Betsie River Campsite

Their website reads “Camping as if it were long, long ago... but not too long.” It’s an apt introduction to the unique experience that is Betsie River Campsite. The property combines the feel of an off-the-grid adventure with a relaxed, kick-back-with-the kiddos vibe. Or as co-owner, Quinn Welty, explains “It’s the perfect place to camp and chill out, without roughing it too much.” 

Quinn owns the property with his parents, Kris and Daylene, who took it over nine years ago. In that time, they’ve enhanced the campsite with amenities that keep families, anglers, and outdoor enthusiasts coming back, year after year.  

As you’d imagine, Betsie River Campsite is located on the shores of the clear-flowing Betsie River. Kayaking is a popular activity here and the campsite offers them for rent. Anglers arrive here in the fall to chase the prized King Salmon. As you enter the campsite—“please drive slowly,” Quinn reminds—you’ll cross over the Betsie Valley Bike Path. This paved and convenient conduit leads you to the area’s many popular activities and attractions. It’s  3.5 miles to the Frankfort Public Beach and seven miles to Crystal Lake, which are both perfect family bike trips. Sleeping Bear Dunes is just minutes by car, as are the many downtown shopping districts of Frankfort, Bealuh, and Benzonia.  

As for accommodations, Betsie River Campsite offers several appealing options. The property includes 15 cabins, each of which sleeps two to four people comfortably. The cabins have electricity, along with coffee pots (upon request), fans, and heaters. You’ll need to bring your own bedding. For a more retro camping experience, check out one of the vintage campers. Each sleeps two and includes what you get with the cabins. If you want to bring your own rig, the campsite offers 30 amp pull-through sites, 20 amp sites, and 15 amp sites for tent camping.  

Need further reason to give Betsie River Campsite a try? It’s home to the Tiny Café, which has a big reputation for its amazing breakfast and lunch offerings. Saddle up to the “Stormy”, a hearty concoction with smashed “taters”, veggies, cheese, two eggs, and your choice of meat. Now, for a real special bonus … the showers are all immaculately clean and, according to Quinn, “the hot water lasts forever.”