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Seven Lakes State Park
For an area that was originally purchased for development, Seven Lakes State Park has since evolved into a natural retreat with a variety of topography and ecosystems, ranging from mature hardwood forests and a wetland fen to open meadows and a restored prairie. But what dominates the park is water. Seven Lakes actually has seven lakes and a couple of ponds that total 230 acres and several miles of shoreline. Ringed by rolling hills is the largest, Big Seven Lake, and its many arms and islands occupy the heart of the state park and is the destination of most visitors.
The 170-acre lake is an impoundment built by the developers who used a dam to turn a series of small lakes into a large body of water. After the project collapsed the land was sold to the state and in 1977 Seven Lakes State Park was opened. Unlike Pinckney, Brighton and many other state park units in southeast Michigan, Seven Lakes is not a patchwork of parcels, broken up by private holdings. The 1,434-acre unit is a single tract in northwest Oakland County with a 7-mile trail system that winds between and often along the various lakes. This can be a scenic place to hike or mountain bike, particularly the Green Trail Loop, a 2.25-mile loop that connects the park’s three largest lakes.
With exception of the Dickinson/Nature Trail Loop, all trails are open to mountain biking. Hardcore bikers, however, usually congregate at Holdridge Lakes Mountain Biking Area in nearby Holly Recreation Area where they enjoy far more mileage and challenging segments of single track.
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Seven Lakes features a 70-site, modern campground that overlooks Sand Lake in the southeast corner of the park. Sand Lake used to be a gravel pit at one time so the campground is an open grassy area in a partially wooded bowl. There's a swimming area on the lake and a trail that connects the campground to Spring Lake, a walk-in lake that can be fished for bluegills and bass.
On the west side of Big Seven Lake, the park maintains a beach and picnic area, which includes a bathhouse, designated swimming area, tables and grills. There is also a boat rental concession open daily during the summer. Boats for rent include canoes, rowboats and paddleboats. On the north end there is a picnic area with tables, grills and two shelters on a hill with a view of most of the lake. There is also a picnic area off the road to Dickinson Road with a shelter that the Green Trail passes through.
The park is open year round and a vehicle permit or annual state park pass is required to enter.
The park is a mile west of Holly with an entrance off Fish Lake Road, just north of Grange Hall Road. From 1-75, depart at exit 101 and head west on Grange Hall Road. Within four miles turn north on Fish Lake Road to reach the park entrance in a mile.
Call the park at (248) 634-7271. For a campsite contact Michigan State Park Central Reservations (800-447-2757; www.midnrreservations.com).
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