For the 4th of July weekend, we headed up north to Traverse City for the National Cherry Festival. This is one of my favorite events to attend and I definitely recommend you check it out. You can read about our visit last year to see what type of activities are offered here.
This was our first time camping during the event and I originally attempted to book campgrounds that were located 30+ miles away from Traverse City to mitigate crowds. Even though I called for reservations a couple months in advance, I had challenges finding a campground with availability. Experiencing no luck for campgrounds on the outskirts, I tried Timber Ridge on a whim. I figured it was a long shot as located just 8 miles east of Traverse. Luckily I was able to reserve the last camping site available for the holiday here. In the future, I will definitely book Holiday weekends like this further in advance and recommend you do the same when camping.
Despite the campground’s location close to the city, the drive was very scenic with winding roads as well as pretty trees and it felt off the beaten path. Upon arrival, there is a very nice clubhouse, front desk and camp store for check in. The camp store offered fun things like an ice cream shop, souvenirs, and camping essentials. It was the first camp store that had a section for your pup with portable water dishes, leashes, toys and treats. I was impressed with how dog friendly it is.
Upon check in, you receive a map, policy list and gate key. The gate key must be turned it at departure or there is an additional $10 fee. I purchased a couple bundles of firewood at $6 a piece as well. These were self serve in front of the lodge and wrapped in plastic. The plastic may help with ease of carrying, however it also made the wood retain some moisture from the last rain. We additionally purchased ice for $2 a bag to restock our cooler this trip.
This is a self serve campground where you navigate your own way to the campsite. One of the cool things offered are signs with site # markers. This really makes it easy to find your way around. Our site was #150 at the end of a row on the corner near the public restrooms. Garrin usually has to back into sites and he originally attempted it for this site before realizing we could pull through for better positioning. It is very wooded and with all the trees, it was not easy to see how you could pull through at initial glance.
The sites were fairly close together and we found ourselves rather close to our neighbors. They actually had a couple tents besides a camper on their site so there was quite a crowd of people along with a couple dogs next door. We looked in the rules and confirmed you may indeed have tents on your site along with RVs at this campground for an additional fee. This appears more unusual though probably fun if you are traveling with a big group.
Being on the corner was nice as we only had the neighbors on one side. They were friendly enough but with the large crowd next to us as well as the traffic to the restrooms–this was not my favorite site. However, the campground in general is very pretty with lots of trees and many great looking sites. Next time, I would just ask for a different site if possible.
We were located near many of the fun activities this campground offers and were impressed with the variety of things to explore. This campground is super kid friendly and I know kids would love it with all the things to do. There was a dodge ball court that played music with a referee facilitating the games. It even had stadium seating for parents/guests to watch if not into the action themselves. They also offered laser tag games that looked like a blast.
The campground offers a pool and playground of course. One of the most unusual things was the bike course with platforms to ride and jump the bikes over. Garrin commented to me that he wished he brought his bike this trip to try this out. I had fun watching people enjoying this course.
On Sunday morning it rained making breakfast a challenge. Once the weather cleared, we headed out to the Cherry Festival. It was super crowded and parking was a challenge. The dogs and I enjoyed the bustle of the art fair and were thankful that it was not extremely hot. I discovered new artisans with great subscription box ideas that I can’t wait to explore further. We enjoyed dinner at my mother in laws that evening and had a nice visit.
On Monday, we drove to Crystal Lake in Beulah and spent the day with our best friends, Carol and John whom were visiting from CA. This was my favorite part of this trip as I so rarely see Carol these days.
Back at the campground, we enjoyed a campfire and s’mores. One of the best things about camping.
I look forward to coming back to Timber Ridge on a non-holiday weekend to explore the area again.