Hungerford Recreation Area


Area Status: Open

Hungerford Lake Recreation Area

The Hungerford Recreation Area is a nonmotorized area consisting of over 6,500 acres of National Forest System lands. The area provides opportunities to hike, snowshoe, cross-country ski, horseback ride, mountain bike and enjoy the National Forests. The horseback riding and mountian biking trails are two seperate trails. The two trails cross each other at several locations, but "You Are Here" maps are located at trail junctions to aid in navigation. The trail is marked with blue diamonds for the mountain bike trail with a bike symbol and blue diamonds with horses for the horse trail.

Boat Launch/Lake campsites - The 30-acre lake offers a variety of fishing and boating opportunities. Horses are not permitted in this area or in the lake. This site is particularly scenic during the fall. There is mixed federal and private ownership around the lake.

Family Campground - The horse trail and mountain bike connector trails located in the campground. The horseback trail connector trail is located near the group site. The trail camp is very popular during the summer with horseback trail riders. The loop campground is nestled in among a variety of leafy green tress.

Horseback Riding - There are over 40-miles of premier horse trails in the Hungerford Recreation Area.

Mountain Biking - There are two-loops for mountain bikes, creating a 10-mile trail.

Scenary and Topgraphy - The trails go through heavily forested areas of oak, maple, aspen, and red and white pine. At times riders will cross or utilize roads. Parts of the trails are suitable for less experienced riders, while other segments offer a more experienced riding opportunity. The topography ranges from hilly to very hilly. Riders will experience a range in scenery as they ride through the heavily forested areas and into open fields and meadows.

Brochure with map:  This brochure is set to print on 11 x 17 paper, landscape (wide) orientation.  To print on 8 1/2 x 11 paper set the print area to "shrink to printable area", this will make the text on the page smaller.

Flickr Photo Album

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.
Reservations: Reservations are needed for the group site from May 1 to Oct. 31. Visit Recreation.gov to make a reservation.
Area Amenities: Boat ramp,Tent camping,Camping trailer,Fee charged for some activities,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water,Parking
Fees: Recreation Enhancement Act Fee - Day Use - Horse Trailhead
  • Day: $5.00
  • Week: $15.00
Camping - Horse Trail Camp
  • Per Night: $15.00
Boat Launch/Lake Sites and Mountain Bike Trailhead
  • No Fee
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: May to October
Restrictions: Allowed
  • Nonmotorized Use/Nonmotorized Snow Use
  • Saddle and Pack Animals (Horse Trail Only)
  • Mountain Bikes (Mountain Bike Trail Only)
Prohibited
  • Motorized Vehicles, Motorized Over-snow Vehicles
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
Closest Towns: Big Rapids
Operated By: Baldwin White Cloud Ranger District - (231) 745-4631
Information Center:

General Information

General Notes:

Location -   Hungerford Recreation Area     

Nearby Recreation Areas - None

County - Newaygo  

Seasonal and Other Information -

  • Hungerford Trail Camp is gated when closed
  • Hungerford Boat Launch, Horse Trailhead and Mountain Bike Trailhead are not gated when closed.
  • Hungerford Boat Launch, Horse Trailhead and Mountain Bike Trailhead are not maintained in winter:
    • Access road and/or parking lot are not plowed.
    • No water and/or toilet facilities are not available.

Directions:

From Big Rapids -

  • Travel west on M-20 for 8.5 miles.
  • Turn right and travel north on Cypress Ave. for .5 miles.
  • Turn right and travel east on Hungerford Lake Dr. for .5 miles.
  • Turn left and travel north on Forest Rd. 5134 for
    • Mountain Bike Trailhead: .25 miles. The site is located on the left.
    • Horse Trailhead: 1.5 miles. The site is located on the left.

Directions:

From Big Rapids -

  • Travel west on M-20 for 8.5 miles.
  • Turn right and travel north on Cypress Ave. for .5 miles.
  • Turn right and travel east on Hungerford Lake Dr. for .5 miles.
  • Turn left and travel north on Forest Rd. 5134:
    • Mountain Bike Trailhead: go .25 miles. Site is on the left.
    • Horse Trailhead: go 1.5 miles. Site is on the left.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities

Mountain Biking

The mountain bike trail heads north out of the trailhead.  The trail is considered intermediate to advanced. Riders and hikers will travel through scenic forest areas and pine plantations. Several vista views will highlight the scenary of the surrounding area. There are several wildlife openings along the trail, providing bikers wildlife viewing opportunities. Trails are marked with bike symbols on blue diamonds.

