Rolling hills, babbling brooks, open meadows, forested ridges, a lake nestled in the hills and a river winding its way through woods and fields - that's Ionia State Recreation Area.


Located in Ionia County between Ionia and Saranac, this 4,085 acre State Recreation Area is easily accessible vie I-96, Exit 64.


Located at North Beach with boat rentals, beach supplies, fishing supplies, food, drink and souvenirs.


1,600 feet of beach on Sessions Lake, parking for 800 cars.


Shore and boat fishing are available on Sessions Lake and the Grand River. Stream fishing is available on Sessions Creek and Tibbits Creek. Sessions Lake is a 140 acre man-made lake that is sixty feet at its deepest point with bluegill, rainbow trout, brown trout, walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish and crappie fishing available. There is a no-wake speed restriction. A boat launching facility is located on the west side of the lake. Much of the lake can be fished from shore.


There are nine miles of hiking trail loops within the park that traverse woods, streams. lake shore, meadows, and river bottom areas. Five miles of designated bicycle trails are available that travel through wetland, meadows, and a wooded trail along the Grand River. There are twenty miles of equestrian trails throughout the park. These trails travel through acres of beautiful scenery. Horses are allowed on designated trails only. The entire park is open to cross-country skiing. There are three designated ski trail loops; a one mile beginner; a two and 1/2 mile intermediate and a six mile expert.

Day Use

Beechwood Picnic Area is located near Sessions lake Boat Launch. This picnic area has play equipment, a ball field, volleyball court, and hiking trails that include a trail for the visually impaired. There is also a covered picnic shelter with a large grill available at no charge on a first-come, first-serve basis or it is reservable at $40.00/day.

Point Picnic Area is located on the east side of Sessions Lake. This area has picnicking, a fishing pier with handicapper access, play equipment, and hiking trails.

Riverside Picnic Area is located between Riverside Drive and the Grand River. This picnic area has modern toilets facilities, play equipment, and a covered picnic shelter available at no charge on a first-come, first-serve basis or is reservable at $40.00/day. This unit also has three and 1/2 miles of river frontage with a hiking/bike trail, and rustic boat launching facilities for canoes and rowboats at tow points on the river.


There are three rustic and one modern campgrounds. The three rustic campgrounds include a 50 site equestrian campground, an organization site and a group site. These provide facilities for horsemen, youth organizations and group family camping. The modern campground has 100 sites with electricity, showers and dump station.

Hunting and Trapping

The recreation area is open to hunting and trapping during legal seasons. The hunting is excellent for deer, rabbit and woodcock. Squirrel, grouse, geese and pheasant are also found within the park.

Shotgun, Bow and Arrow Range

The range is located on Riverside Drive west of the historic Ionia School House. Shotgun users must use bird shot only. Bow and arrow users must bring their own backstop. Range hours are posted.

Dog Training

Field dog competitions are held throughout the year. This activity is coordinated with MUCC and Wildlife Division. Most clubs allow spectators to observe their events. Field Trial Course #1 is open year-round for dog training.


There are no specific trails. The park is open to snowmobiling when there is four inches or more of snow. Snowmobiles are prohibited on cross-country ski trails and must have a current registration and a State Park Motor Vehicle Permit.


Wildflowers abound year-round. Bird watching is excellent with over 156 species identified in the park by the Audubon Society.

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