M-37: White Cloud to Baldwin


Area Status: Open

This area covers all recreation areas along M-37 between White Cloud and Baldwin.  This does not include trailheads for the North Country National Scenic Trail or Hungerford Recreation Area.

At a Glance

Fees: Recreation Enhancement Act Fee - Day Use -
  • Brush Lake Campground
  • Loda Lake National Wildflower Sanctuary
Camping -
  • Brush Lake Campground
  • Indian Lake Campground
  • Minnie Pond Campground
  • Shelley Lake Campground
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.
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; R904-14-02
  • Occupancy and Use - Developed Recreation Areas, Dispersed Areas, Being Publicly Nude, Marine Prohibitions, Parking and Sanitation; R904-14-03
Closest Towns: Brohman, White Cloud, Woodville
Information Center:

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities

Mountain Biking

Areas for Mountain Biking at M-37: White Cloud to Baldwin

Campground Camping

Benton Lake Campground: Benton Lake is a 33-acre lake completely surrounded by National Forest land. The North Country National Scenic Trail is located off Pierce Drive, about 2 miles east of the campground entrance road. This site is usually quiet, but there are lots of activities, including fishing, swimming, picnicking and hiking. This campground is very popular during hunting season. There are 25 campsites.

Brush Lake Campground: The 7-site campground is located on the shores of Brush Lake, which is entirely surrounded by National Forest System lands. There is a drive-in boat launch on the eastern shore of the river and a smaller carry-in boat launch in the campground. This site is very popular with anglers and hunters. It is also a popular wildlife viewing area and a good stop for viewing fall colors.

Condon Lake: This area is very popular for mushroom and berry picking, as well as hunting, fishing and camping. There are 6 sites.

Highbank Lake Campground: This 9-site campground is located on the 20-acre Highbank Lake, which is completely surrounded by National Forest System land. This is a popular campground for anglers and hikers. The beach is very swim friendly, shallow with a sandy bottom.

Indian Lake Campground: Indian Lake Campground is a 6-site campground located on the 34-acre Indian Lake. The lake is surrounded by national forest, except a few small private ownerships on the northwest and southeast sides of the lake. The lake has clear water and a sandy bottom, and is popular for fishing. A boat launch provides both motorized and nonmotorized boating access to visitors. The lake is shallow and is characterized by reeds around the edges. The lake at its deepest is 10 feet.

Minnie Pond Campground: This 11-site campground is located on Minnie Pond, a human-made impoundment. Ducks, geese and heron frequent the area. This is a popular area for small and large game and waterfowl hunting. A foot bridge on Mena Creek connects the campground to the day use area. The day use area is located on the side of the creek. No ORV's are allowed in the campground or on the access road to the campground.

Nichols Lake Campground: This 30-site campground is located on the south side of the lake, with a day use area located on the north side. In addition to camping, the campground has fishing and swimming. There is a beach and accessible fishing pier available. A wood ramp and stairs lead down to the lake from the campground. A short path along the lake provides access for fishing.

Shelly Lake Campground: Shelley Lake is a 15-acre lake, surrounded by National Forest land, the 8-site family-style campground is the only access to the lake. A foot-bridge over the creek leads to one of the sites. This campground is very popular during fishing season. Sites are surrounded by an oak and maple forest. The lake is only 15-feet at its deepest point.

Timber Creek Campground: The 9-site campground is located near a small impoundment, however the impoundment is not a popular site for fishing. The busiest use is the North Country National Scenic Trail trailhead located in the campground. In the winter this site is plowed and provides access to the Ward Hills Snowmobile Trail. ORV use is prohibited in the campground.

Twinwood Lake Campground: Bigelow Creek feeds into Twinwood Lake next to the 5-site campground and creates a good current in the lake. Ice fishing is a very popular on this lake. This beautiful area is forested with white pine and provides ample opportunity for wildlife viewing. Swans frequent the lake, and eagles have historically nested in the area. Waterfowl are plentiful and this is a popular area for hunting and fishing in season.

Walkup Lake Campground: This 12-site campground is located on Walkup Lake.

