With around 1.8 million visitors a year, the Henry Ford Museum is internationally renowned. Not only is the architecture of this museum so significant that it’s a National Historic Landmark, but also the whole of the museum complex is full of fascinating artifacts and inventions which have shaped the history of America.
The Henry Ford Museum will open your eyes to the complex history of this country, nestled in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, in Michigan. But if you’re looking to make a trip of it, and combine your visit to the Henry Ford Museum with a hiking and camping trip, then you’ll need to know more about the best campgrounds near the Henry Ford Museum.
If you’re not just motivated by the great outdoors, and also want to learn new information and combine your hikes with excellent cultural experiences, then a great option is to combine your hiking and camping trip with a visit to a museum or gallery. And the Henry Ford Museum really is the king when it comes to museums that tell the social history of the United States of America. We would recommend this museum, and the surrounding camping grounds, to family groups, and groups of adults, alike.
The Henry Ford Museum tells the story of American innovation, discoveries, and inventions. It contains numerous artifacts and objects of extreme historical importance, from which you can dive into the social history of the states.
For example, the museum contains the presidential limousine of John F. Kennedy, the bus made famous from the protests of Rosa Parks, the Wright Brother’s bicycle shop, and Thomas Edison’s famous laboratory. What better way to connect the dots, and discover more about the inventions and social movements that defined this great country.
However, because the Henry Ford Museum is located in the Dearborn suburb of Detroit, there are slim pickings when it comes to finding the right campsite to stay at on your visit. To help to make your planning process that much easier, we’ve got some suggestions here that will have you covered. Just travel a wee bit further out of the city, and you can plan a custom trip, that combines both a relaxing camping experience in nature and all of the cultural experiences that Dearborn has to offer. So, what are the best campgrounds near the Henry Ford Museum?
One of the official campgrounds listed on the Henry Ford website is Camp Dearborn. Although this camp is named after the suburb of Michigan which holds the Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, don’t be deceived! It’s actually located in the picturesque town of Milford, Michigan, just 44 miles northwest of Detroit. However, it’s easy enough to reach the museum for a day trip.
The Camp entrance is just 5.3 miles from Interstate 96 which will connect visitors to the delights of the city in no time. In a short ride, about 35 miles, you’ll arrive in the real Dearborn, at the Henry Ford Museum. And ask in the house about going to visit the museum – they even have special discounts for campers here!
So, we’ve established thatches campground give you easy access to America’s “greatest history attraction”. However, you get the feeling of separation from the big city. Camp Dearborn is located in the quaint little town of Milford. Here you have the convenience of grocery stores and pharmacies, combined with gorgeous little boutiques, restaurants and sidewalk cafes all nestled among the pedestrian-friendly downtown. So in this lovely little town, you’ll feel like you’re far away from the hectic downtown of Detroit, whilst also being within a stone’s throw of world-renowned cultural attractions.
And to take you further away from the urban landscape, Camp Dearborn brings you straight into nature. Here you’ll want to chill out, relax, and go for strolls along the half-mile of sandy beach, and go swimming fishing in their lakes. For some more thrilling outdoor activities, there’s even a zip line, a miniature golf course, and a championship size golf course. This is an ideal, tranquil place to plan a trip with a family. There’s more than enough for everyone to do, from playing a game of doubles on the tennis courts, and having competitions on the athletic fields, to sharing a picnic together at the lakeside.
In terms of accommodation, Camp Dearborn has multiple different options to suit your needs. Here they can accommodate all sorts of campers with 118 tents and 30 rustic cabins for rent and 191 sites for campers to set up their own tents or RVs. This is also a perfect option for families who are looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of organizing everyday life.
There are many organized activities here to satisfy the whole family. For example, a morning fitness program, arts & crafts activities, afternoon hikes or tournaments for those avid chess, marbles, and checker players. You could even take your folks, there will be something there for them too! Friday night movies, evening campfire sing-a-longs, a weekly talent show, and a nightly open-air dance offer you entertainment all day on, even into the long summer evenings.
- Many day time and evening activities
- Heated pool, beach access
- Fishing and swimming in lakes
- Tennis courts
- Discounts for Henry Ford Museum
- Quite large and busy
- Reasonably expensive
The second of the campgrounds linked with the Henry Ford Museum is the Detroit Greenfield RV Park. This RV park is located next to a beautiful, open lake, and here there are so many activities to keep you occupied your family will never be bored. They have a lovely sandy beach and swimming area, where you can cool off and catch some rays. And for the ultimate family fun, they have a huge 90-foot water slide! Also on the lake, you can take a boat out, renting it from the RV park. Why not take a picnic with you, and enjoy eating while floating on the water?
And the water-fun doesn’t stop there. There are many more activities to keep you occupied on this lake, including fishing for bass and bluegill, paddle-boats, and swimming. Also in the vicinity is a mini-golf course, and a playground for the little ones. There are also extensive on-site services, for all the extras you and your group might need on your trip: laundry facility, LP gas, firewood, dump stations, free Wi-Fi, and a country-style store with RV supplies, food, toys, clothing, and gifts.
This is a great location to head to with your RV, where you can book camping sites or lakeside spots to park up. They offer full hookups throughout, with a fee. If you’re not coming with your own RV, then there are some other options available for you too. You could book a trailer or cabin at the Detroit Greenfield RV Park. The little cabins are especially quaint and enjoyable, all nestled into the beautiful forest setting, next to a primate spring-fed lake! And the biggest benefit is that this campsite has deals, where you can get a discount for booking your accommodation and a trip to the Henry Ford Museum!
