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Venues 259 views Jul 15, 2021
Independence Oaks County Park

 

 

Independence Oaks County Park - Clarkston, MI

 

 

Independence Oaks is the largest Oakland County Park at 1,286 acres. The Wint Nature Center offers interactive exhibits, interpretive programs and Scout Badge Days. Camp Wilderness, a youth group overnight camping area, features platform tents and a modern bathhouse. Recreation amenities include: 12+ miles of natural and paved trails; a swimming beach; archery range; volleyball courts; boat launch (non-motorized boats); and rowboat, canoe, kayak and pedal boat rentals. In winter, snowshoe equipment is available for rent on weekends. Twin Chimney Shelter provides a sweeping view of 68-acre Crooked Lake and is popular for outdoor wedding ceremonies and receptions. Independence Oaks-North is the only Southeast Michigan park with a Catch and Release Special Designation by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Anglers can portage and launch canoes, kayaks or other non-motorized boats. No vehicular boat launch is provided. Independence Oaks-North is open for archery deer hunting in the fall.

 

The park encompasses rolling hills, wooded ravines, the headwaters of the Clinton River, and a variety of wildlife including white-tailed deer. But the centerpiece is Crooked Lake, a 68-acre lake with crystal-clear water that is free from the buzz of motorboats and jet skis.

The park has a 14-mile network of trails with most of it in a rugged, undeveloped area on the west side of the lake. Here Springlake Loop, Ted Gray Loop and a portion of Lakeshore Loop can be combined to make a 3-mile loop that begins near the Lewis E. Wint Nature Center and leads you across the park’s highest ridges and along Crooked Lake. Cutting across the loop are several connector trails that allow you to shorten the hike.

On the east side of the lake are the paved trails that are popular with inline skaters. They include the River Loop, a paved 2.2-mile loop that includes a stretch through the Clinton River Flood Plain Natural Area, a wetland area, and the All-Visitors Loop that leads to an observation deck on Crooked Lake.

 

 

 

 

 



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