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Clark Lake Day-Use Area



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Clark Lake Day Use Area

Clark Lake Day-Use Area

Hiking the Clark Lake Day-Use Area


From Watersmeet, travel west on US–2 about 4 miles to County Road 535. Turn left (south) and continue about 4 miles to the entrance to Sylvania Wilderness and Recreation Area.


10 acres (developed day-use area only)


As part of the 21,000-acre Sylvania Wilderness and Recreation Area, this site has tremendous wildlife viewing potential. The day-use area boasts an 820-acre lake with an extensive natural sand beach and a magnificent stand of virgin northern hardwoods, hemlock, and cedar. The 8-mile Lakeshore Hiking Trail around Clark Lake offers beautiful scenery and excellent wildlife viewing. Visitors must register at the entrance station.

Clark Lake Day Use Area

Wildlife Viewing:

The stand of large, old trees at this site attracts an interesting and diverse mixture of bird life. Barred owls are common here, and while they are rarely seen during the day, you can often hear their familiar “Who-cooks-for-you, who-cooks-for-you-all” cry at night. The crow-size pileated woodpecker, which has a flaming red crest atop its head, is a common sight as it prospects for insects beneath the bark of old trees. Watch and listen for the many woodland songbirds that live here during summer, including the red-eyed vireo, blackburnian warbler, black-throated green warbler, hermit thrush, and ovenbird. There is an excellent probability of viewing loons on Clark Lake. Bald eagles and (more infrequently) ospreys may also be seen flying or perching around the lake, and broad-winged hawks nest nearby. Little brown bats are a common sight near dusk on calm summer evenings. Fishers, cat-size members of the weasel family, are seen occasionally during winter.

Most of the Clark Lake Lakeshore Trail lies within the designated wilderness area, so groups of hikers are limited to ten people or fewer. Beautiful wetland areas may be seen along the trail.

Portions of this area are open to public hunting. Contact the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for affected seasons and locations.

View/Download map of Clark Lake Day-Use Area

Information courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources

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