Loda Lake National Wildflower Sanctuary


Area Status: Open

Loda Lake is an area that includes a small spring-fed lake, a bog-like wetland area, a creek and riparian marshy areas, oak forest, pine plantations, and an early successional old farm site.  Botanist Clayton Bazuin noted, “Loda Lake is ideally suited as a wildflower sanctuary and although near one of Michigan’s busy highways, can still be a natural reservoir of wild plants. This is due to the large number of ecological associations it affords in which they may survive".

Loda Lake is the only Wildflower sanctuary in the National Forest System, a project supported both financially and botanically by the Federated Garden Clubs of Michigan for over seventy years.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Annual services at the site will resume for spring on May 1
Operational Hours: Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week unless otherwise posted. Forest quiet hours apply.
Area Amenities: Interpretive Site,Boat ramp,Fee charged for some activities,Picnic tables,Parking
Fees: Day Use 
  • Day: $5.00
  • Week: $15.00
Permit Info: Special Use Permit
  • No special use permit is required for individuals or small groups (74 people or less).
  • Permits are required for commercial, event or large groups (75 people or more).
Visit the Passes and Permits section for more information on obtaining a special use permit.
Open Season: May 1 - October 31
Usage: Medium
Best Season: April 1 to September 30
Busiest Season: May to August
Restrictions: As a visitor to the National Forest, you are asked to follow certain rules designed to protect the Forest, natural resources and to provide for public safety of visitors. These rules are available to you on-line or at any office of the Huron-Manistee National Forests. Please take time to read and understand them. General Topic orders apply across the Forests. Applicable Orders -
  • Motorized Vehicle Use of Roads, Trails and Off-road Areas
  • Occupancy and Use
Allowed  Hiking; Pets on Leash; Nonmotorized Snow Use (trail is not groomed); Nonmotorized Mechanized Equipment Prohibited All snow and nonsnow Motorized Vehicles; Pack and Saddle Animals, Llamas; Camping; Mountain Bikes
Closest Towns: White Cloud
Water: None
Restroom: Vault
Operated By: Baldwin White Cloud Ranger District - (231) 745-4631
Information Center: Baldwin/White Cloud Ranger Station 

General Information

Directions:

From White Cloud

Wildflower Sanctuary

  • Travel north on M-37 for 7 miles.
  • Turn left and travel west on 5 Mile Rd. for 1 mile.
  • Turn right and travel north on Felch Rd. for 1 mile.
  • The site is located on the right side of the road.

Boat Launch

  • Travel north on M-37 for 7 miles.
  • Turn left and travel west on 5 Mile Rd. for 1 mile.
  • Turn right and travel north on Felch Rd. for 1.25 miles.
  • The site is located on the right side of the road.

General Notes:

Downloadable Resources

Flickr Albums 

General Information

Location

Loda Lake National Wildflower Sanctuary, Loda Lake

Nearby Recreation Areas 

  • Mena Creek
  • Minnie Pond
  • Indinan Lake
  • North Country National Scenic Trail
  • Highbanks Semi-Primitive Nonmotorized Area
  • Loda Lake Semi-Primitive Motorized Area

County 

Newaygo

Seasonal and Other Information -

  • This site is not gated in the off season.
  • This site is not maintained in winter:
    • Access road and/or parking lot are not plowed.
    • No toilet facilities are available.

Parking:

Wildflower Sanctuary-

  • 8 vehicle capacity

Boat Launch -

  • 3 vehicle capacity - with trailers

Parking:

From White Cloud

Wildflower Sanctuary-

  • 8 vehicle capacity

Boat Launch -

  • 3 vehicle capacity - with trailers

Parking:

Wildflower Sanctuary

  • 8 vehicle capacity

Boat Launch

  • 3 vehicle capacity - with trailers

Bus Parking is Available


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities

Lake and Pond Fishing

Fishing Mode Boat, Shore
Special Designations National Wildflower Sanctuary
Fishing Platform No
Cleaning Station No
Accessible Platform No
Water Temperature Warm
Fishing Method Fly, Pole
Water/Flow Level n/a

Day Hiking

There is a 1.2 mile interpretive trail where visitors can stop to identify some of the 238 identified plant species found around the numbered posts using the trail guide and map.  Boardwalks and resting benches around the trail make the short walk easier for those looking for something less strenuous. 

A connector trail provides access to the North Country Trail.  A second connector trail links Loda Lake to the Birch Grove Hiking Trail, which will take visitors to the North Country Trail Association Schoolhouse and the Newaygo County Park on Diamond Lake. 

Viewing Wildlife

There are many areas on the forest for scenic viewing. 

The ultimate wildlife viewing experience is watching animals in their habitat.  Here are some helpful tips to become a wildlife friendly viewer:

  • Use the right tools - A field guide, a pair of binoculars and a camera.  Wear clothing that is appropritate for the season and activitiy.
  • Watch at dawn and dusk - This is the time when most wildlife species are active enough to view.
  • Keep your distance - Maintain a distance that is comfortable for the wildlife.
  • Stay quiet - Move slowly and quietly to increase your chances of viewing wildlife, and to avoid stressing the animals you wish to watch.
  • Do not feed the wildlife - There is plenty of food availale in the wild.  Human food can cause digestive problems, provide improper nutrition, and even kill an animal. 

An online version of the Michigan Wildlife Viewing Guide is available on the MI-DNRE website.

Special Feature National Wildflower Sanctuary

Viewing Plants

The 1.2-mile hike has 42 carsonite posts that correspond to a walking guide that will help visitors identify what native plants are located in that area.

Species Native wildflowers, warm and cool season grasses, native trees, native plant restoration
Special Feature National Wildflower Sanctuary

Interpretive Areas

Informational signs are located at several locations throughout the area, including several around the remains of the structures.

A history of Loda Lake is located in the Learning Center of the website, as well as the Loda Lake Wildflower Sanctuary Interpretive Resources Guide.

Wildflower tours are available.  Arrangements can be made by calling the Baldwin Ranger District or Email Us.

 

Picnicking

General Info:

Parking

Wildflower Sanctuary-

  • 8 vehicle capacity

Boat Launch -

  • 3 vehicle capacity - with trailers

Parking

From White Cloud

Wildflower Sanctuary-

  • 8 vehicle capacity

Boat Launch -

  • 3 vehicle capacity - with trailers

No. of Sites 1
Reservation Info No reservation needed.  All sites are first come, first served.
Sleeping Shelter No

Group Picnicking

Amenities

  • Picnic table/area
  • Pedestal grills
  • Gravel boat ramp
  • Interpretive trail
  • Boardwalk
No. of Sites 1
Reservation Info No reservation needed.  All sites are first come, first served.
Group Shelter No
Group Cooking Facilities No
Hookups - Electric No

Boating - Motorized

Launch Ramps Gravel
Trailer Parking Yes
Class of rapids 0
Size Restrictions 0 - 25 Feet
Type of Craft Fishing Boats
Motor Type Gas, Electric
Fuel availability No
Marina/Mooring No

Boating - Non-Motorized

Trailer Parking Yes
Class of rapids 0
Size Restrictions None
Type of Craft Canoe, Kayak

Amenities

Interpretive Site:
Picnic tables:
Fee charged for some activities:
Parking: Wildflower Sanctuary, Boat Launch
Boat ramp: Gravel

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Location

 
  Area/Length : 
1.2 miles

  Latitude : 
43.639113

  Longitude : 
-85.827016