Areas for Campground Camping at M-37: White Cloud to Baldwin

RV Camping

Benton Lake Campground: Benton Lake is a 33-acre lake completely surrounded by National Forest land. The North Country National Scenic Trail is located off Pierce Drive, about 2 miles east of the campground entrance road. This site is usually quiet, but there are lots of activities, including fishing, swimming, picnicking and hiking. This campground is very popular during hunting season. There are 25 campsites.

Brush Lake Campground: The 7-site campground is located on the shores of Brush Lake, which is entirely surrounded by National Forest System lands. There is a drive-in boat launch on the eastern shore of the river and a smaller carry-in boat launch in the campground. This site is very popular with anglers and hunters. It is also a popular wildlife viewing area and a good stop for viewing fall colors.

Highbank Lake Campground: This 9-site campground is located on the 20-acre Highbank Lake, which is completely surrounded by National Forest System land. This is a popular campground for anglers and hikers. The beach is very swim friendly, shallow with a sandy bottom.

Minnie Pond Campground: This 11-site campground is located on Minnie Pond, a human-made impoundment. Ducks, geese and heron frequent the area. This is a popular area for small and large game and waterfowl hunting. A foot bridge on Mena Creek connects the campground to the day use area. The day use area is located on the side of the creek. No ORV's are allowed in the campground or on the access road to the campground.

Nichols Lake Campground: This 30-site campground is located on the south side of the lake, with a day use area located on the north side. In addition to camping, the campground has fishing and swimming. There is a beach and accessible fishing pier available. A wood ramp and stairs lead down to the lake from the campground. A short path along the lake provides access for fishing.

Timber Creek Campground: The 9-site campground is located near a small impoundment, however the impoundment is not a popular site for fishing. The busiest use is the North Country National Scenic Trail trailhead located in the campground. In the winter this site is plowed and provides access to the Ward Hills Snowmobile Trail. ORV use is prohibited in the campground.

Walkup Lake Campground: This 12-site campground is located on Walkup Lake.

Areas for RV Camping at M-37: White Cloud to Baldwin

Lake and Pond Fishing

Benton Lake Campground: Benton Lake is a 33-acre lake completely surrounded by National Forest land.

Brush Lake Campground: Brush Lake, which is entirely surrounded by National Forest System lands has a drive-in boat launch on the eastern shore of the river and a smaller carry-in boat launch in the campground. This site is very popular with anglers and hunters. It is also a popular wildlife viewing area and a good stop for viewing fall colors.

Condon Lake: This area is very popular for mushroom and berry picking, as well as hunting, fishing and camping.

Highbank Lake Campground: Located on the 20-acre Highbank Lake, which is completely surrounded by National Forest System land, this is a popular campground for anglers and hikers. The beach is very swim friendly, shallow with a sandy bottom.

Indian Lake Campground: This site is located on the 34-acre Indian Lake. The lake is surrounded by national forest, except a few small private ownerships on the northwest and southeast sides of the lake. The lake has clear water and a sandy bottom, and is popular for fishing. A boat launch provides both motorized and nonmotorized boating access to visitors. The lake is shallow and is characterized by reeds around the edges. The lake at its deepest is 10 feet.

Loda Lake Wildflower Sanctuary: 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 and pine plantations.

Minnie Pond Campground: This site is located on Minnie Pond, a human-made impoundment. Ducks, geese and heron frequent the area. This is a popular area for small and large game and waterfowl hunting. A foot bridge on Mena Creek connects the campground to the day use area.

Nichols Lake Campground: This site is located on the south side of the lake, with a day use area located on the north side. A wood ramp and stairs lead down to the lake from the campground. A short path along the lake provides access for fishing.

Shelly Lake Campground: Shelley Lake is a 15-acre lake, surrounded by National Forest land, the family-style campground is the only access to the lake. A foot-bridge over the creek leads to one of the sites. This campground is very popular during fishing season. Sites are surrounded by an oak and maple forest. The lake is only 15-feet at its deepest point.

