Known for its remote beauty, Michigan’s Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is cherished because of its back country opportunities. And it’s going to get better, according to the Holland Sentinel.

Change is on the way to better your backcountry camping experience.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is limiting the number of designated backcountry campsites at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, to better protect park resources and help ensure a quality backcountry camping experience.

At about 60,000 acres, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is Michigan’s largest state park, home to towering old-growth hemlock-hardwood stands, roaring waterfalls and spectacular sweeping vistas. Once a Michigan secret, annual visitation to the park is estimated to have grown to more than 300,000 people.

It used to be that backcountry campsites were available on a first-come, first-served basis. Park rangers did not limit camping and campers could set up off-trail, away from designated campsites.

Throughout the past few years, park resources have been used heavily and the solitude of a wilderness experience backcountry campers are seeking has been compromised by overcrowding.

It’s an intricate network of trails that provides the backbone of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.

“In recent years, we have had several nights that exceeded our capacity,” said Michael Knack, park supervisor. “We are now requiring campers to stay at designated campsites, and we are limiting the number of registered campsites to 63 per night to protect the backcountry experience for all.”

Planning ahead is now a must.

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