Michigan State Parks Centennial: Clear Lake

Clear Lake State Park is located about 9 miles north of Atlanta Michigan. Situated in the northern section of the Lower Peninsula, there are about 200 campsites there.

Most of the sites are 20 and 30 amp. About 20 of the sites have now been upgraded and have 50-amp service. Look at the map when you’re making a reservation. If you need more power, you might be able to find a spot to your liking. Some of the sites seem kind of small but like most state parks there’s a variety of sizes. Some people really impressed me with how they creatively maneuvered their rigs into some of the spots that are a little bit nicer because they have more trees.

One of the things I noticed on a number of spots is the ground being very sandy. It had been raining the day before I arrived and a number of people had a bit of an issue with sinking into the sand while maneuvering their rigs into place.

Don’t be deterred by that, but I mention it so that you are careful to not tear up the environment while trying to set up or tear down your rig.

While there isn’t a lot of privacy between campsites there still are a number of trees that you sometimes have to maneuver around. Still, it’s nice having the trees rather than just a field. It appeared that each campsite has its own power pole. They are all located near the back of the sites. I should note that the back of the sites is where you have the least amount of privacy. Because while you have trees sometimes in between the sites, the back of each site is open to the one behind it.

The bathroom facilities at Clear Lake State Park are decent. There’s a men’s and ladies restroom and individual unisex shower stalls that you can use. The water wasn’t real hot but it was enough to get clean with.

Clear Lake State Park is located, not surprisingly, on Clear Lake. The lake is supposedly really good for fishing. It’s about 90 feet deep at its deepest. An ice block left over from a glacier formed the south end of the lake. The north end was created by a sinkhole because of the sediment and the rock formations in the area eventually collapsing and creating a big hole that then filled with water.

The campground has a nice sandy beach. It’s not real big but I can see where it could be a fun place to play if you were a family. That’s particularly true because Clear Lake is also known for having a very shallow entryway. So, you have some really nice shallow water near the beach where the kids can play. That way, you don’t have to worry too much about whether they can swim yet or getting them out too deep too quickly

Right near the beach and the lake is an area that has a volleyball net set up. Plus, there are some picnic tables and grills. But the lake and beach are a really short walk from many of the campsites. So I think that you would probably just use your own campsite and rig for having your picnic. Then you could head to the beach for fun without having to haul too much stuff.

I saw a number of people hauling in kayaks and canoes on their rigs. Those are also available for rent here, too. While there are about 4 miles of hiking trails within the Clear Lake State Park, the bigger thing for hiking and ATV use is the trail system in the area. There are more than 70 miles of trails that you can reach from this park. So if you are into hiking or mountain biking is plenty of places to explore. Clear Lake State Park also is a popular place for people to camp when they have ATVs. You can head out on the trails straight from the campground. The DNR allows ATV use within the campground if you are going to and from the trails, which is a nice benefit.

About 2 miles away from the campground, Clear Lake State Park also has a day use area. That way, if you’re not staying at the campground you can still enjoy Cleark Lake. There’s a beach there plus picnic tables and grills, a boat launch and a disc golf course.

As state parks go, Clear Lake State Park is a little bit on the smaller side in terms of the state park proper. But it seems the big draw is how close you are to a very large trail system. If you are interested in trying out the trails in northern Michigan around the Atlanta area, Clear Lake State Park would be a really good base camp for you regardless of what type of trail use you are interested in.


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