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Michigan dnr > wildlife viewing guide > northern lower peninsula > hamlin

38 Hamlin Lake Marsh Northern Lower Peninsula

wildlife viewing  |  directions and facility information

view of marsh
Photo: US Forest Service
Located at the northeast tip of Hamlin Lake, this site does not receive much use by humans, but is heavily used by wildlife. A natural, undeveloped shoreline, the mouth of the Big Sable River, and an emergent marsh habitat of cattails, wild rice, and other wetland plants make this a quiet, peaceful place to enjoy a day of wildlife viewing.

Wildlife Viewing

view of lake and marsh
Photo: US Forest Service

A steep ridge provides a beautiful, undeveloped overlook onto the marsh. With the help of binoculars or a spotting scope, there is a high probability of seeing many ducks, geese, and other wetland birds as they fly into and out of the marsh. For even better wildlife viewing, bring a canoe or boat and put in at the small gravel boat launch at the end of Forest Road 5540, south of Nurnberg Road. Paddle silently through the tall stands of emergent wild rice and cattails to get a close, personal look at the residents of the marsh. Muskrats, beavers, mink, great blue herons, and all manner of waterfowl use this area, as do many species of wetland songbirds. The spring migration period in April and early May are best times to visit to see waterfowl. Bald eagles are also seen occasionally. Spring and summer are the best seasons to see these majestic birds.

This area is open to public hunting. Contact the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for affected seasons and locations.


From Manistee, take US-31 south about 7 miles to Forest Trail. Turn right (west) and continue 2.5 miles to Quarterline Road. Turn left (south) on Quarterline and proceed 1.5 miles to Nurnberg Road. Turn right (west) and drive 3 miles to Forest Road 5540. Turn left and drive to the parking lot at the end of the road.

Ownership: U.S. Forest Service, Manistee Ranger Station, (231) 723-2211

Size: 100 acres

Closest Town
: Manistee

Weather and Driving Directions for Manistee

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:


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