For an area that was originally purchased for development, Seven Lakes State Park has since evolved into a natural retreat with a variety of topography and ecosystems, ranging from mature hardwood forests and a wetland fen to open meadows and a restored prairie. But what dominates the park is water. Seven Lakes actually has seven lakes and a couple of ponds that total 230 acres and several miles of shoreline. Ringed by rolling hills is the largest, Big Seven Lake, and its many arms and islands occupy the heart of the state park and is the destination of most visitors.
The 170-acre lake is an impoundment built by the developers who used a dam to turn a series of small lakes into a large body of water. After the project collapsed the land was sold to the state and in 1977 Seven Lakes State Park was opened. Unlike Pinckney, Brighton and many other state park units in southeast Michigan, Seven Lakes is not a patchwork of parcels, broken up by private holdings. The 1,434-acre unit is a single tract in northwest Oakland County with a 7-mile trail system that winds between and often along the various lakes. This can be a scenic place to hike or mountain bike, particularly the Green Trail Loop, a 2.25-mile loop that connects the park’s three largest lakes.
With exception of the Dickinson/Nature Trail Loop, all trails are open to mountain biking. Hardcore bikers, however, usually congregate at Holdridge Lakes Mountain Biking Area in nearby Holly Recreation Area where they enjoy far more mileage and challenging segments of single track.
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