|Watkins Lake State Park |
and County Preserve
Watkins Lake from Arnold Road
|Type||Michigan State Park|
|Location||Jackson, Washtenaw counties, Michigan, USA|
|Nearest city||Manchester, Michigan|
|Area||1,122 acres (454 ha)|
|Elevation||974 feet (297 m)|
|Operated by||Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission|
|Website|| Watkins Lake State Park |
and County Preserve
Watkins Lake State Park and County Preserve is a combination public recreation area and nature preserve located five miles west of Manchester in Jackson and Washtenaw counties, Michigan. 1,122 acres (454 ha), with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources owning 717 acres (290 ha) in Norvell Township, Jackson County, and Washtenaw County owning 405 acres (164 ha) in Manchester Township. Dedicated in 2017, it is under the joint management of the Michigan DNR and the Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission. A five-mile former rail corridor runs through the park and into grasslands in the eastern portion of the preserve.The area occupies a total of
Manchester is a village in Manchester Township within Washtenaw County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 2,091 at the 2010 census.
Jackson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Michigan. Its population was 160,248 as of the 2010 Census. The county seat is Jackson. The county was set off in 1829 and organized in 1832. It is named for U.S. President Andrew Jackson and considered to be one of Michigan's "Cabinet counties", named for members of Jackson's Cabinet.
Washtenaw County is a county located in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 344,791. The county seat is Ann Arbor. The county was authorized by legislation in 1822, and was organized as a county in 1826.
The park bears the name of Royal and Sally Carpenter Watkins, the first settlers to farm the area, who are known to have participated in the Underground Railroad in the years leading up to the Civil War. In 2016, the state acquired a portion of their former lands in Norvell Township using $2.9 million from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.
The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses established in the United States during the early to mid-1800s, and used by African-American slaves to escape into free states, Canada and Nova Scotia with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists, both black and white, free and enslaved, who aided the fugitives. Various other routes led to Mexico or overseas. An earlier escape route running south toward Florida, then a Spanish possession, existed from the late 17th century until Florida became a United States territory in 1821. However, the network now generally known as the Underground Railroad was formed in the late 1700s, and it ran north to the free states and Canada, and reached its height between 1850 and 1860. One estimate suggests that by 1850, 100,000 slaves had escaped via the "Railroad".
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North (Union) and the South (Confederacy). The most studied and written about episode in U.S. history, the Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North, which also included some geographically western and southern states, proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.
Norvell Township is a civil township of Jackson County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 2,963 at the 2010 census. The township is named after John Norvell, one of Michigan's first U.S. senators.
Manchester Township is a civil township of Washtenaw County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 4,569 at the 2010 census. The Village of Manchester is located within the township.
The protected areas of Michigan come in an array of different types and levels of protection. Michigan has five units of the National Park Service system. There are 14 federal wilderness areas; the majority of these are also tribal-designated wildernesses. It has one of the largest state forest systems as well having four national forests. The state maintains a large state park system and there are also regional parks, and county, township and city parks. Still other parks on land and in the Great Lakes are maintained by other governmental bodies. Private protected areas also exist in the state, mainly lands owned by land conservancies.
P.J. Hoffmaster State Park is a public recreation area on the shores of Lake Michigan located five miles north of Grand Haven at the southwest corner of Norton Shores, in Muskegon County, and the northwest corner of Spring Lake Township, in Ottawa County, in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is operated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The state park includes 1,200 acres (490 ha) of land including 3 miles (5 km) of sand beach on the lake. The park is named after P.J. Hoffmaster, sometimes considered the founder of the Michigan state parks system, who served as the Superintendent of State Parks and Director of the Department of Conservation. The park's nature center is named for Emma Genevieve Gillette, who scouted locations for new state parks under Hoffmaster.
Wilderness State Park is a public recreation area bordering Lake Michigan, five miles southwest of Mackinaw City in Emmet County in Northern Michigan. The state park's 10,512 acres (4,254 ha) include 26 miles (42 km) of shoreline, diverse forested dune and swale complexes, wetlands, camping areas, and many miles of hiking trails. The state park is operated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which has, as of 2006, approved a proposal that 4,492 acres (1,818 ha) be officially dedicated as a wilderness area. Wilderness State Park was designated a Michigan "dark sky preserve" in 2012.
