Sylvania Wilderness
forested Clark Lake Trail entrance

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The Sylvania Wilderness area offers a limited hiking experience, but one that is quite special due to the substantial old growth forest. You will notice an immediate difference between hiking this trail and most of the other trails in the Ottawa National Forest. There are around 25 miles of hiking trails in the park, with a substantial portion of those miles being canoe portages between lakes. The most famous trail in the park is the Clark Lake Trail, which is 9.2 miles. There are several campsites along this trail as well as spur routes to other
lakes. Sylvania is definitely one of those places where you want to make sure you have lots of bug spray. The area can be filled with thick swarms of mosquitos and black flies in early summer well into late summer. In some cases, even a head neat may be a good idea. Those wearing hairspray or perfume will attract the pests at an even higher rate. If car camping, having a bug candle will go a long way for preparing food in the evening and hanging around camp.

Another benefit of the older forest in Sylvania is less frequency of ticks which seem to prefer grassy newer growth areas. You should still take precautions though especially in spring. Wear long pants and tuck them into your boots.


Equipment checklist:

sturdy and lightweight tent
comfortable backpack or daypack
enough water for your hike or a quality water purifier/filter
rain gear
a sleeping bag rated properly for the time of the year
comfortable, already broken in hiking boots to avoid blisters
matches or lighter
hat and gloves in crisp conditions
quality windbreaker and liner
proper amount of food
a hat
bear spray
cooking utensils
scrub pad
20 feet of light rope
insect repellent
sleeping bag
cooking stove




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