Trails in the Sylvania Wilderness
Hike a wild land of forest and lakes
Somewhere, through the towering pines and beyond the low lake mist, is the reason why you’re here. The Sylvania Wilderness Area is a land for explorers and the joy of this place is discovering what’s ahead. This is a place older than any of us, a place where the trees bent in the wind long before the Declaration of Independence was signed. Those same trees still creak in the wind, towering giants in a place time forgot.
Sylvania’s trails are vast – you could run a marathon in these woods and still have more ground to cover. A good entry point for a hiking adventure is just north across the Michigan border from Land O’ Lakes, off Fisher Road. From here, you can take the trails northwest past the Sylvania’s undeveloped glacial lakes. Trails will take you past Deer Island Lake, Crooked Lake and Mountain Lake. You can take side trips to take in the beautiful views at High Lake, Cub Lake and West Bear Lake. The lakes in the Sylvania are clear and unspoiled and while they are small lakes, they are deep. Some are flanked by sand beaches that are perfect places for a rest break.
Take in the stillness – you won’t hear any sound made by man here. Motors aren’t allowed in the wilderness area. When it snows here, you’ll hear the flakes land on your coat. When the forest comes to life in the spring, loon calls echo for miles.
Because the Sylvania Wilderness is a wild place, you’ll want to be prepared for your hike. While the wilderness trails have some markings, you should bring a GPS or map and compass to navigate the land. A good pair of boots is a good idea, especially in the spring when the trails can be somewhat wet with snowmelt. Also consider dressing in layers – the temperature can change quite a bit on a spring day as the sun moves above the trees.
You’ll want to be comfortable and well equipped when you hike the Sylvania because you may be tempted to go a little further than you ordinarily hike. There’s always something worth discovering, through the trees, just ahead.