fort Custer Recreation Area. Reservations can be made online or by calling the park office.
2. What time is check-in and check-out for campsites?
Check-in time is 3:00 p.m. and check-out time is 1:00 p.m.
3. Are pets allowed at the camping area?
Yes, pets are allowed at the camping area. However, pets must be kept on a leash and under control at all times.
4. Are there any shower facilities at the camping area?
Yes, there are shower facilities available at the camping area.
5. Are there any restrictions on the size of RVs or trailers that can be brought into the camping area?
Yes, there are some size restrictions for RVs or trailers. The maximum length allowed is 50 feet.
6. Are there any fishing opportunities at Fort Custer Recreation Area?
Yes, there are fishing opportunities at several lakes in the park.
7. Is there Wi-Fi available at the camping area?
No, there is no Wi-Fi available at the camping area.
8. Are campfires allowed at the camping area?
Yes, campfires are allowed at designated fire rings. However, firewood cannot be brought into the campground and must be purchased on site.
9. Are there any hiking trails at Fort Custer Recreation Area?
Yes, there are multiple hiking trails available at the park.
10. Is there any cell phone reception at the camping area?
Cell phone reception may be spotty in certain areas of the camping area. It is recommended to check with your service provider for coverage.
11. Can we bring our own boat to the park and use it on the lakes?
Yes, private boats are allowed on the lakes. However, boats must be no more than 26 feet long and have a maximum horsepower of 50.
12. Is there a minimum age requirement for making a camping reservation?
No, there is no minimum age requirement for making a camping reservation. However, those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
13. What is the maximum length of stay allowed at the camping area?
The maximum length of stay allowed at the camping area is 14 days.
14. Are there picnic areas or day-use facilities available at Fort Custer Recreation Area?
Yes, there are multiple picnic areas and day-use facilities available at the park.
15. Are there any playgrounds or recreational facilities for children at the camping area?
Yes, there are multiple playgrounds and recreational facilities available for children at the camping area.
16. Can we bring our own firewood to the camping area?
No, firewood cannot be brought into the campground and must be purchased on site.
17. Is there a dump station available at the camping area?
Yes, there is a dump station available at the camping area.
18. Are there any additional fees for camping at Fort Custer Recreation Area?
There may be additional fees for certain amenities or activities, such as boat rentals and firewood purchases.
19. Are there any stores or grocery options available near the camping area?
Yes, there are various stores and grocery options available within a short driving distance from the camping area.
20. Is there a limit on the number of people who can occupy a campsite?
Yes, the maximum number of people allowed per campsite is 6.
21. Can we use generators at the camping area?
Yes, generators are allowed during certain hours of the day.
22. Is alcohol permitted at the camping area?
Yes, alcohol is allowed at the camping area. However, excessive drinking and disruptive behavior will not be tolerated.
23. Are campsite fires allowed during fire danger season?
No, campfires are not allowed during fire danger season.
24. Is there a noise curfew at the camping area?
Yes, there is a noise curfew at the camping area from 10:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.
25. What is the cancellation policy for camping reservations?
The cancellation policy for camping reservations varies depending on the length of stay and type of site reserved. It is recommended to check the park website for specific details.
Looking for an ideal campground in Michigan? Check out Fort Custer Recreation Area camping. It offers various campsites with different amenities such as electric hookup, shower houses, and more.
Until Next Time, Kind Reader
We hope you enjoyed reading about Fort Custer Recreation Area camping, and we hope you gained some valuable insights and tips from this article. The area offers a variety of activities, including hiking, biking, fishing, and camping. Whether you’re an experienced camper or a novice, Fort Custer is an excellent place to spend a weekend or a whole week. So why not plan a trip and experience it for yourself? Don’t forget to bring your camera and capture the beautiful scenery. Thank you for reading, and we hope to see you at Fort Custer soon!