What to do in Otsego Lake State Park

Otsego Lake was established as a state park in 1920. The 62-acre parcel was purchased very reasonably from a lumber company who had lumbered it off. In 1935, the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) built buildings and made other improvements to the grounds. The remaining CCC buildings are the pavilion in the center of the North Campground, a portion of the park store, and a portion of the South Campground toilet building.

This small, secluded park is a wonderful getaway. Day and overnight facilities make for an enjoyable and memorable visit.

The day use area features a boat launch with parking for 32 boat trailers. Anglers typically snag bluegill, yellow perch, crappie, small and largemouth bass, walleye, northern pike, and sturgeon. Picnic tables, grills, shelters, volleyball court, horseshoe pits, playgrounds, and a long sandy beach round out a day of recreation.

Otsego Lake State Park offers three campgrounds open April 27 through December 2. The modern bathhouses are open from May 4 to October 15. Two-thirds of the 155 campsites are in the North Campground, which is known as the "highbanks." The terrain gently rises and the sites overlook the lake. The other one-third is in the South Campground and is lower and closer to the lake. The majority of the sites are large, flat and shady. There is one mini-cabin located on the lake in the South Campground, equipped with a picnic table, grill, handicap ramp, small deck, fire ring, two sets of bunk beds, and a table with benches for four people.

There are no designated hiking trails. However, there are paths in the wooded part of the picnic area where you can pick blueberries or observe rare wildflower species.

Recreations available at Otsego State Park include swimming, boating, fishing, picnicking, camping, and cabin lodging.

Otsego Lake State Park is located seven miles south of Gaylord along Old 27.

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.

7136 Old 27 South
Gaylord, MI 49735

Phone: 989-732-5485

  • Otsego Lake State Park Travel Q&A