Sparrow Rapids: A Forgotten Campground

Snug within the Ottawa National Forest, Sparrow Rapids Campground offers the perfect getaway for any outdoor enthusiast. Surrounded by roaring waters, rolling hills, and abundant wildlife, this campground is one of the best we have visited.

There are no fees to camp at Sparrow Rapids. Considered a “limited service” campground, all visitors must pack-out all trash and there is no water available on site. The campground riles solely on those visiting to pick up after themselves and keep the campground clean. You know, the things all campers should already be doing.


Vault toilets are available but I recommend planning ahead and bringing your own toilet paper. Just in case.

The 6 first-come, first serve sites are well spaced and offer a decent amount of privacy. Each site has a picnic table and a fire pit ring. A short walk through the woods on an established trail will take visitors down to the Sparrow Rapids on the East Branch Ontonagon River.

Nearby, visitors can explore the impressive waterfalls, including Bond Falls, Agate Falls, and the smaller Jumbo Falls, and Dubby Falls. Hikers can head out on the 8.5 mile Davidson Lakes Hunter Trail Loop. This trail provides views of lakes, small ponds, and lots of wildlife.

There are a dozen reasons why we keep returning to Sparrow Rapids Campground. It is beautiful, quiet, and nestled away. Its similar to dispersed camping but offers a bit more for those who are not quite ready to disappear into the wilderness.

For more information, visit USDA Sparrow Rapids Campground.

Getting There

From Kenton, turn north off of M-28 onto NF-16. Sparrow-Kenton Wayside Picnic Area is on the corner. Continue for 1/4 of a mile to FR 1100. Turn left and continue for another 3 miles to the campground.

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