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.
Completed multiple loops on a beautiful Mid-Jan day where the temps hit 60. Started at the Hall Lake/Long Lake Trailhead. Links with the Deep Lake Mountain/Hiking Trail past the Devils Soup Bowl (large depression/valley that highlights Yankee Springs). Once on Deep Lake Trail Loop in links with Deep Lake Road for 3/4 mile which is extremely muddy. It jets off of the road looping around a rustic campsite with plenty of sites that look to be frequented by campers during the warmer months. After snaking around the campsite and deep lake you link with the Mountain Bike Staging area. The trail then is shared with Mountain Bikers for a mile or two before linking back at the Devil's Soup Bowl. You can choose to link back with Hall Lake Loop at this point to complete a 6-7 mile loop or cross over to the Long Lake Trail that shares the NCT for 1/2 mile or so. you reach a slippery boardwalk and are offered limited views of long lake. After two miles on the trial you link with the Gun Lake Campground that offers modern camping or the rustic Long Lake campsite. Another 2 miles back to the junction with Hall Lake and you can complete the last mile or so. Overall you can stretch an afternoon at Yankee Springs to a 12 mile loop (4-5 mile there and back with long lake trail).
Not a bad trail system, marked very well. bugs would most likely feast during the warmer months with lakes and wetlands in abundance.
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.
Very beautiful day, and the woods keep the trails pretty cool. Lots of bikers the day we went, but everyone was friendly and stayed out of each other's ways. There are lots of splits in the trails, so come prepared to navigate a little bit. All in all, I had a great time and really enjoyed the trails. I would recommend to everyone I know and will definitely be coming back.