The Sunset Bay RV Resort and Campground is located in Allouez, Michigan. The campground sits on a seventy-acre property with many ATV, hiking, and mountain biking trails. The campground also sits along the shoreline of Lake Superior. There are forty-six total reservation options at the Sunset Bay RV Resort and Campground. Twenty-three of the sites are RV sites, eleven of them are tent sites looking out over the lake. Additionally, there are two rental cabins, an overnight cabin, and a mobile home available for reservations. The property has a small store, laundry facilities, a dump station, and a bathhouse. The Sunset Bay RV Resort and Campground is open from the week before Memorial Day to the 10th of October and is closed during the winter months due to extreme winter conditions.
Located in the Allouez Township of Michigan, the Sunset Bay RV Resort and Campground resides on the southwestern shoreline of Lake Superior. The campground covers 70 acres of land and has forty-six total units. There are twenty-three RV and tent sites, two cabins, and eleven tent-only sites. The owner, Bill, and his wife recently added eleven more RV sites for larger campers and RVs. On the main campground area of the property, there is also a main office, bathhouse, laundry room, a dump station, and a community fire pit.
Each individual site also has its own firepits and picnic tables with small grassy areas for setting up lawn games or containing pets. The campground is one of the oldest continuously operated campgrounds in Michigan. Initially, none of the sites had electricity or water services; however, in the past ten years, 30 AMP electricity has been added throughout the property as well as sewage and water services to each site. The tent-only sites, however, do not contain electricity but only include water services.
It took five years for Bill and his wife to have all of the cabins, campsites, and property grounds updated to the point where they could be opened for visitors. Seventeen of the RV sites are full hookups with back-in options. Three of the sites have pull-through access. All of the eleven tent-only sites are located just feet from the beach overlooking Lake Superior. Firewood and ice are available to every guest and can be delivered to each site upon request by the property manager.
There are two full-size cabins on the property as well as one overnight cabin and a mobile home rental. The cabins are rustic with a wood interior and exteriors. Cabin Two is the newest of the cabins, with two separate entrances and large windows in the living spaces. Inside there is a full kitchen complete with a full-sized refrigerator a dining table for five, and a four-burner oven and stove. This open concept cabin has no doors into the single room, just curtains. There is also a ladder leading to a small loft with cots for additional sleeping arrangements.
Cabin Three is similar to cabin one in amenities but also includes a sliding door out of the back of the cabin where guests can find a path leading down to the lake, as well as an outdoor picnic area and a large wood-burning fireplace. Pete’s Place is an overnight stay cabin with a full bed, microwave, toaster oven, an electric heater, and a coffee machine. The overnight cabin has a small sink but does not have a bathroom. The mobile rental home has a living room, a small bathroom with a shower, and a galley kitchen with a dining area. The mobile home also has a small heating unit and is located in a secluded corner of the property.
Dense woods covers most of the property and the actual campground portion of the space only takes up three acres of land. Guests can use the provided trail maps to discover nearby hiking, biking, and ATV trails on the property. The entire northern side of the property lines the Lake Superior shoreline. Although most of the land on the campground has been cleared for ease of access, there are still many trees and shrubbery in between each site for privacy. A gravel road leads to the campsite entrance and dirt paths guide guests to their campsites. Additional parking space is available for guests with extra vehicles, ATVs, and trailers.
In the main office, there is a small store where guests can purchase basic camping essentials such as firewood, sunscreen, and duck tape. Basic RV and camper repair supplies are also available at the main office store. These supplies may include sewer and water hoses, or electrical cords. Rentals are available in the form of canoes, fishing rods, fishing bait, extra paddles, and life jackets. One unique aspect of the campground is that all of the water supplied throughout the campground is produced through reverse osmosis. During the winter months, the campground is closed due to extreme winter weather, and the osmosis system helps to winterize the property and eliminate frozen water systems.
The Sunset Bay RV Resort and Campground is open from the week before Memorial Day to the 10th of October every year. The most popular season of operation is during the summer months, when guests can spend most of their time outdoors and on the lake. During the winter, everything is thoroughly winterized due to the harsh winter climate. At times, the area can receive up to eighteen inches of snow.
