Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Clark Lake Trail is a 8.2 mile loop trail located near Watersmeet, Michigan that features a lake. The trail is rated as moderate and is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 8.2 mi Elevation gain 314 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Walking

Running

Forest

Lake

Views

Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (18)
Photos (11)
Recordings (12)
Completed (29)
Patrick Pastore
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat May 23 2020
Hiking

This is a beautiful ring around Clark Lake. I hiked the western half of the trail and had tremendous difficulty staying on the marked path. Prepare to struggle with trail markers on this one. Wildlife sightings: • two blue jays • two flocks of wood ducks • an otter

Jamie Lawson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 02 2020
HikingNo shade

Nice trail mostly road around lake 7.76 miles followed red arrows and used trail map to watch go around the lake couple times looks like your going away from lake just pay attention

View Jamie's Recording
Doug Beck
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Aug 15 2019
Hiking

Many fewer bugs than when I was here in July last year. Still some but manageable. Beautiful wilderness!

View Doug's Recording
Steve Burton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Aug 01 2019
Hiking

My wife and I are 55 and we hiked the full loop around Clark Lake today, July 31. A sign posted at the beginning of the trail says that the loop is 9 miles. Either way, whether 8.2 miles as stated on the All Trails App or 9 miles, the trail is moderately strenuous and it felt more like 12 miles. Unlike other reviewers, we did not have a problem with bugs. Bugs were only a minor issue although we used bug spray before and during the hike. The temperature for our hike was mid-upper 70’s and sunny. I do recommend long sleeves and long pants as this helps with bugs and the trail is heavily shaded approximately 90% of the time. The trail was fairly well maintained. All fallen trees had been cut and removed from the trails. There were a few areas of mild-moderate, knee to waist high overgrowth and path narrowing but this was rare. For the most part, the trail was clear. We did not encounter any muddy areas that were difficult for us to navigate. I agree with other reviewers that more signage would be helpful. I was able to track our progress using the GPS on the All Trails App which was a tremendous help to making sure we were on the trail. Otherwise, there are a couple of places where it could be easy to get confused. There are some blue blazes on trees to help mark the trail but these are faded out in many places. The bottom line is that we had a great time and recommend the trail to fellow hikers. The minor issues noted are overcome by the serenity and beauty. Also, the staff at the Sylvania Wilderness Welcome Center are very helpful.

Eric Jenkins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Jul 14 2019
HikingBugs

Clouds of terror; Way. Too. Many. Mosquitos. This was the fourth time I’ve hiked or camped along this trail, and it may be my last, unless I can somehow visit the Northwoods in the Fall season. I grew up with such a passion for this region, exploring some of my first hiking trails as day excursions from the family cabin near Eagle River. Old growth virgin forests and pristine water in places like the Porkies or Sylvania can instill such a sense of serenity and wondrous space. Not yesterday. My party of five began the clockwise circuit to beautiful sunny weather and breezy winds. Within ten minutes however we hit the first cloud bomb of bugs that was breathtaking in terror. I’ve never seen anything like it. And we were restlessly attacked and pursued. After 45 minutes of enduring the onslaught after spraying head to toe, we doubled back to the car and swore to never return. It’s a shame, as Sylvania really is the embodiment of all that makes the Northwoods so great. I’ve hiked this trail before where the haunting sounds of loons seemed to echo from every direction. The gigantic trunks and embrace of majestic old growth trees and open cathedral-like understory truly inspired. The solitude was meditative and had the power to seemingly transport to another dimension. If you get lucky and time your trip perfectly in the summer at Sylvania, be prepared to be wowed. Otherwise, wait until the bug free months unless you wish to suffer.

Matthew Baumer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarThu Jul 11 2019
HikingBugsOver grown

Beautiful scenery around a beautifully clean lake. Large, old growth stands of pine trees on a hilly lake shore. For the most part the trail was in good condition, it looked like all the deadfall mentioned in other reviews had been cleared out of the trail. The trail was not as well marked as I would like. There were a few intersections with no markings at all, I would not have been able to keep the path without constantly referencing the paper map. Some sections were pretty narrow with the plants starting to overtake the trail. The worst part were the bugs, any time the trail moved away from the lakeshore and the wind went away, the mosquitoes and deer flies were unbearable. It literally felt like you were swimming through bugs when you tried to swat them away. I would only hike this route again outside bug season or with a head net.

Hilary H.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Sep 01 2018
Hiking

The lake itself is pretty, but trail finding was challenging due to a number of downed trees and muddy sections.

Cathy White
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Jul 20 2018
Backpacking

There are some beautiful views but I wish they had some trail markings. There were a few blazes but some confusing areas - especially if you want to take a side trip to one of the other lakes. There were a ridiculous number of downed trees across the trail. I would say it's moderate but more towards the moderate/challenging end. The backcountry campsites are nice. I stayed at Badger and Maple and both had fire rings and downed trees arranged as seats. There are wilderness latrines.

Barb Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Oct 11 2017
Hiking

I've been hiking this trail for several years during the summer and fall months. The mosquitoes can be brutal in July although a brisk westerly wind helped one year. Late September and early October allow for beautiful fall color and no bugs! The old growth forest is amazing and the views of the lake are wonderful. Loons and bald eagles can be seen during the summer.

Chad McNutt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Sep 22 2017
Paddle sports

My first trip here is what got me hooked on wilderness camping. Both the canoe camping and hiking into a campsite were well worth the minimal effort. The old growth forest is stunning, and it is hard to beat paddling by a loon on a silent clear lake while passing over a big old downed tree resting on the floor of the lake.

Carrie Carriveau
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 07 2016
Hiking

Extremely beautiful and very wild. Expect to witness quite a lot of wildlife regardless of your activities. Great bird watching, lots of porcupines, I even encountered a few wolves on occasion. On that note, keep your dogs on a leash-for their safety! If you need a place to stay and camping is not an option, check out Wilderness Bay Resort nearby (relatively).

Chad Van Laanen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Apr 28 2012
Paddle sports

Canoe-portage-fishing all excellent. I drive 3.5 hours at least twice a year to experience this place. Wilderness is beautiful. Highly recommend checking with Bob @ Sylvania Outfitters. Very knowledgeable about the entire region.

Alyssa Grace
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Jul 02 2020
Hiking
View Alyssa's Recording
Cath Egelhoff
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri May 15 2020
Hiking
View Cath's Recording
Alexander Spooner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 02 2020
Hiking
View Alexander 's Recording
Bob Dobb
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Aug 30 2019
Hiking
View Bob's Recording
Lee Rouse
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed Aug 21 2019
Hiking
View Lee's Recording
michael oldham
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Jul 11 2017
Hiking
View michael's Recording