A visitors experience in Kalkaska County, Michigan

Michigan is one of the best states to travel in a Skoolie. There is so much more to this amazing place than just Detroit and Traverse City. They deserve an honorable mention as those areas do bring in a lot of traffic to our great state in general, but there are so many more incredible nooks and crannies to explore.

When traveling in a converted school bus, it’s essential to keep any and all options open. One of the best ways to travel is to boondock — or off-grid. If you have the proper setup for such an adventure, the possibilities truly are endless. We absolutely love the state of Michigan for our adventures in our bus, it may be biased as I am a Michigan native myself but I promise it’s worth your time of day.

If you enjoy camping, fishing, hiking, or anything outdoors, Kalkaska County is a hidden gem in Michigan for you. Only 35 minutes east of Traverse City and 3.5 hours north of Detroit, Kalkaska County is a good travel destination. My family has spent a lot of time in this town as my father is an avid fisherman and fly-fishing is his specialty (I’m even named after a trout!) Now, if you’re in an off-grid rig like us you can find anywhere to boondock here. We generally choose a box store parking lot where we find online camping apps for a night or there are plenty of harvest hosts in that area as well. We also choose campgrounds while traveling. Taking our bus to and from the places in town is just as easy.

First on the list is the National Trout Memorial. This is placed in the center of town. Most things operate seasonally here, as it’s a summer destination. The Kalkaska museum, next to the trout memorial operates in June, July and August. I recommend looking up the hours of operation before going if you plan to check out the actual museum. Nonetheless, the gigantic, vividly colored trout that doubles as a fountain is more than interesting to look at – even just from the roadside.

Fishing is of course the main attraction of this quaint town. From experience, I prefer Little Rapid River. If you have children this is also fun for them. The water is refreshing and fast-paced. This river is so clean, you can literally see the dirt in the bottom and fish swimming at your feet. It’s deep enough to swim comfortably without too many rocks or debris in the way. There are many areas where others hang up swinging, knotted ropes off the side of the waterway that anyone can use. The logs that have fallen across from downed trees make for the best walkway and places to jump in. You can swim with the trout here and catch a good amount. This river is not completely secluded in some parts making it easy access to anyone who wants to take a dip or fish together. There’s nothing like pulling off to the side of the road in our bus, swimming and fishing then cooking up a meal and enjoying the view.

Along with the abundance of camping and fishing spots, there are many areas in the town to shop. Many antique stores, a farmers’ market, and several different places to spend time outdoors. I’m a huge fan of exploring all a small area has to offer and making it a priority to feel like we’ve seen it all when we visit in our Skoolie.

Kalkaska makes you feel like you’re right at home with all of the kind, welcoming folks as well. If you do choose a trip here you will not regret it.

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