Campground Camping

The Hungerford Lake Campground is located near the 30-acre Hungerford Lake.  Horses are not permitted in this campground. Amenities for the two campsites include:

  • Picnic Tables
  • Fire Rings

The Hungerford Lake Family Campground has several amenities:

  • Highline Poles
  • Manure Disposal Area
  • Wheelbarrows
  • Garbage Service
  • Picnic Tables
  • Fire Rings
No. of Sites Trail Camp
  • Single: 41
  • Group: 1
 
Reservation Info Trail Camp Single Site - No reservation needed. All sites are first come, first served. Trail Camp Group Site -
  • Reservations needed Mid-May to Mid-September
  • Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance.
  • Reservations must be made 3 days in advance of visit.
Go to Recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777 to make a reservation

RV Camping

The trail camp can accomodate RV's. There are no dump station or sewer, electric or water hook-ups at this campground.

The trailhead for the horse trail is located near the group site.

The Hungerford Lake Family Campground has several amenities:

  • Highline Poles
  • Manure Disposal Area
  • Wheelbarrows
  • Garbage Service
  • Picnic Tables
  • Fire Rings
No. of Sites Trail Camp
  • Single: 41
  • Group: 1
Reservation Info Trail Camp Single Sites - No reservation needed. All sites are first come, first served. Trail Camp Group Site -
  • Reservations needed Mid-May to Mid-September
  • Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance.
  • Reservations must be made 3 days in advance of visit.
Go to Recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777 to make a reservation
Vehicle Clearence High
Size Restrictions Maximum - 80 feet
Pavement Type of Parking Gravel

Group Camping

The trailhead for the horse trail is located near the group site.

The Hungerford Lake Group Campsite has several amenities:

  • Highline Poles
  • Manure Disposal Area
  • Wheelbarrows
  • Garbage Service
  • Picnic Tables
  • Fire Rings
No. of Sites Trail Camp
  • Group: 1
Reservation Info Trail Camp Single Sites and Lake Sites - No reservation needed. All sites are first come, first served. Trail Camp Group Site -
  • Reservations needed Mid-May to Mid-September
  • Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance.
  • Reservations must be made 3 days in advance of visit.
Go to Recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777 to make a reservation

Lake and Pond Fishing

The 30-acre lake offers a variety of fishing and boating opportunities.  There is mixed federal and private ownership around the lake.

Fish Species Bass, Pike, Panfish
Fishing Mode Boat, Shore, Wade
Fishing Platform No
Water Temperature Cold
Fishing Method Fly, Pole

Ice Fishing

Walk-on ice fishing is permitted on National Forest Lands. No vehicles may be driven onto the ice of any lake, pond, stream or river on the National Forest. Ice fishing is done at the fishermans own risk.

Fishing Platform No
Cleaning Station No
Accessible Platform No
Fishing Method Pole, Tip-up, Spearing

Day Hiking

Visitors can hike on both the horse and mountain biking trails. 

Horse Camping

The trailhead for the horse trail is located near the group site.

The Hungerford Lake Family Campground has several amenities:

  • Highline Poles
  • Manure Disposal Area
  • Wheelbarrows
  • Garbage Service
  • Picnic Tables
  • Fire Rings
No. of Sites Trail Camp
  • Single: 48
  • Group: 1
Reservation Info Trail Camp Single Sites - No reservation needed. All sites are first come, first served. Trail Camp Group Site -
  • Reservations needed Mid-May to Mid-September
  • Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance.
  • Reservations must be made 3 days in advance of visit.
Go to Recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777 to make a reservation

Horse Riding

There are two Day Use parking areas for horse trailers. See directions for locations. 

General Info:

Directions

From Big Rapids -

  • Travel west on M-20 for 8.5 miles.
  • Turn right and travel north on Cypress Ave. for .5 miles.
  • Turn right and travel east on Hungerford Lake Dr. for .5 miles.
  • Turn left and travel north on Forest Rd. 5134 for
    • Mountain Bike Trailhead: .25 miles. The site is located on the left.
    • Horse Trailhead: 1.5 miles. The site is located on the left.

Boating - Motorized

The 30-acre lake offers a variety of fishing and boating opportunities.  There is mixed federal and private ownership around the lake.

Size Restrictions 0 - 25 Feet
Type of Craft Fishing Boats
Motor Type Gas, Electric
Difficulty Desc. Easy

Boating - Non-Motorized

The 30-acre lake offers a variety of fishing and boating opportunities.  There is mixed federal and private ownership around the lake.

Size Restrictions None
Type of Craft Canoe, Kayak
Difficulty Desc. Easy

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

In winter months the trail is not groomed, but visitorscan snowshoe or cross-country ski on the trail system.  The parking lot is not plowed or maintained in winter. 

Nearby Resorts No
Warming Shelters No
Base Conditions Not Groomed

Amenities

Camping trailer:
Picnic tables:
Tent camping:
Parking: Trailheads - 21 vehicle capacity; Boat Launch - 5 vehicle capacity
Toilets:
Fee charged for some activities:
Boat ramp: Gravel
Drinking water:

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Location

 
  Area/Length : 
45.5 miles

  Latitude : 
43.69634

  Longitude : 
-85.612391