Introduction and Regional Setting

New 2019-2024 Parks and Recreation Plan. Click to view

Hayes Township with its abundance of natural resources is enjoyed for its many recreational opportunities. Hayes Township has 30.1 square miles of land area. Hayes Township is located on the north central portion of Charlevoix County, which is situated in the north western part of northern Michigan’s Lower Peninsula


The recreation opportunities in the Township currently consist primarily of water-related activities (boating, fishing, swimming, etc) and non-motorized trails for hiking, skiing, bicycling, as well as some trails for snowmobiling. There are public access sites on Lake Charlevoix within the Township that are well utilized both in the summer and winter seasons. A network of trails in the Township utilize both public and semi-public lands, such as the State land and the Little Traverse Conservancy properties. The acquisition of the Camp Seagull property will greatly enhance the public recreation opportunities for Hayes Township residents and visitors. See Map for the location of the recreation sites.

There are two small lakes and three creeks found in the township. Horton Creek flows from the higher elevations in Bay and Hayes Township. The creek traverses the township to a point where it runs through Bay Township and empties into Horton Bay on Lake Charlevoix. Mud Creek flows from Mud Lake to Susan Lake. Susan Creek flows from Susan Lake into Lake Michigan just north of Big Rock Point.

Each creek is bordered by wetlands that encompass significant acreage. Horton Creek provides habitat for salmon and trout. Susan Lake is a shallow, extremely sensitive body of water well along in the aging or eutrophication process. This aging process has likely been aided by nutrient-laden runoff from upland agricultural areas. Mud Lake has no public access because land surrounding it is privately owned. The semi-public recreation lands in Hayes Township primarily consist of Dunmaglas Golf Course and the Charlevoix Country Club. The Little Traverse Wheelway, a non-motorized trail passes through Hayes Township along US-31.


Recreation Facilities in Hayes Township

T1- Hayes Township Hall.  2 acres.  Picnic tables, basketball, meeting room rentals (ADA accessible)
T2- Hayes Township Park.  28 acres.  Picnic tables and fire pits (ADA accessible)

Public Recreation Facilities in Hayes Township

P1- Kennedy Park.  Owned & operated by the State of Michigan Primitive boat launch
P2- MDOT Roadside Park.  Restroom, picnic area and scenic view area
P3- Roadside Park.   Picnic area and scenic view area
P4- Susan Lake.   DNR access site Lake access with boat launch
P5- Little Traverse Wheelway.  Total trail 26 miles (7.6 miles within Hayes Twp), non-motorized paved trail from Charlevoix to Harbor Springs, including 2 MDOT roadside parks.

Nature Preserves and Facilities in the Township

N1- Undine Preserve 28.5 acres.
N2- Nathan Barry Driggers Memorial Preserve.  On Boyne City-Charlevoix Road 75 acre preserve with scenic views of Lake Charlevoix and winter trails for cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
N3- Ransom Nature Conservancy.  On Maple Grove Road 1.5 miles of trail on 80 acre preserve: Scenic lake view, hiking trails, biking, and horseback riding.
N4- Haggerty Preserve.  10 acres.
N5- Mulberry Farm Preserve. 13 acres, with 240’ frontage on Susan Lake.
N6- Siebert Preserve.   0.5 acres, with 254’ frontage on Susan Lake.
N7- Verlinden Preserve.  8 acres with 555’ frontage on Susan Lake.
N8- Kieren Preserve and Slosar.  Addition 2 acres, includes Mallard Creek.
N9- Oyster Bay Preserve.
N10- Susan Creek Nature Preserve.  1.5 mile of trail on 223 acres including frontage on Susan Creek: Biking, hiking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and hunting.
N11- Taimi Hoag Natural Area.  Approximately 50 acre preserve with scenic views of Lake Michigan.
N12- Loeb Preserve. 1.5 acres, includes 500’ of Lake Michigan shore.
N13- Taylor/Horton Creek/Schultz/Nick Adams.  207 acres, three miles of trail through mature hardwood forest.

Private Recreation Facilities in the Township

A- Charlevoix Swimming Pool.   Indoor pool open to the Public.
B- Charlevoix Rod and Gun Club.  106 acres, firearms range open to members and their guests, all purpose room & kitchen.
C- Charlevoix Country Club.  Golf, meeting rooms, tennis courts, swimming pool.
D- Dunmaglas Golf Course.  Privately owned golf course, open to the public with over 700 acres.
E- Oyster Point Club.  Tennis courts, marina and horse stables.
F- Susan Shores Subdivision Park.  Open to members and their guests with picnic and playground facilities, swimming.
G- Michigan Shores Subdivision.  Picnic , swimming and playground facilities on Lake Michigan.
T4- Bayside Park  This is a smaller park with amazing views of Lake Michigan.  There is no longer safe water access.  Township is working on clearing and updating park.
T5- Maple Grove Lake Access.  66’ wide Beach Access (ADA accessible
T6-  Eastern Avenue Beach Park.   Approx. 1.5 acres. Road end access, swimming beach, picnic area. (ADA accessible)
T7-  Camp Seagull.  20 acres 1,400 feet of Lake Charlevoix lake frontage, seasonal buildings & facilities from former summer camp. (ADA accessible)