The description begins behind campsite 1. There is an old woods road which is now closed, but makes for a nice hike, although not a marked or maintained trail. Proceed west on a raised berm through bottomland hardwood swamp, and a small pine plantation for 1/4 mile. At this point the road forks.
Left Fork Enter an area of young shadbush and white pine. After another 1/4 mile come to a T, with a beech growing with a cluster of a dozen trunks at the junction. The area is largely white pine and aspen with sandy soil. Take the right turn. Proceed slightly downhill for 1/8 mile to another apparent junction. Continue straight to quickly reach a creek or wetland (depending on the season), or turn right to quickly dead end along the creek or wetland. (If you turn left at the beech tree the trail ends in just a few steps at a grassy clearing.)
Right Fork This "trail" meanders through the woods for about 3/4 mile. At about 1/4 mile pass a pine plantation and angle left (stay on main trail). At one point you follow a ridge edge on, then drop down to the right, and turn left, continuing the same general direction as before. The path eventually comes out at a Forest Road, possibly one which ultimately connects with Pine Lake Road, but I have not had time to check this out yet.
Access- Campsite 1 is for the Camp Host. If you walk to the back (west) of this site, you will easily see an old woods road heading west.
Restrictions- Old road is blocked by posts, no motorized vehicles.
Distance and time- Estimated .78 mile to follow the right fork, and 1.25 miles if you follow the right fork. I hiked 15 minutes from the fork to the left end, and 20 minutes from the fork to the better road. Measured by pacing, at which I am fairly accurate.
Trail Markers- none- follow old woods road
Treadway- old road- stable, fairly level, few roots
Grades- mostly flat, some small grades
Ecosystem- sandy soil with white pine, aspen, shadbush, maple
Other Points of Interest- there are several very large white pine on the Right Fork.
Most recent date this info personally checked on foot- October 2011
Back to map Comment
Bicycling- The old woods roads here would be satisfactory, although not technical biking.
Picnicking- As you drive around the Pine Lake camping loop, picnic area access is just after campsite 10. Walk to the right, away from the loop. There are 2 grills and one picnic table on a wooded low bluff above the water, trees in shade. Table and grills adequate but not wonderful. Small beach access is near the picnic area.
Swimming- As you drive around the Pine Lake camping loop, beach and picnic area access is just after campsite 10. Walk to the right, away from the loop. There is a very small sandy beach. Possibly a good place for the kids to have fun while the family picnics. Although there is a small area of sand, this isn't much of a beach, and it is not officially listed as a swimming area.
Rest Rooms and Potable Water
Rest Rooms- Latrines
Potable Water- hand pump in summer only
Access- Drive in on sand road from Bosschem Road. There is limited parking for people who are not camping, near the latrines, but you could possibly park on the grass nearer the picnic area.
Restrictions- No glass or animals on beach. Officially closed in winter, but can be used. Loop drive is one way, counterclockwise. No water skiing.
Seasonality- no services or water in winter
Ecosystem- Inland kettle hole lake, with no stream inlet or outlet, surrounded by wetland, white pine, maple and aspen woods.
Other points of interest- Arboretum Trail is nearby
most recent date this info personally checked- October 2011
Additional Facilities- none
Maintained by- Huron-Manistee National Forest Contact:
Manistee District Ranger Station
412 Red Apple Road
Manistee, MI 49660
More- Michigan DNR Manistee County Lakes In lieu of the Forest Service parking fee, Interagency passes are also accepted. Display on your dashboard when you park.
To reach Pine Lake from M-55, turn south on Bosschem Road at Wellston (17 miles east of Manistee, or 8 miles west of M-37). Go south 1 mile, then turn right (west) on Pine Lake road for 3.5 miles (following several turns) to reach the site.