The Sunset Bay RV Resort and Campground was created as a space where “any type of guest is welcome,” says Bill, the current owner of the property. Guests of all ages and groups of all sizes are welcome at the Sunset Bay RV Resort and Campground. Often, families come with their children to the property, and so will older couples or single tent campers. Bill and his wife make it their mission to give each of their guests the best experience possible when they spend time at the campground. In order to do this, they work hard to keep the property clean and safe.
Most of those who spend time at the Sunset Bay RV Resort are visiting for the outdoor activities in the area. The property is 70 acres wide, and the wide arrangement of nearby outdoor activities can provide convenience and entertainment to various demographics. Bill gives each guest a map of the property upon check-in, so guests are aware of the surrounding area. Visitors can go four-wheeling, hiking, fishing, kayaking, and canoeing anytime they wish.
In addition to the activities on the property, the owners also live on the property, striving to be available to answer any questions or address any concerns their visitors may have. For guests’ security, there is also a local sheriff nearby. Extra parking space is available for guests who bring additional trailers hauling ATVs or boats. Many guests take their boats out on the lake for the majority of the day, then come back to their RV’s to sleep near the water before returning the following day.
Guests often leave positive reviews regarding the property’s proximity to the lake, the campground hosts, and the cleanliness of the grounds. One guest left this review, “Very kind and accommodating staff. It was absolutely beautiful! Very scenic being right beside Lake Superior.” Additionally, the campground is known for its large size and rural location, as noted by one guest who said, “Gorgeous Views. Wooded. Not too close, nor not too far from everything you could want.”
Every guest at the Sunset Bay RV Resort and Campground is encouraged to be friendly and considerate of other guests on the grounds. In order to help with this, Bill has implemented policies such as quiet hours from 11:00 PM to 8:00 AM. During these hours, guests are expected to keep noise levels and foot traffic to a minimum. The campground is also pet-friendly; guests are welcome to take their animals anywhere on the property as long as they are leashed. Aggressive breeds are discouraged, however, all are welcome. Guests can often be found taking their dogs with them out on the lake or on hikes throughout the property.
All of the cabins on the site have been updated and were built specifically to give guests everything they need. “Stayed in Cabin Two and really enjoyed it. It’s a very cute, small cabin, with quick access to the lake. We had everything we needed to cook the simple meals we brought with us. We had a great view of the lake from the picnic table/ fire pit area, as well as the picture window inside the cabin. Air conditioner kept the bedroom cool enough to sleep on a hot/humid night,” said a recent visitor.
Beyond the activities on the property, guests can also visit a few local attractions, such as the Delaware Copper Mine. The mine was only in operation for a few years in the mid-eighteen hundreds before being shut down in 1844. Portions of the mine are closed for safety reasons, but tours are offered through the copper mine daily. The Isle Royal National Park is another recommended attraction in the area. The isolated island is at the center of Lake Superior and is covered in trails and small inlets where guests can backpack, hike, boat, kayak, and scuba dive. Guests can get to the island on their private boats, a ferry, or a seaplane.
The Sunset Bay RV Resort and Campground was purchased by the current owner's father-in-law in 1943. When he came into ownership of the property, it was simply a plot of land with nothing on it but trees and wildlife. It took nine years to build a road where they could actually drive into the property and start building the campground. It took three more years to add all of the camping spaces, and the cabin rentals were added slowly over time. Bill, who is the current owner of the property, first met his wife at the campground and they have been together from that time onward. Bill’s wife and her sisters had the campground passed down to them when her father retired, and Bill and his wife decided to buy her sister’s portion of the property and run the campground themselves.
Bill is the primary property manager and host at the campground while his wife runs a business downtown. Upon purchasing the business, the couple redid all of the cabins with fresh paint, updated furniture, and added new appliances to all of the kitchens. Eleven new sites were also added along with electricity throughout the entire campground. There was never an office until Bill built one. When the couple retires in the coming years, they plan to pass the campground onto the historical society in the area. Bill enjoys interacting with all of his guests and sharing with them his love for the area and the outdoors in general.
Allouez is an extremely small civil township in Keweenaw County. The population in the area is just barely 2,000 residents; most of them do not live in the area full time. The Sunset Bay RV Resort and Campground is one of the first campgrounds in Keweenaw County and is also among the oldest campgrounds on Lake Superior.