This is a beginner level trip through the Sylvania Wilderness in the Ottawa national forest near Watersmeet MI. The terrain is rugged in places, but is generally flat and easy. If you choose the short route out on Sunday you may have to cross a small stream and mud/swamp.
4:30 P.M. Friday
We'll meet at the Sylvania A-frame entrance center to watch a mandatory video on protecting the wilderness and get our permits and camp at Clark lake campground which is first come first served.
We'll shuttle people over to the trailhead on National forest road 6320. We'll hike about 8 miles along pristine lakes and through one of the few old growth forests to escape the logging industry. We'll camp at sites Maple 1 & 2 which I've already reserved.
We'll hike about 6.5 miles out along Clark lake back to the campground and get the vehicles and head home. There is a shorter route of about 2.5 miles back to the campground should you feel you can't make the longer hike.
Clark lake has beaches and excellent swimming so don't forget your swimming suit.
A Route map is here: Sylvania map
Your $25 fee includes:
• 2 nights' meetup fees
• camping fees for both nights
• firewood for the first night at Clark Lake.
What is not included in the fee: personal equipment, food, water, and a $4 per car per night (or $20 season pass) fee.
Sylvania Wilderness has special rules governing use of certain equipment. I expect group members to follow these rules in the back country. These include:
Backpacking groups are limited to 10 people in the wilderness and 6 people per site. This is a wilderness and leave no trace area. You will need a way to hang your food or bear canister as well as bug spray and/or headnet.
Cans & Bottles-Non-burnable and disposable food and beverage containers including cans, bottles, and Styrofoam are not allowed. Permitted Containers include containers of fuel, insect repellent, medicines, personal toiletries and reusable plastic containers.
Wheeled Vehicles-Bicycles or mechanical portaging wheels are not allowed in the Wilderness. Wheeled chairs are permitted.
Dogs-Are allowed on a six foot leash in both the Wilderness and Recreation area. Dogs may only be off leash during sanctioned State of Michigan hunting seasons. They may not be left unattended and are not permitted in the Clark Lake Beach and Swimming area.