Walter J. Hayes State Park is a public recreation area covering 654 acres (265 ha) on the southeast corner of Wamplers Lake in the Irish Hills region of the state of Michigan. Most of the state park lies within Lenawee County with a small portion extending into Jackson and Washtenaw counties in the Round Lake area. The park offers access to 796-acre (322 ha) Wamplers Lake and completely surrounds 100-acre (40 ha) Round Lake, which connects to Wamplers Lake via a channel navigable by smaller boats. Other scenic lakes including Evans Lake and Sand Lake as well as chains of smaller lakes lie nearby. The park is traversed by Michigan Route 124 north of its intersection with US Highway 12.
Meridian-Baseline State Park is a 108-acre (44 ha) state park in Ingham County and Jackson County, Michigan, that contains the intersection of the Michigan meridian and the baseline used for the Michigan Survey. The park has two monuments that show where the two mismatched baselines meet the principal meridian at the North Initial Point and South Initial Point.
Negwegon State Park is an undeveloped public recreation area in Alpena County and Alcona County, Michigan, lying 5 miles (8.0 km) southeast of the unincorporated community of Ossineke. The state park's 3,738 acres (1,513 ha) include low land areas with small ridges, mature pine forest, pockets of open meadows, and a long sand beach on Lake Huron.
Port Crescent State Park is a public recreation area on Lake Huron five miles (8.0 km) southwest of Port Austin in Huron County at the tip of The Thumb of Michigan. The state park covers 640 acres (260 ha) along state route M-25 in Hume Township. The park occupies the site of Port Crescent, a ghost town which once stood at the mouth of the Pinnebog River. The park was designated a Michigan "dark sky preserve" in 2012.
Thompson's Harbor State Park is a 5,109-acre (20.68 km2) state park in Presque Isle County, Michigan. The park encompasses seven and a half miles of pristine, undeveloped Lake Huron shoreline. It provides a rustic retreat where hikers and cross-country skiers can explore 6 miles (9.7 km) of trails. Two rustic cabins are offered for overnight rental. The harbor is a great place to paddle, particularly in sea kayaks. Thompson's Harbor State Park was designated a Michigan "dark sky preserve" in 2016.
Bay City State Park is a 2,389-acre (967 ha) state park located on the shore of Saginaw Bay near Bay City in Bay County, Michigan, United States. The Tobico Marsh, one of the largest remaining freshwater, coastal wetlands on the Great Lakes is located in the park. Other natural features of the park include a mile of sandy beach, over 2,000 acres (810 ha) of wetland woods, meadows, oak savannah prairies, and cattail marshes. The park is a haven for migratory birds and wetland wildlife.
Seven Lakes State Park is a public recreation area covering 1,434 acres (580 ha) one mile northwest of Holly in Holly Township, Oakland County, Michigan. The state park's 230 acres (93 ha) of water are found in six named lakes that include 170-acre Big Seven Lake, Little Seven Lake, and 44-acre Dickinson Lake.
Pinckney State Recreation Area is a Michigan state recreation area in Dexter, Sylvan and Lyndon Townships, Washtenaw County and Putnam and Unadilla Townships, Livingston County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The park is 11,000 acres (4,500 ha) and sits at an elevation of 922 feet (281 m). The park is connected to the nearby Waterloo State Recreation Area by the 35-mile (56 km) Waterloo–Pinckney Trail. Pinckney State Recreation Area is open for year-round recreation including hiking, fishing, swimming, hunting and a variety of winter sports.
Lake Hudson State Recreation Area is a public recreation area located mostly within Hudson Township in southwestern Lenawee County in the U.S. state of Michigan. A very small portion of the recreation area extends south into neighboring Medina Township.
Highland State Recreation Area is a 5,900-acre (2,400 ha) state recreation area in the southeast part of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is located in north Oakland County, 14 miles (23 km) west of Pontiac.
Rockport State Recreation Area is a 4,237-acre (17.15 km2) state park located along the shore of Lake Huron in Alpena and Presque Isle counties in the state of Michigan. It is operated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and was established in 2012. The park contains limestone formations and an old limestone quarry. There is a deep water boat launch that can accommodate all sizes of watercraft. The park is located along the Lake Huron Flyway and is used to gauge the health of Lake Huron and its shoreline environment. Several ship wrecks can be found off-shore in the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary including the Portland and the Portsmouth. The park was previously known as "The Rockport property" and is not far north of Alpena, Michigan.
William H. Haithco Recreation Area is a 76-acre (31 ha) public park in Saginaw Charter Township, Michigan maintained by the Saginaw County Parks and Recreation Commission.