“A pleasant trail through the Hoist Lakes area, featuring many at-large campsites around Byron Lake.
— Pat Schultz Midlam
Trailhead parking is off of M65 just south of the M72 Junction. Do this one in May and enjoy the Trillium blooms along the way. This route is moderate to easy for about 85 percent of the trail, and has a few short difficult sections interspersed to keep it interesting.
Be sure to bring your favorite tick repellent. Mosquitoes were not bad and our group had no issues with black flies (late May) but many encounter ticks. Check your gear when you get home as well.
A couple of places, the trail crosses a long unused two-track. When in doubt, cross the two-track and look for the blue markers.
Many of the campsites around Byron Lake are up above the lake level giving a great view of the lake. There are sites pretty much all the way around the lake. Take the trip around the lake before you decide. Most of the sites have fire rings. There are a couple of signs up higher from the lake designating pit toilets, but they are pretty dilapidated.
Lots of downed trees to navigate over, around, or through.
This is a run in the woods - Michigan style. Start at the East Entrance. At the trailhead there is a pit toilet and the over-night parking will cost $5.00 per vehicle, per night. There are no water sources other than what you take from the lake and filter. No spectacular vistas, just a peaceful fragrant oak scent at every step. Enjoy leaving the trappings of civilization behind, as this spot is especially secluded.
In May: Lady Slippers, Trillium and lots of ferns. We saw Rose Breasted Grosbeaks and heard the faint hooting of an owl in the middle of the night. We were also serenaded by croaking well into the night as well. You will find Panfish, Perch, and Smallmouth bass in the lake. The Hoist Lakes Area is home to white-tail deer, black bear, raccoon, red fox, coyote, beaver, otter, mink, badger, skunks, squirrels, hognose snakes, and bald eagles.