• Overview
  • Q&A
  • Cell Service
  • Reviews
  • Amenities

Overview of Chain-O-Lakes Campground

Weekly Rate Yes

Monthly Rate Yes

Number of Sites 89

Reservations yes

Elevation 787 ft / 239 m

Tent Camping Yes

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Reviews of Chain-O-Lakes Campground 2 people have reviewed this location.

Ratings Summary

Overall Rating
Access
Location
Cleanliness
Site Quality
Noise

Cell Phone Coverage

2bars
Verizon 4G/LTE
Confirmed by 2 Users
Last reported 7/24/2019
3bars
AT&T 4G/LTE
Confirmed by 2 Users
Last reported 7/24/2019
Thumb family rv
The Globe Trekker Family
FL 42' Primetime Crusader 360BHS Ram 3500HD Laramie SRW
8 reviews
“Rustic charm, country setting, has it’s pros and cons”

Reviewed 7/24/2019

Nightly rate: $35
Days stayed: 7
Site Number: Sites not marked
Overall Rating

This campground is only a couple of miles from the tiny town of Bellaire, and about 10 minutes from Torch Lake. It’s about 45 minutes to Traverse City and 1.5 hours to Sleeping Dunes National Lakeshore. It’s got rustic charm, but is pretty pricey for what you get.

The Lakes: Nearby Lake Torch is stunningly beautiful with turquoise waters; however, there are very few access points. There are only a few small public parks with tiny, crowded beaches for swimming. We found small public access points at Dockside and Alden. If you want to rent a boat to get out on the lake, be sure to reserve well ahead of time, the season is short and they get booked up for the entire summer (even weekdays) months in advance. Be warned there are no refunds, not even for bad weather that makes it unsafe to get out on the water. Give them your money, they will not give it back. They all said the same thing when we called around.

Traverse City: Traverse City is a fun, somewhat touristy town that looks more like it’s on the Florida coast rather than northern Michigan. As you drive along the main drag, the shops and restaurants are on the south side and north side is lined with public parks and beaches. It’s very beautiful. This is the Traverse Bay arm of Lake Michigan and it looks like Caribbean waters.

Groceries: The closest big grocery store to the campground is a brand new Meier about a half hour away on the other side of Williamsburg.

Campground: The campground itself if pretty run down. The “general store” located in the main office doesn’t have much. The pool is not heated and is freezing cold. The playground equipment are metal swings from the 1970s. The laundry room is located in an old trailer that is supposedly being remodeled. There were no signs that said “Laundry Room”, and it is located among the cabins, so I was just hoping I wasn’t walking into someone’s rental. It smelled like pee when I entered the game room, which has a few old 80s arcade games. The laundry room has 2 washers at $2.00 per wash and 2 dryers at $1.00 per dry. All equipment was working, but staff had left some bed sheets in the washer for well over an hour. I removed them to do my wash then placed them back in the washer when I was done. As I was folding my laundry an hour later is when staff came in to finish their sheets. There are several obvious residents in the campground, one lady rides a noisy lawn mower around like a golf cart (see photo).

Camp Sites: Most of the sites are gravel, located in the loops among lots of trees that provide great shade. The trees seem to be spaced well so as not to cause obstacles for RVs. The premium sites are concrete pads along the perimeter and have more space and fewer shade trees. All sites are back-in. The place is big rig friendly, but it would be difficult to park a big rig (over 35’) in the regular sites but the premium sites are fine. It may be difficult to navigate the cut-through roads, especially if there are other cars and trucks parked in sites sticking out into the road, so just take the perimeter drive around and you shouldn’t have a problem. We enjoyed our site. We had a rental cabin on one side and another RV site on the other side, but our site had plenty of room for our camp chairs, the picnic table, the fire pit, and our portable hammock under a tree behind our site. The campground is very quiet (i.e. no traffic or train noise).

Internet/TV: Despite being just outside of town and on top of a hill, the cell service here is limited. When we called to make our reservation, the owner said that Verizon service is “excellent”. When we arrived, we only had 2 bars of Verizon and 2 bars of AT&T. I expressed my concern upon check-in and told her that I work online so I need really good cell service. She understood and informed me that her husband had installed a new wifi router and that the campground wifi was really good, so I could use it if my cell phone hotspot wouldn’t work. Unfortunately, the campground wifi was not sufficient. It was extremely slow to even load a page and kept dropping, making it unusable (0.39 download, 1.10 upload) As a fulltime family, we work and school on-the-road, as I know many do, so here are the cell service speed tests I did: AT&T – 1.47 (download), 0.09 (upload); Verizon – 1.50 (download), 6.78 (upload). We could stream/game on both; however, I teach online with VIPKID and none were strong enough for that. I had to drive about a mile up the road to an abandoned golf course, where I barely got a strong enough signal to teach. We drove all over, and that was the best place. Hope that helps. We were able to get all OTA TV channels with our antenna.

Access
Location
Cleanliness
Site Quality
Noise
2bars
AT&T 4G/LTE
2bars
Verizon 4G/LTE

The Globe Trekker Family would stay here again

This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of Campendium.com

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Ne Oublie
IN 18' Jayco 184 BH GMC Yukon
1 review
“Great campground ”

Reviewed 7/2/2019

Nightly rate: $35
Days stayed: 4
Site Number: 42
Overall Rating

Really enjoyed this place. Great location for visiting small towns around Torch Lake, and for visiting Torch Lake itself. They have pull through boat parking too! The showers attached to the main building are nice, but the shower house in the middle of the campground is not as nice. Sites all are shaded by mature trees. The management folks are great and ready to help. Both pull through and back in sites available. We’ll definitely be back.

Access
Location
Cleanliness
Site Quality
Noise
3bars
AT&T 4G/LTE
2bars
Verizon 4G/LTE

This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of Campendium.com

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Amenities

Hookups
  • 50 Amp
  • 30 Amp
  • 20 Amp
  • water
  • sewer
  • Full Hookups
Connectivity
  • wifi: yes
Recreation
  • playground
  • swimming pool: onsite
Site Amenities
  • big rig
  • fire ring
  • picnic table
  • pull thru
Facilities
  • dump station
  • firewood
  • laundry
  • restrooms: onsite
  • rv storage
  • showers
  • swimming pool: onsite
  • trash
  • water available
Discount Clubs
  • Good Sam
  • Passport America
Pets
  • pets
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