An icon near the Twelvemile Beach campground says it all: Indicating that this is a permitted beach area, it shows a swimmer not in the usual “crawl” position, but with water lapping at the ankles. In other words, the water here is damn cold. Swim if you dare, but wading is really more realistic.
Which is what keeps Twelvemile Beach the pristine, stunning ribbon of sand that it is. After all, if such a perfect beach boasted 75° water, it would be overrun with stereos, Jet Skis, and zinc oxide. Instead, it’s a beach where you can stroll for hours with only the company of peregrine falcons, bald eagles, deer wandering down for a drink, even the occasional black bear snorting around in the sand.
The Twelvemile Beach campground is easy to reach, just a short drive off H-58 through a pretty birch forest. Many of the 37 campsites string out along a bluff over the beach—come midweek (or early on Saturday, often a turnover day) for one of the choice spots. Some are larger than the average house lot and undoubtedly have a better view. Well-placed stairs deposit campers and picnickers at lake level. The campground also has a nice day-use area at its east end.
Just about five miles farther up the beach (or H-58) lies the auto-accessible Hurricane River campground, where the Hurricane River spills into Lake Superior.
by Laura Martone from Moon Michigan, 3rd Edition, © Avalon Travel