Sunday, August 26, 2012

Duck Lake State Park

Duck Lake State Park is about 2 hours from Kalamazoo, on Lake Michigan north of Muskegon.  The park protects about half of Duck Lake's shoreline and the woods beyond.  Most of the rest of the lake is developed with private homes although Fruitland Township maintains two small parks on Duck Lake.  At around 300 acres, the lake is relatively small; I was able to paddle the circumference in about an hour at a very leisurely pace.

The park offers a canoe and kayak launch, down a short woodchip trail from the main parking, or a concrete boat ramp with its own parking lot.  A separate parking area serves a picnic shelter and a small beach on Duck Lake.  The park doesn't have a campground. 

A low spillover dam separates Duck Lake from its outlet into Lake Michigan.  It's easy enough to lift a kayak over the dam and continue paddling.  The stream gets very shallow as it crosses the beach and it's easier to get out and wade.
The beach on Lake Michigan was the most popular attraction in the park when I visited.  A boardwalk leads from the main parking lot under the Scenic Drive bridge and over the dunes to the beach.

Duck Lake State Park
Fruitland, MI 49461
(address is approximate)

Recreation passport (or daily fee) required.

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