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Van Buren State Park, South Haven

4.0
#6 of 15 in Things to do in South Haven
State Park Nature / Park
Van Buren State Park is a 400acre state park on Lake Michigan south of South Haven, Michigan, United States. The park, which is maintained and operated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, is located in the southwest corner of South Haven Township and the northwest corner of Covert Township, just north of the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant.Van Buren became a state park in May 1965 when the original 167acre plot was purchased from the Harry LaBar Drake family. Since then two other land purchases have been made to make up the current park. It has forested sand dunes (see photo), modern camping and a popular swimming beach. A state park permit is required for entry.Directly north of the park is the Van Buren County–owned North Point Conservation Area.Facilities and activitiesSwimmingPicnickingPlayground Camping: The camping area has 220 modern sites and features flush toilets, showers, and electric hookups. Metal Detecting: Metal detecting is permitted in designated areas of the park; however, any found items are subject to review by park staff and may be retained pending further investigation.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
105 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Decided to try this beach after North Beach. No comparison. North beach is much nicer and bigger. This beach has beautiful rocks to look at but hurt your feet when going in water. Not much sand.  more »
  • I went to see the sand dunes, so didn't pay much attention to the parks facilities like camping. But the picnic area near the beach was fine ... on a weekday. Not many picnic tables to facilitate larg...  more »
  • What a wonderful little gem o a beach. A littlr rocky but still a great experience. What was even more amazing was watching all the families with little ones having a great time with out any screaming...  more »
Google
  • Great campground with nice sites. Beautiful beach within an easy walk from the sites. The only downside is that it butts up to the Palisades Nuclear power plant. Aside from negatively impacting the aesthetics of the beach, it was a little unsettling when the loud air-raid style sirens in the plant went off several times during our stay. Especially when it happened at 4:30 in the morning.
  • Pretty nice park. Beach seems smaller than it used to be (shifting dunes) and it's a lot rockier than I remember. Overall though, nice for a day trip, or camping.
  • We loved our trip to this park. The sand dunes are a short distance from the camping area and offer beautiful views (especially at sunset.) Our camping site itself was nestled in some pine trees and had plenty of flat, grassy area for our tent. Would definitely camp here again!
  • What should have been a lovely camping trip turned out very unpleasant. We arrived late Sunday night and were told to find a site and come back to pay. We told the ranger we were probably going to stay 2 nights and no one said anything about a 2 day old reservation on that site that a customer had not shown up for or that the site was not available for 2 nights. We went out next morning to buy firewood, stopped in the office to pay and we were informed the guy who had a reservation Friday which was 2 days before showed up and all our stuff had been packed and set aside by park rangers. I don't care who you are state park or not, that is not the way you treat people or do business. Then the ranger had the audacity to ask us if we were sure we hadnt parked in the wrong spot. We produced out receipt and showed we were exactly where we should be. Excepting reservations is fine, but the site should be marked Reserved and if someone doesnt show up when they are suppose to, that reservation should be cancelled. We will never grace another Michigan State Park.
  • The showers at the campground were nice. The campsites were well maintained but not a whole lot of space in between them

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