Twinwood Lake Campground: Bigelow Creek feeds into Twinwood Lake next to the campground and creates a good current in the lake. Ice fishing is a very popular on this lake. This beautiful area is forested with white pine and provides ample opportunity for wildlife viewing. Swans frequent the lake, and eagles have historically nested in the area. Waterfowl are plentiful and this is a popular area for hunting and fishing in season.

Walkup Lake Campground: This 12-site campground is located on Walkup Lake.

Areas for Lake and Pond Fishing at M-37: White Cloud to Baldwin

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is allowed on the National Forest.  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. 

Areas for Ice Fishing at M-37: White Cloud to Baldwin

Day Hiking

All of these trails are located off of M-37.  In addition to Loda Lake National Widlflower Sanctuary and Condon Lakes West,  the North Country National Scenic Trail has several trailheads located in this area.

Condon Lake West is a Special Area and there are no trails.

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. 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.

Trailheads for the North Country National Scenic Trail from this area are: 76th St. Trailhead and Nichols Lake North Trailhead.

Areas for Day Hiking at M-37: White Cloud to Baldwin

Backpacking

All of these trails are located off of M-37.  In addition to Loda Lake National Widlflower Sanctuary and Condon Lakes West,  the North Country National Scenic Trail has several trailheads located in this area.

Condon Lake West is a Special Area and there are no trails.

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. 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.

Trailheads for the North Country National Scenic Trail from this area are: 76th St. Trailhead and Nichols Lake North Trailhead.

Areas for Backpacking at M-37: White Cloud to Baldwin

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.

Areas for Viewing Wildlife at M-37: White Cloud to Baldwin

Viewing Plants

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.

Areas for Viewing Plants at M-37: White Cloud to Baldwin

Interpretive Areas

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.

Areas for Interpretive Areas at M-37: White Cloud to Baldwin

Picnicking

While you can picnic almost anywhere on the National Forest, the sites listed below have picnic tables, and most sites have pedestal grills or fire rings available. 

Areas for Picnicking at M-37: White Cloud to Baldwin

Group Picnicking

While you can picnic almost anywhere on the National Forest, the sites listed below have picnic tables, and most sites have pedestal grills or fire rings available. 

Areas for Group Picnicking at M-37: White Cloud to Baldwin

Boating - Motorized

Benton Lake Campground: Benton Lake is a 33-acre lake completely surrounded by National Forest land.

Brush Lake Campground: The 7-site campground is located on the shores of Brush Lake, which is entirely surrounded by National Forest System lands. There is a drive-in boat launch on the eastern shore of the river and a smaller carry-in boat launch in the campground. This site is very popular with anglers and hunters. It is also a popular wildlife viewing area and a good stop for viewing fall colors.

Indian Lake Campground: Indian Lake Campground is a 6-site campground located on the 34-acre Indian Lake. The lake is surrounded by national forest, except a few small private ownerships on the northwest and southeast sides of the lake. The lake has clear water and a sandy bottom, and is popular for fishing. A boat launch provides both motorized and nonmotorized boating access to visitors. The lake is shallow and is characterized by reeds around the edges. The lake at its deepest is 10 feet.

Loda Lake Wildflower Sanctuary: 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 and pine plantations.

Minnie Pond Campground: This 11-site campground is located on Minnie Pond, a human-made impoundment. Ducks, geese and heron frequent the area. This is a popular area for small and large game and waterfowl hunting. A foot bridge on Mena Creek connects the campground to the day use area. The day use area is located on the side of the creek. No ORV's are allowed in the campground or on the access road to the campground.

Nichols Lake Campground: This 30-site campground is located on the south side of the lake, with a day use area located on the north side. In addition to camping, the campground has fishing and swimming. There is a beach and accessible fishing pier available. A wood ramp and stairs lead down to the lake from the campground. A short path along the lake provides access for fishing.

Shelly Lake Campground: Shelley Lake is a 15-acre lake, surrounded by National Forest land, the 8-site family-style campground is the only access to the lake. A foot-bridge over the creek leads to one of the sites. This campground is very popular during fishing season. Sites are surrounded by an oak and maple forest. The lake is only 15-feet at its deepest point.

