The Only Public Access on Beautiful Five Lakes!
Five Lakes Natural Area
Owned by the Gaylord Community Schools and managed by the Otsego
Conservation District, the Five Lakes Natural Area is always open to the public for
non-motorized activities such as:
• Picnics on the picnic tables.
• Walking your dog.
• Hiking, snowshoeing, or cross country skiing on the nature trails.
• Wildlife viewing.
History of Five Lakes Natural Area
The Five Lakes Natural Area has been managed by the Otsego Conservation
District since 2002. In 2003 grants from the Otsego Wildlife Legacy Society and
Great Lakes Energy allowed the Conservation District to create management plans
for the forest and to enhance the property with a wood chip covered parking area,
interpretive signs, nature trails, and an aquatic study area with a boardwalk.
In May of 2003 over 100 middle school students as well as volunteers from
Northland Sportsman's Club and the Friendship Church planted 700 trees at the
Gaylord High School's construction class has been involved by building picnic
tables and benches for visitors to use and in May of 2008 middle and high school
students along with the Conservation District's Huron Pines AmeriCorps member
removed spotted knapweed and restored the site with native grass and wildflower
mixes. They also planted a native plants green belt along the shoreline that can be
viewed from the boardwalk.
In 2011, the Natural Area received a face-lift thanks to the hard work of Eagle
Scout Cameron Krupiarz and several dedicated volunteers. Updates included a
new parking area, manicured trails, bright new signs, trail markers, and additional
Gaylord Community Schools are committed to maintaining a model school forest
through wise forest management and creating on-site natural resource education
programs for school groups.
From Downtown Gaylord: Take M-32 west to
Murner Road. Turn right on Murner Road and travel
north until you reach Five Lakes Road (1 mile). Turn left
onto Five Lakes Road and follow it for approximately 0.5
miles until you see the Gaylord Community Schools
Forest sign on your right.
From west of Gaylord: Take M-32 east to N. Townline
Road. Turn left onto N. Townline and travel north until
you reach Five Lakes Road (1 mile). Turn right onto Five
Lakes Road and follow it for approximately 0.5 miles
until you see the Gaylord Community Schools Forest
sign on your left.