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EXPLORE AND ENJOY! SYLVANIA WILDERNESS
Sierra Club is committed to "exploring, enjoying and protecting the planet." The Michigan Chapter Update includes features on exploring and enjoying places in Michigan. Chapter Conservation Director Anne Woiwode talks about one of her favorite places: Sylvania Wilderness in the Ottawa National Forest
Please plan your trip carefully - make sure you obtain up to date maps, carry a compass and be prepared with whatever gear you will need for your planned activities, with a margin for error to protect against unforeseen mishapsdominated by ancient red and white pines surround the lakes, and at times visitors will delight in rare orchids and wildflowers. Common loonsclaim these lakes as their own, so during the summer months you can almost guarantee that you'll hear their haunting calls. Wolves, eagles, and ospreyare also found in the area.
Visitors can enjoy this area all year round with skiing and snow shoeing as an option in the winter, as well as hiking trails. Most visitors enjoy the area from kayaks or canoes, starting their adventure at the carry down boat ramps on Clark Lake or Crooked Lake. Nearby outfitters are available to provide gear and guidance on enjoying Sylvania. Fishing is allowed with a state permit and special regulations for the area available at the Entrance Station. A limited number of well dispersed campsites are found within the wilderness in order to protect the delicate ecosystem, and must be reserved. Drive in camping is also available outside of the wilderness at the Clark Lake campground. Part of Crooked Lake is outside the wilderness and a handful of homes and a small non-motorized resort occupy part of the northern lobe of the lake. You may encounter small motorized boats outside the wilderness boundary on Crooked Lake.
Visiting Sylvania wilderness should be on the list for everyone who wishes to know parts of Michigan that are virtually unchanged from the time of first human habitation. Our efforts under state and federal laws to protect exquisite areas like this pay off for generations yet to come, but vigilance is essential to defend and protect them into the future.
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Header photo Near Andrus Lake, Upper Michigan, by Beverly Wolf.