Twinwood Lake Campground: Bigelow Creek feeds into Twinwood Lake next to the 5-site campground and creates a good current in the lake. Ice fishing is a very popular on this lake. This beautiful area is forested with white pine and provides ample opportunity for wildlife viewing. Swans frequent the lake, and eagles have historically nested in the area. Waterfowl are plentiful and this is a popular area for hunting and fishing in season.

Walkup Lake Campground: This 12-site campground is located on Walkup Lake.

Areas for Boating - Motorized at M-37: White Cloud to Baldwin

Boating - Non-Motorized

Benton Lake Campground: Benton Lake is a 33-acre lake completely surrounded by National Forest land.

Brush Lake Campground: Brush Lake, which is entirely surrounded by National Forest System lands has a drive-in boat launch on the eastern shore of the river and a smaller carry-in boat launch in the campground. This site is very popular with anglers and hunters. It is also a popular wildlife viewing area and a good stop for viewing fall colors.

Highbank Lake Campground: Located on the 20-acre Highbank Lake, which is completely surrounded by National Forest System land, this is a popular campground for anglers and hikers. The beach is very swim friendly, shallow with a sandy bottom.

Indian Lake Campground: Indian Lake Campground is a 6-site campground located on the 34-acre Indian Lake. The lake is surrounded by national forest, except a few small private ownerships on the northwest and southeast sides of the lake. The lake has clear water and a sandy bottom, and is popular for fishing. A boat launch provides both motorized and nonmotorized boating access to visitors. The lake is shallow and is characterized by reeds around the edges. The lake at its deepest is 10 feet.

Loda Lake Wildflower Sanctuary: 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 and pine plantations.

Minnie Pond Campground: This site is located on Minnie Pond, a human-made impoundment. Ducks, geese and heron frequent the area. This is a popular area for small and large game and waterfowl hunting. A foot bridge on Mena Creek connects the campground to the day use area.

Nichols Lake Campground: This site is located on the south side of the lake, with a day use area located on the north side. A wood ramp and stairs lead down to the lake from the campground. A short path along the lake provides access for fishing.

Shelly Lake Campground: Shelley Lake is a 15-acre lake, surrounded by National Forest land, the family-style campground is the only access to the lake. A foot-bridge over the creek leads to one of the sites. This campground is very popular during fishing season. Sites are surrounded by an oak and maple forest. The lake is only 15-feet at its deepest point.

Twinwood Lake Campground: Bigelow Creek feeds into Twinwood Lake next to the campground and creates a good current in the lake. Ice fishing is a very popular on this lake. This beautiful area is forested with white pine and provides ample opportunity for wildlife viewing. Swans frequent the lake, and eagles have historically nested in the area. Waterfowl are plentiful and this is a popular area for hunting and fishing in season.

Walkup Lake Campground: This 12-site campground is located on Walkup Lake.

Areas for Boating - Non-Motorized at M-37: White Cloud to Baldwin

Swimming

Benton Lake Campground: Benton Lake is a 33-acre lake completely surrounded by National Forest land.

Brush Lake Campground: Brush Lake, which is entirely surrounded by National Forest System lands has a drive-in boat launch on the eastern shore of the river and a smaller carry-in boat launch in the campground. This site is very popular with anglers and hunters. It is also a popular wildlife viewing area and a good stop for viewing fall colors.

Highbank Lake Campground: Located on the 20-acre Highbank Lake, which is completely surrounded by National Forest System land, this is a popular campground for anglers and hikers. The beach is very swim friendly, shallow with a sandy bottom.

Minnie Pond Campground: This site is located on Minnie Pond, a human-made impoundment. Ducks, geese and heron frequent the area. This is a popular area for small and large game and waterfowl hunting. A foot bridge on Mena Creek connects the campground to the day use area.

Nichols Lake Campground: This site is located on the south side of the lake, with a day use area located on the north side. A wood ramp and stairs lead down to the lake from the campground. A short path along the lake provides access for fishing.

Areas for Swimming at M-37: White Cloud to Baldwin

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Location

 
  Latitude : 
44.032222

  Longitude : 
-85.842778