Remains of a Deserted Church Camp, Hidden in the Warren Dunes Woods
(There don't seem to be any 'no trespassing' signs up, but if there are, don't enter this property. You risk not only bodily harm but also prosecution for trespassing on private property.)
It was a proper church camp – the New First Church Camp - a respected church camp – one that got used for many years by many other churches for camp and recreational purposes. The camp was owned and operated by the First Church of Chicago for a good long run until the mid-1980s.
Sitting right there along Lake Michigan at Warren Dunes, the camp had everything and more, that a camp should have. Along with all the programs, fun stuff, and teachings, the camp had:
Central lodge sitting on top of a dune overlooking Lake Michigan
Grand wooden staircase that led from the lodge & cabins to the beach
Water pumping station shaped like a castle tower
The State of Michigan bought the camp in 1985, hoping to add it to the already-popular Warren Dunes State Park. But, according to the Bridgman/Lake Township Historical Society via Harbor County News, “A fire destroyed much of the camp not too long after that. What was left of the buildings was demolished, leaving only the foundations.”
Those foundations still remain on the old camp grounds - hidden in the woods down the old Wilson Lane, now basically a dirt trail. Heading back into the woods along the lake, you can find what's left of the grand wooden staircase, lodge, and a cabin or two, along with other nameless buildings and the still-standing castle-like water pumping station.
Have a look at the gallery below and see what awaits you back in the woods!
The Remains of the New First Church Camp at Warren Dunes
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