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Yankee Springs Recreation Area

Yankee Springs Recreation Area is a Michigan wonderland consisting of 5,000 acres of land with lakefront on nine Michigan lakes. All located in Barry County, nine miles east of Hastings.

The area is mainly rolling wooded land filled with marshes, bogs, wetlands and numerous streams, providing home for Michigan wildlife and a variety of plant life.

Yankee Springs Recreation Area has frontage on several Michigan lakes, providing something for everyone. The lakes include some well known Michigan lakes, as well as some you may not have heard of before. Gun Lake (2,680 acres), Long Lake (145 acres), Payne Lake (118 acres), Chief Noonday Lake, Hall Lake, Deep Lake (32 acres), Duck Lake, Baker Lake (67 acres), Williams Lake and McDonald Lake (16 acres) all provide hours of enjoyment for those visiting Yankee Springs Recreation Area.

Camping is available with some 345 campsites available. A modern campground is available on the lakefront of Gun Lake. One will find modern toilets and shower buildings located on the campgrounds. The more rustic camping is available on Deep Lake. There are also rustic cabins available for individuals or groups.

If you are looking for trails, there are some fifteen for hiking, twelve for mountain bikes and even ten miles for equestrian use. You will even connect to the North Country Trail.

A brochure available at the area describes seven of the trails:

Hall Lake Trail – 2 Miles The trail starts across from the entrance of the Long lake Outdoor Center, winds through the pines, follows the shoreline of Hall Lake, and continues to Graves Hill. The return trail ‘back tracks’ to the intersection just below the crest of Graves Hill and then winds down the hill back to the starting point.

Chief Noonday Trail – 4 Miles Round Trip This trail was named after a famous Ottawa Indian Chief who resided in the area. The trail begins just off Chief Noonday Road and travels to the Devil’s Soupbowl and returns. McDonald Lake Overlook gives a panoramic view of the area along the way.

Deep Lake Trail – 4 Miles The trail starts across from the campground office. The trail winds around the bog area at the south end of Deep Lake, proceeds across open fields and old farm homesteads, and leads to the Devil’s Soupbowl where it winds around the Little Soupbowl and returns by the trail north of Deep Lake. Portions of this trail are shared with the Mountain Bike Trail.

Long Lake Trail – 5 Miles Round Trip This trail adjoins the Sassafras Nature Trail and has a starting point from Briggs Road just north of the area headquarters. The trail enters a boardwalk crossing a beautiful bog area, continues down an old wagon road and leads to Grave Hill. From this point, the trail leads to the Devil’s Soupbowl where it connects with the Chief Noonday Trail. The Noonday Trail leads to signs and markers for a return to the Long Lake Trail.

Sassafras Nature Trail – 1 Mile The entrance location is by the Gun Lake Campground office. This is a flat wooded trail that loops back to the starting point or allows hikers to connect with the Long Lake Trail.

Mountain Bike Trail – 12 Miles The trail makers are bicycle silhouettes. This trail starts out flat for a warm-up and then leads you through the most rugged hills in the area; returning through some though sand pockets and a creek crossing. Bike helmets are recommended. Detail maps are available upon request.

Gun Lake Trail – ˝ Mile This non-motorized, barrier free trail connects the Gun Lake Campground with the Day Use area. Starting at the campground, the trail enters a boardwalk crossing a bog area and then continues on a slag path and another boardwalk parallel with the Day Use entrance road leading to the fishing pier on Gun Lake.




Written by Dave.