Date of Stay: July 15 through 18, 2010.
Weather During Stay: Mostly sunny and warm - highs in the 70’s and 80’s, lows in the 60’s.
Site Description: The 68 RV sites in this city-owned park are a mix of FHU and W/E. All sites have 20 and 30 amps. Some of the sites are heavily shaded (by trees and a high bluff); others are in full sun. Sites are on grass and dirt, each with a picnic table and fire ring. About half the sites are level; many are sloped or lumpy. We were in lumpy site 66, in full sunshine, able to level with the aid of a couple of boards.
The on-site bathhouse is old but clean, as are the showers. Playground and dump station on site. Small registration booth, two dumpsters at the far end of the campground (next to the water treatment plant). Three roads: one smooth asphalt, one patch and potholed, one dirt/gravel.
The campground is on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, with a swimming area. A smooth, paved, bike trail runs directly through the park. That’s the good news. The bad news: the campground backs up to a high bluff, topped by a huge hospital/medical complex with very noisy AC/climate control. The far end of the campground abuts the city waste water and sewer plant.
Rate: $22/night for W/E; $24/night for FHU.
Phone/radio/TV: Strong Verizon signal. Our roof-mounted satellite TV worked, but this would not be true in about half the sites. No cable TV, no wifi. NPR on 103.9.
Elevation/landscape/terrain: This is a flat, grassy, partly shaded campground at 800 ft. elevation on the shore of Lake Michigan. Views are of other rigs, trees, and the view across the lake.
Lighting/noise: Our site is reasonably dark at night, as are most of the others. Noise is another thing entirely. We hear the hospital’s air-conditioning all day and night. Fortunately, the consistent, monotonous hum quickly faded into white noise and we both slept surprisingly well!
Favorite Sites: No special sites here - all have pros and cons. Our site was spacious and good for satellite TV, but we dealt with hospital noise and a west-facing exposure, pretty warm in summer. Others were in deep shade, cooler but no chance of satellite RV reception. Sites at the far end dealt with odors from the sewer plant.
Hiking/Walking: Excellent! Follow the sidewalk and bike trail a mile into appealing, downtown Petoskey, through parks and past the marina. In the other direction, the bike trail goes for miles and miles along the shore of Lake Michigan, with benches, picnic tables, and viewpoints at intervals along the trail.
Comments: It’s all about location at Magnus Park. The campground itself is nothing special, and has several “issues”: the never-ending noise from the hospital, the sometimes noticeable smell from the sewer plant, the lumpy sites. Still, we would return again (this is our second visit; our first was 7 years ago and nothing has changed).
The location, less than a mile from the lovely town of Petoskey, right on the shore of Lake Michigan, is great. Go for a swim. Walk or bike into town, watch kites flying in Bayfront Park, visit the farmer’s market on Friday, an art festival or whatever else if happening in Petoskey during your stay. It is a very convenient park in an exceptionally lovely area, and the price is a bargain for this area.