I’d like to say I had a great time at Newaygo State park, but that would be an alternate fact. I didn’t have a horrible time, to be sure, but it was far from relaxing. You see, Newaygo State Park is basically one enormous amphitheater crafted by both man and nature (it’s a man made lake in a valley) to fill the surrounding 50 square miles with a cacophony of motorboat noises. No description can adequately describe how loud it was. It was as if I pitched my tent right on the water during a cigarette boat race.
I suppose I can’t complain. It became obvious to me that boating is the primary reason for there being a park here, and that’s fine. I just wish I had figured that out before hand, I like my camping a little quieter. Then, at one point on Saturday, a local fire department decided to parade their fire engine through the campground blaring the siren. I kid you not. There was no reason for it, they just wanted to make some noise. Because why relax when you can fucking not.
Oh, and the firewood. There was none. Normally they sell it at the campground, but the Fourth of July crowd used it all up and nobody thought to order more. “There’s a place down the road a ways that sells it” one of the staffers told me. So off I went. I found the place alright, I couldn’t miss it. It was a dishevelled mobile home with 6 very angry looking rednecks sitting around. The wood was sitting in a box that was filled with an inch of water at the bottom. So for five bucks, I loaded up my bike while the rednecks stared at me, and off I went to try to start a fire with what amounted to soggy cardboard. Needless to say, there was no raging campfire this weekend.
Then, I was woken up at 7:00 am on Sunday morning by a redneck “domestic disturbance”. Apparently a couple got tired of having the cops called on them at home so they thought it would be nice to cause a scene in the great outdoors for a change. Best line; “I’m through with your steroid takin’ ass” by the wife (in that weird pseudo southern drawl that many Michigan rednecks have). She then peeled out of the campground while the forlorn steroid taker played “Every rose has its thorn” by Poison on his car stereo at volume 10. Thanks for sharing your pain, asshole.
All in all, Newaygo wasn’t quite what I was looking for in a campground. I give it a personal rating of 6/10. If you like boats and boat noise with the occasional fire engine thrown in for no good reason, this is the place for you. For everyone else, even steroid takers, I’d suggest looking elsewhere.