at Hamlin Lake Marsh
This boat landing is located at the northern end of Hamlin Lake, at the southern boundary of the Manistee National Forest.
There is a short unmarked trail that is a pleasant stroll. And the area is considered a good spot for wildlife watching. There were swans nesting in the marsh in May.
Boat Launch- dirt ramp with a drive-around circle, parking for 4 or 5 vehicles with trailers
Fishing- Hamlin Lake - black crappie, bluegill, brook trout, channel catfish, largemouth bass, muskellunge, northern pike, rock bass, smallmouth bass, sunfish, walleye, yellow perch (list from lake-link.com)
On the west side of the parking loop is a carsonite post that says "Foot Travel Welcome;" the trail heads west through the woods beyond that sign. Short climb to reach level above parking area and follow long unused woods road through red pine and maple near the lake shore. There are three notable large trees on this section. First is a beech on the left. Then there is a triple-bole hemlock; the base where the trees join is about 5 feet diameter. On the right is an old red oak about 26 inches in diameter. Reach a T in 0.25 miles with an unnamed creek ahead of you (may be dry in mid-summer).
Turn left toward the lake and in 0.05 miles you reach the Hamlin Lake shoreline and a dim remnant of a loop where the road ended. There is a large beech with many carvings at the far end of this loop. Also you can find several huge anthills in this area.
Return to the T and continue northwest along the creek. Cross two small undulations moving slightly farther from the creek, and then climbing higher above the creek. There is now a pine plantation on your right, and the creek is in a deep valley to your left. 0.3 mile from the T you leave the woods and enter a large grassy area with scattered white pine and maple. Angle left, now following a more used sand two-track with grassy middle which soon leaves the creek bluff. Just under 0.5 miles from the T you reach a clear 4-corners with another two-track. The left turn leads to private property, right takes you back to Nurnberg Road on 0.2 mile. You can continue straight here for another 0.2 mile you will be back near the creek bluff. Pass several more very large beech trees. There is an old campfire site. The trail continues on downhill, but is clearly marked No Trespassing, so plan to retrace your steps.
Access- via the boat launch parking area, or the unnamed forest road just west of the bend in Nurnberg Road, both are sand roads
Restrictions- no camping, note that Forest boundary is very near- be careful to not trespass on private land
Distance and time- about a mile each way, an hour will give you time to walk both ways and do some exploring
Trail Markers- none, just stay on the obvious old roadbed
Treadway- mostly level old road, stable footing
Grades- one small, one moderate climb, otherwise flat
Ecosystem- freshwater lake, small stream in steep valley, beech, hemlock, white cedar, maple woods
Other points of interest- three large trees - beech, hemlock, red oak
Most recent date this info personally checked on foot- May 2007
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Rest Rooms- none
Potable Water- none
Access- sand Forest Road 5540 off dirt Nurnberg Rd.
Restrictions- no camping, note that Forest boundary is very near- be careful to not trespass on private land, Hamlin Lake is long and narrow producing high waves- do not get caught out on it in a storm.
Seasonality- road not plowed in winter
Ecosystem- marshy edge of the northern tip of Hamlin Lake surrounded by mixed forest
Other points of interest- Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness is just to the west, Hamlin Lake is a large inland lake connecting to Ludington State Park
most recent date this info personally checked- October 2010
Additional Facilities- none
Maintained by- Huron-Manistee National Forest , call 231-723-2211
More- Michigan DNR Mason County Lakes
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