Bald Mountain State Park - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip
Lake Orion, MI
I live in Lake Orion, Michigan. We have numerous lakes and places where you can put your boat in for an afternoon, but the Graham Lakes in the north unit of Bald Mountain State Park seems to be far enough out of the way to be generally ignored by most everybody. I consider this to be its biggest attraction.
There are 4 parts to the Graham lakes. The boat launch off of Predmore will put you in East Graham. This part of the Grahams is beautiful and relatively pristine. There is one residence (for the park ranger) on the entire lake.
Heading northeast of East Graham, you will come across a narrow stream leading to the south. This will take you to another small lake whose name escapes me. I think its Dorn Lake. There is usually a Blue Heron or two back here. Right after a rain, you can keep going on to the other side of the lake and continue down the stream through a pipe, although I haven't made it through there this year because the water was too high. Do this at your own risk...
If you go back into East Graham, you can head for the northwest corner, you'll find another stream that will lead you to another nameless small lake (pond size), head through and pick up the stream again, and then into West Graham. This is a relatively untouched almost wilderness lake. Lots of wildlife to see. A beaver makes his home in a den near the northwestern end of the lake. He's usually out at dusk and will slap his tail on the water when he sees you. Look for the stream where it enters the lake. More Blue Herons, an occasional Turkey Vulture, turtles and fish.
If you feel a little more adventurous, head up the stream by the beaver den to the road. Tall reeds and sea grass on either side of you. Very pretty, but the water has to be relatively high to make it to the road.
Also in this area are several other interesting lakes, Prince Lake and others are a lot smaller but still just as interesting. It's a good trip for an after work paddle or to fish. Just watch out in the fall when the hunters are out in full force.
$4 state park pass, $20 for an annual permit.
Drive 3 miles south of Lake Orion on M-24 and you will start to see signs leading you to the park.
Resources: Michigan State and National Parks : A Complete Guide
A detailed guide to the Michigan State Parks. If you live in Michigan or vacation there often, you should pick this book up and see what you're missing.
Submitted by: Skip Barnes
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