The area was once the hunting grounds of the Algonquin Indians and the famous Chieftain, Chief Noonday. The site of Yankee Springs was established in 1835 and the village was made famous by Yankee Bill Lewis who owned and operated a hotel along the stagecoach run from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids.


The rugged terrain, the bogs and marshes, the lakes and streams, and the unique beauty of the park's 5,000 acres lend itself well to many forms of recreation. A modern campground is located on the shores of beautiful Gun Lake while rustic camping is available at Deep Lake. A horsemen's campground, an organization campground, two outdoor centers for organized groups, and frontier cabins for families or small groups are also provided. Nine lakes are located within the park boundaries providing excellent fishing and water sports of all kinds.


Hall Lake Trail - 2 miles

The trail starts across from the entrance of the Long Lake Outdoor Center, winds through the pines, follows the shoreline of Hall Lake, and continues to Graves Hill. The return trail leads down the steps and back to the starting point.

Chief Noonday Trail - 4 miles

This trail was named after a famous Ottawa Indian Chief who resided in the area. The trail begins just off Chief Noonday Road and travels to the Devil's Soupbowl and returns. McDonald Lake Overlook gives a panoramic view of the area along the way.

Deep Lake Trail - 4 miles

The trail starts across from the campground office. The trail winds around the bog area at the South end of Deep Lake, proceeds across open fields and old farm homesteads, and leads to the Devil's Soupbowl where it winds around the little Soupbowl and returns by the trail North of Deep Lake. Portions of this trail are shared with the Mountain Bike Trail.

Long Lake Trail - 5 miles

This trail adjoins the Sassafras Nature Trail and has a starting point from Gun Lake Road just North of the area headquarters. The trail enters a boardwalk crossing a beautiful bog area, continues down an old wagon road and leads to Grave Hill. From this point, the trail leads to the Devil's Soupbowl where it connects with the Chief Noonday Trail. The Noonday Trail leads to signs and markers for a return to the Long Lake Trail.

Sassafras Nature Trail - 1/2 mile

The entrance location is by the Gun Lake Campground office. This is a beautiful nature trail marked with interpretive signs along the way. Brochures for this trail are available at the campground office and the area headquarters.

Mountain Bike Trail - 12 miles

The trail markers are bicycle silhouettes. This trail starts out flat for a warm-up and then leads you through the most rugged hills in the area; returning through some tough sand pockets and a creek crossing. Bike helmets are recommended. Detail maps are available upon request.

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