Deer Island Lake Trail
The gateway to a wild and beautiful forest might be closer than you think. Just north of Land O’ Lakes is a trailhead that’s a little known entrance into the wildest area of the Sylvania Wilderness Area. While most people enter the Sylvania Wilderness Area via the main entrance on the park’s north side, just outside Land O’ Lakes is a trailhead that’s an ideal place to launch a hiking adventure – the Deer Island Lake Trail. The trail is a quiet footpath into the wilds of the park, in the area around Deer Lake. You can continue hiking on other park trails, including a loop around Clark Lake. You’ll encounter old growth forest and plenty of wildlife but few people. This is backcountry hiking at its best. The Sylvania Wilderness Area also offers outstanding paddling and fishing, and in the winter the trailhead is a good place to start a cross-country skiing or snowshoeing adventure.
To get to the trailhead from Land O’ Lakes, turn right on Highway B and travel .6 miles. Turn left on Duck Lake Road and travel .5 miles. Duck Lake Road will take a hard right and an unnamed gravel road goes straight. Go straight on the gravel road. At the end of the road is a parking area that is plowed in the winter. The trailhead is marked and offers access to the entire Sylvania Wilderness Area. You might not see any cars in the lot; many people don’t know about this entrance. But now the secret is yours.