Welcome to the official Michigan.gov web site. This site uses adaptive technology. Instructions are provided within the Accessibility Policy. Skip Navigation
DNR BannerMichigan.gov banner
Michigan.gov Home   MI Watchable Wildlife Home  |  Links  | Contact DNR  |  Ask DNR
>Watchable Wildlifenavigation logo Upper Peninsula Northern Lower Peninsula Southern Lower Peninsula

>Tips for Success
>Wildlife Species
>Watchable Wildlife.org
>Pure Michigan

Visit On-line Hunting and Fishing Licenses
Visit On-line Campground and Harbor Reservations.
Visit the DNR e-Store!
Michigan dnr > wildlife viewing guide > upper peninsula > clark lake

06 Clark Lake Day-Use Area Upper Peninsula

wildlife viewing  |  directions and facility information

View of Clark Lake
Photo: Erwin Drabek, US Forest Service

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.

Wildlife Viewing

barred owl
Barred owls are named for the dark vertical bars
that run down the breast from the neck to the feet.
Photo: Michael Genrich, US Forest Service

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.

Pileated woodpecker
The pileated woodpecker is a large, crow-sized
woodpecker common in old growth forests such as
those found around Clark Lake.
Photo: MI DNR

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 of lake and woods fallen tree - click for larger image (see the ranger!) Photos: Erwin Drabek, US Forest Service



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.

Ownership: U.S. Forest Service
(906) 358-4724

Size: 10 acres (developed day-use area only)

Closest Town: Watersmeet

Weather and Driving Directions for Watersmeet

Plan Your Trip with travel.michigan.org!

More information can be found by visiting the DNR's site (link leads to web app allowing users to search for campgrounds, harbors, trails and more), or by conducting a Google search:


Michigan.gov Home   |  MI Watchable Wildlife Home  |  Report All Poaching 1-800-292-7800  |  Feedback  | Wildlife  |  Ask DNR
Privacy Policy  |  Link Policy  |  Accessibility Policy  |  Security Policy

Copyright © 2001-2003 State of Michigan