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Yankee Springs Recreation Area




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General Information

Biking is one of Yankee Springs' most popular recreations.
Copyright: Michigan State Parks & Forests
Biking is one of Yankee Springs' most popular recreations.
Description - The glacial period left natural features at Yankee Springs Recreation Area such as Devil's Soupbowls ("kettle-like" formations) and Graves Hill scenic overlook. Yankee Springs Recreation Area was once the hunting grounds of the Algonquin Indians and the famous Chieftain, Chief Noonday. The site was established in 1835 and the village was made famous by Yankee Bill Lewis who owned and operated a hotel along the stagecoach run from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids. The rugged terrain, the bogs and marshes, the lakes and streams, and the unique beauty of the park's 5,200 acres lend itself to many forms of recreation.

A modern campground is located on the shores of beautiful Gun Lake while rustic camping is available at Deep Lake. An equestrian campground and a youth organization campground also are available. Nine lakes are located within the park boundaries providing excellent fishing and water sports of all kinds.

As a year-round park, cross-county skiing on its more than 10 acres of Nordic ski trails, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and ice fishing are all popular winter activities. Three special points of interest in the park are: Devil's Soupbowl, a glacially carved kettle formation, Graves Hill Overlook and The Pines, accessible from the extensive trail systems.

Favorite fairweather activities include 30 miles of hiking trails, 12 miles of challenging mountain bike trails, 9 miles of horseback trails, as well as two public beaches, picnic shelters, and two universally accessible fishing piers one at Gun Lake and one at Deep Lake.

Attractions - Overnight facilities at Yankee Springs include a modern campground on the shores of beautiful Gun Lake, rustic camping at Deep Lake, equestrian camping, group camping, and frontier cabins for families or small groups. The modern campground is open from April 1 to December 1 with modern bathhouse facilities available April 15 to November 1 only. The rustic campground is open from April 1 to December 1 as well.

Nine lakes are located within the park boundary providing excellent fishing and water sports of all kinds. Launching facilities and handicap pier are available.

Three areas of interest are located within the park: Devil's Soupbowl, Graves Hill Overlook and The Pines. Devil's Soupbowl and Graves Hill Overlook are handicap accessible with a key that can be obtained from the ranger on duty.

More than 15 miles of hiking trails, 8 miles of equestrian trails and 12 miles of mountain bike trails wind through the varying terrain. The multi-state North Country Trail slices through the park.

Winter facilities include 10 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails and a snowmobiling area. A warming lodge is available in vicinity of the Outdoor Center.

About 3,500 acres are open to hunting. All but two of the nine lakes are open to waterfowl hunting. Game includes white-tailed deer, ruffed grouse, wild turkey, rabbit, squirrel and several other species. State regulations apply. Adjacent to the park rests Barry State Game Area, a 13,000-acre parcel managed primarily as a hunting and wildlife tract.

Recreation - A treasure trove of recreations are available at Yankee Springs: camping, swimming, picnicking, hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, horseback riding, horse camping, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and more.

Camping
Yankee Springs Deep Lake- Rustic - (800) 447-2757, 120 site(s), $10
Yankee Springs Gun Lake-Modern - (800) 447-2757, 200 site(s), $22/$18
Yankee Springs- Equestrian - (269) 795-9081, 25 site(s), $17
Yankee Springs- Group Use Area - (269) 795-9081, Contact the park

Trails
Yankee Springs-Hall Lake Trail - 2 (Miles), Hiking, Cross Country Ski
Yankee Springs-Chief Noonday Trail - 4 (Miles), Hiking, Cross Country Ski
Yankee-Springs-Deep Lake Trail - 4 (Miles), Hiking, Mountain Biking, Cross Country Ski
Yankee Springs-Long Lake Trail - 5 (Miles), Hiking, Cross Country Ski
Yankee Springs-Sassafras Nature Trail - 1 (Miles), Hiking, Cross Country Ski
Yankee Springs-Gun Lake Trail - 0.5 (Miles), Hiking, Cross Country Ski
Yankee Springs-Mountain Bike Trail - 12 (Miles), Hiking, Mountain Biking, Cross Country Ski

Climate - Mid Michigan has warm to hot summers with temperatures climbing above 70 degrees F (above 21 degrees C). Winter temperatures average between 14 and 22 degrees F (-10 to -6 degrees C). Moisture deposited in this region averages between 28 and 36 inches but can be dramatically altered by the "lake effect."

Location - Yankee Springs Recreation Area is located four miles north of Orangeville. From US-131, take exit 61. Go east on M-179 approximately eight miles to the park entrance.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Donna (Coloma, MI)
Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Yankee Springs Rec. State Campground is awesome. My family have been going there for years. We spend an entire week at Gun Lake boating, bike riding, you name it. I would recommend this campground to everyone!!

Filed By: Melanie (WYOMING ALL THE WAY, MI)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: i have been there eversice i was a little baby and i'm 19 and married and i'm goin to take my husband there when he ither gets home for good from iraq and on his leave thank you for all the support for our troops!

Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: The horse trails are great. 19 mi of well marked trails. The campground is primitive, w/outhouses and a manual pump. 25 sites. The trails are mostly sandy, but there are rocks on the 4 mi trail. My horse was barefoot, but he had no problems with the rocks. These trails are fun, and the daily permit is only $4 per rig. We hadn't been there in 13 years - and it has changed - for the better. Oct 2003.

Filed By: Josh Trench (Grand Rapids, MI)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Nice place to get away for a quick backpacking excursion. Cheap camping, decent Trails and few people make for a good experience


More Information

Contact Information:
Yankee Springs Recreation Area, 2104 S. Briggs Road , Middleville, MI, 49333, Phone: 616-795-9081, TTY: 517-335-4623

Additional Information:
Michigan Lakes and Rivers - Michigan is one of the most unique states in the nation boasting not only thousands of acres of interior natural lakes along with miles of waterways but also expansive shorelines that touch four of the five Great Lakes: Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie.
Michigan State Parks and Forests - Everything that makes Michigan special is embodied in the 96 State Parks. Boasting sterling recreation, Michigan State Parks and Forests invite you to enjoy one of their 14,000 campsites, 170 winter-sport areas and infinite rivers, streams, and lakes.
Mid Michigan - Mid Michigan is a compilation of open fields, dense hardwood forests and rolling hills accents by hundreds of winding streams and large water basins, the perfect destination for trailblazers and water sport enthusiasts.

Links:
Michigan Department of Natural Resources - Official agency website.

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