WATERLOO RECREATION AREA
WATERLOO RECREATION AREA
16345 McClure Road
Chelsea, Michigan 48118
Waterloo Recreation Area is the largest park in the Lower Peninsula. At more than 20,000 acres, the park boasts two modern campgrounds, a rustic campground, an equestrian campground, a swimming beach, several picnic sites, 11 excellent fishing lakes, eight boat launches, 12 miles of interpretive nature trails, 47 miles of hiking trails, three rustic cabins, numerous equestrian trails and the Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Center.
Waterloo Green Lake-Rustic(734) 475-8307 25 site(s)Boat Launch, Fishing, Hiking, Rustic Site, Vault Toilet
Waterloo Portage Lake-Modern(800) 447-2757 136 site(s)Campsites with 50 amp Service, Electrical Service, Modern Restrooms, Swimming
Waterloo Sugarloaf-Modern(800) 447-2757 164 site(s)Boat Launch, Campsites with 50 amp Service, Electrical Service, Modern Restrooms, Playground, Swimming
Waterloo-Equestrian(734) 475-8307 25 site(s)Campers with horses, Equestrian, Rustic Site, Vault Toilet
Waterloo-Group Use Area(734) 475-8307 5 site(s)Playground, Rustic Site, Swimming, Vault Toilet
Waterloo-Rustic Cabins(800) 447-2757 3 site(s)Cabins & Lodges, Vault Toilet
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.
Big Portage Lake Beach Area has vending machines at the beach building with snacks and pop. The park also sells firewood and ice.
June 20 - August 29
Arrows Away will take place
Hook, Line and Sinker
Learn to fish at the Crooked Lake Fishing Pier. All ages welcome, age 17 and older must possess a valid Michigan fishing license. Equipment and bait provided. Catch a fish, earn a bobber! All fishing programs are
Edible, Medicinal, or Poisonous?
Take a walk on the Discovery Center trails with Rowena Conahan, founder of the Nature Learning Community, and find out about useful and edible wild plants in our area. Learn how to recognize those that are good for you and those that are not. Limited to 30 people. Event takes place at the Eddy Discovery Center, 17030 Bush Rd., Chelsea, MI 48118. Registration required. Please call 734-475-3170 to register.
September 12 - October 10
Yoga Out Yonder
Join us for Yoga Out Yonder, hiking and yoga classes at Waterloo Recreation Area. Participants will enjoy a guided hike on the Waterloo Recreation Area trails combined with breaks for yoga postures. The yoga hikes begin and end at the Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Center lake overlook deck. Three classes will take place, including:
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.
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.
to this park:
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.
Two picnic shelters are available to rent at the Portage Lake day-use area. Contact the park headquarters for reservations: (734)475-8307. Playgrounds are available at the Portage Lake day-use area and the Sugarloaf Campground.
Cross country ski trails start at the Discovery Center. Trails are not groomed
Five miles of trails provide a challenging ride. Mountain Biking trails are located at G6 on the park map. Trails can be accessed from Katz and Glenn roads.
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-Bicycle Trails Trail Length: 5.00 (Miles)Mountain Biking
Waterloo-Bridle Trails Trail Length: 12.00 (Miles)Equestrian
Waterloo-Discovery Center Trail Trail Length: 14.00 (Miles)Cross Country Ski, Hiking
Waterloo-Dry Marsh Trail Length: 0.50 (Miles)Cross Country Ski, Hiking
Waterloo-Hickory Hills Trail Length: 1.00 (Miles)Cross Country Ski, Hiking
Waterloo-Pinckney Trail Trail Length: 22.00 (Miles)Cross Country Ski, Hiking
Enjoy Southeast Michigan's Best Family Camping experience at our clean, quiet, friendly campground. Jumping Pillow, WiFi, Paddle Boats, Minigolf, Swimming, Bicycling and more
24.1 miles from park*
Because the park is so large and spread out, finding where you want to go may require some extra time. The park map can be obtained by clicking on the link at the top of this page. Each location described here will refer to a letter/number locator on the park map. Please call the park for additional directions.