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Waterloo Recreation Area
Alcohol Restrictions
Alcohol is prohibited from the Portage Lake campground and day-use areas from April 1 through Labor Day.
Cross Country Skiing
Cross country ski trails start at the Discovery Center. Trails are not groomed. Click here for a map.
Fifteen miles of bridle trails provide ample horseback riding for equestrians. Bridle trails are located at E6 and E7 on the park map. Be sure to check out information about http://www.waterloohorsemen.org the Waterloo Horsemen's Association which helps support equestrian activities in the park. Click here for a map.
Fishing piers are located at Big Portage and Crooked lakes. The pier at Big Portage Lake is the only one considered universally accessible by ADA Guidelines. Bass, panfish and pike can be found in the many lakes in Waterloo Recreation Area.
A variety of trails are available for hiking, skiing, mountain biking, horseback riding and nature study can be found in the recreation area. The Trails of Waterloo's Discovery Center can help guide your exploration of all the natural features to be found.
Waterloo Recreation Area is open to hunting for all species following regular State Regulations between September 15 and March 31. This park boasts excellent deer and turkey hunting, with prevalent numbers of both species. Rabbit and squirrel can be found to a lesser degree throughout the park. In addition, there are pockets throughout the park with decent populations of pheasant, quail, grouse and woodcock. The park is also open to trapping. The terrain is a mixture of open brush land to mature hardwood forest, with some pockets of open meadows mixed in with several large areas of wetland habitat. All users are reminded that private property is interspersed within many of the park and recreation area properties. It is the responsibility of all users to determine where they are and to stay off private property. Waterloo does have hiking and equestrian trails within the open hunting areas.
Metal Detecting
Metal detecting is recognized as a legitimate recreation activity when it is conducted in ways that do not damage the natural and cultural resources in Michigan State Parks nor violate applicable state statutes. If you wish to use a metal detector in this state park, here is a map that shows clearly where this activity may take place. Any items found must be reviewed by park staff and may be retained for further investigation.
A public beach is located at Big Portage Lake, E4. Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with a beach store open during the summer. A beach is also located for campers only at the Sugarloaf Campground, G8.
Watchable Wildlife
The Wildlife Viewing Guide is now on line at www.michigan.gov/miwildlifeviewing
Haehnle Audubon Sanctuary
Beach House
A beach house is available at the Portage Lake beach.
Boat Launch
Public boat launches are located on Big Portage(E4), Cedar(F10), Green(D10), Crooked(F8), Mill(E9), Mud(E8), and Walsh(E10) lakes and the Winnewana Impoundment(D9).

Access by foot across state land is available at Clear(E7), Doyle(F9), Cassidy(E10), Little Portage(D4) and Merkle(C6) lakes. Only the launch site at Big Portage Lake meets ADAAG standards for universal accessibility.

Access is limited to registered campers at Sugarloaf Lake(E8) because it is located within the campground.
Cabins & Lodges
Concession/ Store
Big Portage Lake Beach Area has vending machines at the beach building with snacks and pop. The park also sells firewood and ice.
Electrical Service
Equestrian Camping
Modern Restrooms
Picnic Area
A picnic site is located at Big Portage Lake (E4) and has tables, grills, water, toilet facilities, and a picnic shelter which may be reserved. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily. The smaller picnic sites are at Crooked Lake located at F8 and Mud Lake located at D8. Both have tables and grills. The picnic area at Big Portage Lake meets current ADAAG standards for universal accessibility.
Picnic Shelter
Two picnic shelters are available to rent at the Portage Lake day-use area. Shelters can be reserved up to a year in advance by calling 1-800-447-2757 or visiting www.midnrreservations.com.
Playgrounds are available at the Portage Lake day-use area and the Sugarloaf Campground.
Rustic Site
Sanitation Station
Visitor Center
The Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Center, located on Bush Road at (F10) is open year-round. It introduces visitors of all ages to the fascinating world of geology and the diverse natural wonders found at the Waterloo Recreation Area. Groups can schedule a guided experience by calling 734-475-3170. The center is located on Bush Road between Pierce and McClure roads in Chelsea. To get there, take I-94 to exit 157 (Pierce Road) and go north to Bush Road. Take Bush Road west to the center. The center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday and closed Mondays except for Memorial Day and Labor Day.
While visiting, be sure to visit the gift shop and check out programming organized by the Waterloo Natural History Association which is dedicated to helping support the education mission of the Discovery Center and the park.
A Yurt is available at Green Lake.

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