What to do in Clear Lake State Park

Located in elk country, Clear Lake State Park is a quiet, secluded retreat offering a sandy beach and a shallow swimming area that is ideal for children. Dedicated a State Park in 1966, the park has 290 acres of land and encompasses 2/3 of the Clear Lake's shoreline. Clear Lake State Park is located within the Mackinaw State Forest. This state forest is composed of the northern eight counties of the Lower Peninsula. The Atlanta area of this forest contains over 258,000 acres of state-owned public land. Most of the virgin timber was removed from the forest by the 1920s and has been replaced by second-growth forests managed by the Department of Natural Resources.

Elk can be seen and heard throughout the area in the early morning and evening, especially during the spring and fall. Native elk disappeared from Michigan nearly 100 years ago; they were reintroduced in 1918 and have multiplied into a large herd.

Clear Lake State Park is comprised of 290 remote acres within the Mackinaw State Forest. This secluded park rests on the shores of the 133-acre Clear Lake, comprising two-thirds of the lake's shoreline.

Boating and fishing opportunities are offered on Clear Lake, which supports healthy populations of trout and smallmouth bass. This spring fed lake is self-contained with no inlets or outlets. Depths reach up to 100 feet. Boat launches are available on both sides of the lake. A notable feature about the lake is its shallow shoreline, perfect for families with small children. The sandy beach, picnic tables, grills, changing house, horseshoe pits, playgrounds, and large shelter make this a favorite summer day destination.

Overnight guests are welcome April 15 through December 1. Modern bathhouses are open May 1 to November 1. The park has 200 campsites located on the north shore of Clear Lake. Electrical hookups are available at each campsite. The park offers a mini-cabin for rent in the Upper Campground. The cabin is designed to sleep 4 people with bunks and mattresses provided. The cabin has electricity, a picnic table and grill.

From the park there is access to over 70 miles of hiking and mountain bike trails including High Country Pathway, elevation 1,150 feet and Presque Isle South Lookout. A 4.5-mile groomed cross-country ski trail runs from the park to Canada Creek. Near the park, is access to ORV and snowmobile trails. Also near the park are excellent canoeing opportunities in Ausable and Thunder Bay Rivers. A 48.5-mile scenic wildlife drive, marked by yellow-topped posts, begins at the corner of M-33 and Voyer Lake Road. Wildlife species inhabiting the area include elk, ruffed grouse, loons, snowshoe hare and many more. Hunting is permitted within Mackinac State Forest during appropriate seasons.

Recreations featured at Clear Lake State Park include swimming, camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, viewing wildlife, and boating.

Clear Lake- Modern - (800) 447-2757, 200 site(s), $17/$16
Clear Lake- Group Use Area - Contact the park

Clear Lake-Scenic Drive - 48.5 (Miles), Watchable Wildlife

Clear Lake-Canada Creek Nature Trail - 4.5 (Miles), Hiking, Mountain Biking, Cross Country Ski

Clear Lake State Park is located approximately nine miles north of Atlanta off M-33.

Northern Michigan normally experiences mild summers with average temperatures around 70 degrees F (21 degrees C). Winter temperatures average 14 - 22 degrees F (-10 to -6 degrees C). Yearly rain and snowmelt in the region averages 28 - 36 inches but can be dramatically altered by the "lake effect," thus depositing significant amounts of snow within a short period of time causing hazardous road conditions.

20500 M-33
Atlanta, MI 49709

Phone: 989-785-4388

  • Clear Lake State Park Travel Q&A