Rustic campground to open at Ionia State Recreation Area

Starting this spring, visitors to Ionia State Recreation Area will have access to hike-in camping options at the popular, mid-Michigan outdoor recreation destination. The new rustic campground, opening May 15, was designed to provide the space and setting for people interested in a camping experience that puts them even closer to nature.

The campground will have 16 rustic campsites that require an easy, quarter-mile hike from the parking lot, including 10 sites set in the woods, five sites set along Sessions Lake and one site that backs up to a creek. Each of the rustic campsites includes a fire pit and picnic table and proximity to outhouses located along the access trail.

People can book these sites through the DNR reservation system,, starting Tuesday, Feb. 18. Campers aiming for more spontaneity can reserve available sites in person, on a first-come, first-served basis the day of arrival.

“These new rustic camping options will expand choices for overnight accommodations here at Ionia,” said Trevor McGinn, park supervisor. “We wanted to create a different experience for visitors on some prime real estate, and we’re confident that the lakefront spots will be very popular.”

The 4,418-acre park is located approximately 35 miles from both Lansing and Grand Rapids. The park provides a wide range of recreation activities, including camping, disc golfing, fishing, hiking, biking, hunting and equestrian trail riding. The park is home to a designated hunting dog field trial area, a campground, modern and mini cabins, a swimming beach and park store on Sessions Lake, Tibbets Creek, the Grand River and natural environments that are home to rare plants and animals. Learn more at

For more information on Ionia’s new rustic campsites, contact Trevor McGinn, at 616-527-3750. To learn more about all DNR camping options (including rules, rates, policies and special programs), visit