- Private lake for fishing and boating
- Full hookup for RVs
- Discounted price including entrance to the Henry Ford Museum
- Extensive on-site services
- Quite expensive
- Not close to the museum, but easily accessible
Now we have looked at the two campsites with links to the Henry Ford Museum, both of which offer discounted prices and deals including accommodation and museum entrance, are there other options? Read on for some other great campgrounds near Detroit.
Located just 15 minutes from downtown Windsor, Ontario, this is the closest campground from the main major highway and border crossing from the United States in the region. If you’re OK with crossing the border to find the ideal campground, consider the Windsor Campground! This campground is situated around a lovely lake, which you can have access to for fishing and recreation. They even have a mini-golf course.
In this lovely wooded site, there are many RV sites with full hookups and access to quaint little cabins too. There’s even a play gym, basketball court, a beach volleyball court, and a pool. On-site you’ll have all the amenities you need, including a store. They often organize entertaining activities here, using their beautiful pavilion, so there’s fun here for all the family.
- Mini golf course
- Pool, basketball court, beach volleyball court, and a play gym
- RV hookups, tent sites, and cabins
- 20 minute drive from downtown Windsor, Ontario
- A drive from the Henry Ford Museum
- No discounts
- Can hear traffic from the nearby road
If you’re looking for a hidden, undiscovered gem, head over to the St Claire Shores. If the other options we have reviewed look like they are going to be just too packed for your relaxing trip with your family or group, then this potion might be right up your alley. There is hardly anything about this campsite on google, so you’ll just have to take our word for it, but this does mean that you’re not going to be surrounded by crowds of people. Peace and quiet await.
This picturesque RV site is right next to a beautiful lake, where the site has its own private boat launch. There are only ten RV spots available, with water, unlimited sewer, and 30 amp service. There’s not a huge amount to do here to entertain a family, like swimming or a play park, so we would recommend this option for those of you who are really just looking to get away from it all. At only 30 minutes from Windsor, this is the perfect tranquil escape.
- Tranquil and private
- 30 minutes from Windsor
- Lakeside access
- Boat launch
- Not the right option for a family group
- Limited amenities
- A drive from the Henry Ford Museum
If the last option was too out of the way for your tastes, then why not take a look at the Walnut Grove Campground? The Walnut Grove Campground is located in the Huron-Clinton Metroparks. If you’re going camping with a big group, ad especially with a family, and are looking for endless activities to keep everyone occupied, then the Walnut Grove Campground is for you. In the Huron-Clinton Metroparks, the activities are endless.
Here in the natural beauty of Lower Huron Metropark’s 1,258 acres of mature woodlands and grassy meadows, you’ll be right next to the scenic Huron River. Here you can keep your group occupied for hours: shoreline fishing or canoeing along the river, observing swans or geese floating on the water beside you. In the summer months, you can also coast down a water slide or drift along the lazy river at the Turtle Cove Family Aquatic Center.
There are scenic hiking and biking trails, gorgeous picnic areas for you to break bread with your loved ones, and basketball, volleyball and tennis courts. Although it’s not as close to the Henry Ford Museum as the first two options, it’s not much further away, and you might think the extra drive is worth it for all the on-site fun available.
- Shoreline fishing or canoeing along the Huron River
- Stunning surroundings
- Fun for all the family
- Turtle Cove Family Aquatic Center
- 27 rustic campsites
- Further from the Henry Ford Museum
- A large, popular campground
Just a short drive outside of the bustling Detroit area, there are many small campgrounds to choose from, as the cityscape makes way for rolling hills, state parks, and lush forests. The Great Lakes are waiting for you to come and explore them! If the other options we have reviewed are too large and overcrowded for your taste, then there are some great options for rural or primitive camping. Choosing this option can open up your possibilities, and lead you to choose a far more unique, tailored trip.
The Secluded Urban Farm is a great option for those looking for a unique stay, and to get away from the crowds, as this campground has only 3 sites with up to 9 guests per site. This option is a lot closer to the Henry Ford Museum, so if accessibility to the Museum is your number one deciding factor, look closer. This four-acre farm is located in central Detroit, with a range of local public transportation to get you into the heart of the city. If you’re not camping with your car, this could be the perfect option for you.
The Secluded Urban Farm is a fantastic option for nature lovers and farm fans. Here you can explore the urban farm, and have access to a fire ring, water, wifi, solar power, farm-fresh produce, and fantastic birdwatching. If you don’t go camping too often and don’t have your own tent, then don’t worry: you can hire tents here for a fee.
- Very close to the Henry Ford Museum
- Urban farm location
- Quiet and tranquil
- Fire ring, solar power, fresh farm produce
- Fishing, biking and wildlife watching
- Not as many amenities as some of the options
- No electric or sewage hookup, not ideal for RVers or motorhome
If it’s your first time visiting the Ford Museum, or the other connected museums (The Ford Rouge Factory, Greenfield Village, and the Edison Institute), it might be that the most important quality of your campground is location. If you’re planning a short trip, where the museum is the main attraction, then we would recommend opting for the Secluded Urban Farm. Your trip will benefit from the campground’s proximity to the museum, and the peace and quiet that you’ll find here, which will allow you to reflect on all the things you have learned about America’s historical ingenuity.
However, if you’re going on a larger family trip, where the Henry Ford Museum is just a part of the activities you need to plan, then you might need to head a bit further out. All of the larger campgrounds are a lot further from the center of Detroit, and you need to travel out a bit further to get all the amenities and activities your family will need. If you’re going on a family trip, our top pick is the Walnut Grove Campground. It’s located in the Huron-Clinton Metroparks, where you’ll find enough activities to entertain your family for days, for example, shoreline fishing or canoeing along the Huron River.
Bonus tip: For an inside look into the Henry Ford Museum, watch this useful video!