Kid-friendly disc golf course opens at Mason County Campground. 

October 31, 2021

Kid-friendly disc golf course opens at Mason County Campground. 

PERE MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP — Mason County Campground is home to the county’s newest disc golf course, The Tinderbox, an 18-hole, shorter course designed to be fun, challenging and a quicker play than other courses in the area.

Park Ranger Tom Oele designed the campground course with kids in mind and built it over the summer using the hills and valleys around the 56-site campground on West Chauvez Road north of Ludington Pumped Storage Plant. Mason County Parks Commission provided the funding for baskets, tee pads and signage. The course is managed by the campground.

At 3,078 feet long, it is less than half the length of any of the three nearby Mason County Disc Golf Organization-operated courses at the neighboring Mason County Picnic Area. Those courses are managed and cared for by MCDGO through a lease with the parks commission and property owner Consumers Energy. Oele said The Tinderbox complements the MCDGO courses which represent beginner, intermediate and pro level courses.

Oele said kids often found the full-size MCDGO courses too long often and might only play a few holes before quitting but “will have a blast” playing The Tinderbox. 

Experienced disc golfers will find The Tinderbox presents a challenge due to the natural hazards presented by trees and course layout, he said. 

The Tinderbox is a bit like a mini-golf course compared to the traditional courses, he said.

It will provide campers with an activity right at the campground, which also has a small playground and a trail to the picnic area.

Trees downed during an August storm meant Oele had to clear The Tinderbox course twice before it could be opened in mid-October. Downed trees still have one hole closed. Likewise, MCDGO’s The Beauty course at the picnic area remains closed to golfers and other potential users because of more than 100 trees downed or damaged by that same storm. A logging plan is being developed to clear those trees before that course and walking paths within are re-opened.

A public course, The Tinderbox will be open year-round even though the campground closed for the season Oct. 24. Park in the area in front of the gates at the entrance, 5906 W. Chauvez Road, and walk the entrance road which intersects the course. 

A person can start playing on anywhere on the course. A course map sign still has to be added, but Oele said the flow through the woods is natural and easy to follow. Each hole is par 3.

“Excellent course for technical and elevation shots! Tricky pin placements and dense woods make this a tough challenge for any skill level!” one user commented on about The Tinderbox.

Mason County Parks Commission operates the Mason County Campground and Mason County Picnic Area through a long-term lease with property owner Consumers Energy. Campsites feature 30-amp or 50-amp electric hook-ups, a fire ring, picnic table and charcoal grill.  Full hook-up sites have gravel pads and water and sewer. Camper cabins also are available. Reservations for 2022 can be made by calling 231-845-7609.

Mason County Picnic Area offers a pavilion that may be rented, a playground new in 2020, walking and snowshoe paths. Though its gates are closed for the season, it remains open for walk-in use.

Consumers Energy operates the Lake Michigan overlook and Ludington Pumped Storage observation tower located immediately south of the park. 

Hull Field, operated by the Twisted Sticks, is a radio-controlled airplane field located between the campground and picnic area.