Sylvania Wilderness Backcountry Camping

Ottawa National Forest

Planning a trip to the Sylvania Wilderness? Click on "Show alert" at the top of the page and read the latest Alert regarding this facility.  

The Sylvania Wilderness encompasses 18,327 acres of primitive lands and is part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Visitors can camp in 50 designated campsites within the Sylvania Wilderness. Visitors enjoy endless canoeing, fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Sylvania Wilderness Backcountry Camp is not a physical campground located at one location. The 50 individual sites are located along eight lakes within the Sylvania Wilderness. Camping is allowed only at designated sites. Campsites are primitive, but each is equipped with a campfire ring and a wilderness latrine.

Notifications and Alerts

Need to Know

Natural Features

The old-growth forests and pristine lakes in the region provide habitat for a wide range of animal and plant life, including rare orchids, bald eagles, loons and osprey. The wilderness contains 34 named lakes, some with sandy beaches and others surrounded by record-size red and white pines. The Ottawa National Forest is comprised of nearly 1 million acres and is located in the western reaches of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The forest's rolling, tree covered hills extend from the south shore of Lake Superior to the Wisconsin border. Lakes, rivers and waterfalls are found throughout this beautiful landscape.

Recreation

Sylvania's abundant lakes provide plentiful non-motorized boating, canoeing, kayaking and fishing opportunities. Other popular activities include hiking and viewing wildlife.

Contact Information

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SYLVANIA WILDERNESS E23979 US 2 EAST WATERSMEET MI 49969

Phone Number

For campground inquiries, please call: 906-358-4724

Rental Options

Learn more about gear rental options for your trip

Driving Directions

Wilderness campsites can be accessed from Sylvania Recreation Area or from entry points on the perimeter of the wilderness (see map). To reach Sylvania Entrance Station and Recreation Area: From Watersmeet, travel approximately 3.5 miles west on US 2 to County Road 535, then drive south on CR 535 approximately 4 miles to the Sylvania Wilderness and Recreation Area entrance.

Available Campsites

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