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Seven Lakes State Park: Dickinson Trail/Nature Trail Loop
The Nature Trail Loop is misnomer as there are no interpretive plaques along it or a brochure for it. But the trail does provide campers at Sand Lake with a quick escape into the woods and is often used by walk-in anglers to reach Spring Lake with their belly boats for an afternoon of fishing.
It’s connected to the Green Trail Loop by the Dickinson Trail and the two paths make for a natural route for hikers. Beginning and ending at the Dickinson Shelter the hike would be a 1.35 mile walk past three lakes, more than enough water to keep young children interested in the outing. Just the Nature Trail Loop itself from the campground is a hike of 0.7 miles and mountain bikers are not allowed on either.
It’s a 100 yards from the Dickinson Shelter to post No. 10 marking the start of the Dickinson Trail. Head south (left) to skirt the 44-acre lake briefly. You no more depart Dickinson Lake than you come into view of Spring Lake and arrive at post No. 11 within 0.35 miles from the start. Head south (right).
You’re now on Nature Trail Loop and for a quarter mile you skirt the scenic little lake than swing sharply east and climb a ridge to break out above Sand Lake and a view of the campground. Post No. 12, reached 0.7 miles from the shelter is on the edge of the campground, and from there you follow the park road north for almost a quarter mile.
Post No. 13 leads you back on the trail and into the woods where you’re soon back at the post No. 11 and its bench. Backtrack the first segment of trail to return to your vehicle.
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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