Caping at PJ Hoffmaster Park


Being a State Park along approximately three-mile Lake Michigan, PJ Hoffmaster Park lies at the southwest corner of Norton Shore, in the U.S state of Michigan in Muskegon County and the Northwest corner of Spring Lake Township in Ottawa County. This State Park is further featured and colored by dunes of Lake Michigan and the Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center.

Hoffmaster parabolic dune

PJ Hoffmaster totally enjoys its ideal geographical location through captivating thousands of visitors and campers years on year to come for diverse recreation activities besides camping like hiking, picnicking, biking, walking and running. The park authorities have been trying their best to extend its total area to meet an increasing number of tourists’ need.

1. 293 campsites

Currently, the park has only campground with nearly 293 sites, including eight pull through sites. These sites are fully furnished with electrical hook-ups and available water. Luckily, almost all these sites are located in a wooded valley with picnic areas and hiking trails nearby.

electric campsite

According to most campers who once chose this campground as their ideal stop-over, this campground is cleanest and most tranquil place they ever set step in. Besides, it contains nice roads to walk or ride your bikes on. 293 sites are not fully equipped, but tidy and newly updated as well. All bathhouse facilities are modern and brand. Also, most of the sites were shaded though there were ones in the sun.

camping at Hoffmaster State Park

However, for several sites, while electricity is at hand, water is not available. Water spigots were located unevenly through the campground. Although there are no full hookup sites, the park offers a dumping station for campers and visitors. Therefore, if you travel a long way to get here, you can use it to fill up your car.

a dumping Station at Hoffmaster State Park

If you don’t pre-prepare something before reaching the park, you can drop by a camp store offered by the park. However, this store is not near the campground, so it is going to take you several minutes on foot to get there.

A campstore at Hoffmaster State Park

From there, you can buy ice for $2 a bag. Firewood is stored in the shed across from the park office. It is $5.50 per bundle and cash only. You place your money in a bucket using the “honor system”. Right outside the gates of the park, locals sold fire by the wheelbarrow for a more reasonable price for what you got.

Firewood at Hoffmaster State Park

2. One group camp

The park separates one group camp for youth or a family, it is nonetheless not connected to the campground

group camping at Hoffmaster State Park

3. Time and activities:

The campground is open from April 3rd to October 18th yearly. There is no exception at all, so you need to make a reservation before your arrival. Because the campground closes several months during a year, some campers even have to book nine months in advance. If you are going to be free within that period and intend to camp with friends or family, you are supposed to book as soon as possible.

The park geographical location offers it a variety of outdoor activities besides camping. All campers and visitors can make use of miles of the shore for swimming, fishing or simply enjoying dawn and sunset.

Additionally, miles of hiking and skiing trails of the park offers stunning views of Lake Michigan and subtle beauty at every turn. Some well-blazed trails even lead you to the beach and throughout the park as well.

hiking trails for walking

Despite not featured by flowers or displays, the park is very wild, nature and picturesque. Colored by only large campground, but its amazing trail system seems to compensate that shortcoming via taking campers to a playground area. This place is not only perfect for adults but kids as well. There is also a large open field area that could be used for soccer or football.

In addition, one more place that is typical for kids is the Black River Creek emptying into Lake Michigan. The water there is always warm, so if the lake water is cold, then there is another nice warmer spot for kids, especially for those who can’t swim yet to play in and still be in the water.

4. Fee and Policies

Presently, the rate for each night is $28. However if you stay at sites with 50 amp electrical service, then you have to pay $30.

In order for you to enter the park, you are supposed to have a Michigan Recreation Passport. Each non-resident pays $9 per day. If you plan to camp for four or more days, then you should buy the $31 annual pass. In case you travel here by car or a motorbike, you have to buy passes for both vehicles.

Alcohol is prohibited here. Before camping here, you must sign a paper that ensures you totally understand the alcohol policy.

Alcohol is banned at Hoffmaster State Park

Luckily, the park offers a huge walking space for leased pets. However, they are not allowed at the beach.

Welcomed dog on leash

So, if nothing else stops your steps, just pack your stuff, make a call to book a site and get going.

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