Three special points of interest in Yankee Springs are: Devil's Soupbowl, a glacially carved kettle formation, Graves Hill Overlook and The Pines. The park has mountain biking, horseback riding trails, fishing piers, beaches and nine lakes for fishing and lots of winter activities.
Overall not the most exciting trail, lacks any wow factor along with being a point to point results in a lackluster trail.
You can reach this trail at the western terminus/trailhead which is on gun lake road across from the gun lake campground and a short distance from the ranger station. There is a small parking lot that should be hard to miss. I choose the eastern terminus which starts at hall lake loop which can be accessed off of Norris road which leads to the Devils soup bowl. The trail (green markers) on the eastern end starts and is shared as the North Country Trail (blue markers/rectangles) for 1/2 a mile or so. You cross Norris road and long lake road as you head west. The NCT trail links with Chief Noon-a-day trail (white markers) and you continue west through the woods passing though pines and an clearing with purple thorns. You slowly descend until you reach 1/2 mile boardwalk which goes through low lying flood plains. You can see Long Lake from a distance but you never have an opportunity to get close until you reach the western terminus. The boardwalk itself is slippery so be careful as it is moss covered and appears to be old (still in very good shape!). After the boardwalk you have another 1/4 mile or so until you reach the trailhead. After reaching the trailhead you must turn back and make the 2.1ish mile hike back to Hall Lake Trail.
You can camp at the modern Gun Lake Campground or at the rustic Long Lake Camp. Overall this trail was pretty easy, the marsh near the boardwalk would be teeming with mosquitos during the warmer months. Yankee Springs has plenty of better than this.
As mentioned, this is actually the Hall Lake Trail Loop, roughly 2 miles long. Heavily trafficked. Most people on the trial are day use and with their dogs or small children. Very easily accessed by way of gun lake road onto Norris which is a muddy dirt road that also leads to the long lake center and Devils soup bowl.
The trial itself leads through a mostly level trail that passes a small stream that feeds into Hall Lake. After a half mile or so you finally get to see Hall Lake and it doesn't disappoint. It's a beautiful lake with 2 islands that. I wish I could of ventured out to the island, but with the mild winter day (60 degrees) I didn't trust the ice. The trail hugs the lake for a while until it leads to graves hill. Graves hill does not have a lookout and doesn't offer anything too special in my opinion (unless I missed something). The trail has signs posted to link with the Devils soup bowl/Deep Lake Trail, although the signs say 15 minutes it's more like 5. I'd recommend any first timer on Hall Lake to make the short side hike to Devils Soup Bowl as it one of the highlights at Yankee Springs. The trial turns south after the Soup Bowl Parking Lot and you will pass Graves Hill Again and the terminus of Long Lake Trail. The trail will go up a hill or two and Norris road is usually visible/audible to you the west of the trial. The trail says an hour, but in reality you can complete it easily in 40-45 minutes.
I've hiked this loop 4-5 times now and I personally think it's the best trail at Yankee Springs. The actual loop can be reached from either the Devils Soup Bowl (accessible by a muddy road) or the mountain bike staging area that is directly off the main road and shares the deep lake rustic campground. I have chosen to link the hall lake trail with the deep lake trail to offer a longer more challenging day hike the last few times, no different today in mid-Jan. I began the trail at the Devils soup bowl and went clockwise (north to east) after a short leg for the woods you meet up with a muddy road that takes you on a straight route through the woods and a cleared game area. You pass a trailer park/campground? (Camping trailers and people there in the dead of winter suggests it a trailer park). You'll need to pay attention not to miss the trail on the south side of the road. After hugging the deep lake shoreline you have access to a fishing pier and the rustic campsites that I've known to be crowded with trailers and pop-ups. The trail hugs the lakeshore snakes around the campsites until you reach the first junction to loop with the deep lake trail or continue toward the mountain bike staging area. I usually hike on the mountain bike trail (sorry bikers! I promise to move out of the way) as it offers a longer hike and I personally like the area although it skirts the busy road on your left for a lengthy duration. You stroll through mostly hardwood forests and a few patches of pine before you link back with the soup bowl junction. I loop around the north side of the bowl to see a couple new sites before linking back with the graves hill/soup bowl parking lot.
The Hall Lake trail is a short walk (5 minutes) which offers another 2 mile loop. Personally Hall Lake is my favorite lake in the area. With Hall Lake Trail and Deep Lake combined you can make for a nice 6-7 mile loop. Overall good hike for southwest Michigan. The soup bowl is a must see during the hike.
Technically this is the Hall Lake Trail. It's the most scenic of any of the trails in the Yankee Springs area and also, the most used. Part of this trail pairs up with The North Country Trail. It's a nice hike and the portion along Hall Lake is very pretty year round.
This is just OK. It's not off-the-beaten-path, meaning too close to some roads and constant noise of traffic. It is not well marked and those caring for it use a bit too much sand to fill in wet areas (for the mountain bikers, I presume). I did find a path, marked on the trail but not on this map, that does go along the east edge of Deep Lake - this part is at least scenic.
Ralph C. on Deep Lake Trail
Good trail. Easy to follow. I'm hard if hearing , I remove my hearing aids while hiking ( sweat issue with them). My concern was sharing the trail with bikes. Its been my experience on the roads that many cyclists act as if they own the roa . That said, my hike on this trail , Memorial Day weekend , was grea . The riders shared the trail as did I. It was easy for me to step aside and give them ample room to pas . I found great trail respect from the riders on a VERY busy trail day.
Though not my favorite trail at Yankee Springs , I will walk it agai . Hit my favorite spo .
I give two stars at best...poorly marked, hiked out an hour and a half before we saw a map on the trail that said we missed the loop way back, devils' soup bowl a gully with trees in it, no big deal. Nice mountain bike trail but foot trail poor quality
Josiah J. on Deep Lake Trail
Great trail. Had a lot of intersecting trails that you can use to expand the hike if you get part way through and just want to go that extra mile.
This was a fun little trail! Saw some excellent scenery. Also seems like you have a good chance of seeing some deer, as we saw tons of tracks (never actually saw the deer though). Did see some turkeys though! The Devil's Soup Bowl overlook is a pretty cool spot, and I'd recommend taking the 15 minute detour to go see it. The only reason I didn't give this trail a 5 star rating is because it runs to close to the main road for a bit, and I don't like hearing cars when I'm trying to get away.... Other than that it's wonderful though! I recommend staying at the Deep Lake Rustic campground when your there, the trail actually runs right next to the sites so you don't even have to drive to the trailhead.