|Area Status: Open
This area not only has the Pere Marquette River running through it, but also contains a portion of the North Country National Scenic Trail and habitat for the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly.
The Bowman Lake area is located in Lake and Sweetwater Townships in Lake County. A total of 1,145 acres of NFS lands and 368 acres of private lands are within the boundary of the Bowman Lake area.
The terrain is characterized by rolling hills, glacial depressions and leatherleaf bogs. A 3-acre lake is located within the area. The area tends to be densely forested with a mix of hardwoods, red and white pine and aspen. Wildlife species that commonly inhabit this area include white-tailed deer, bobcat, coyote, red fox, raccoon, porcupine, squirrels, pileated woodpecker, ruffed grouse, wild turkey and various songbirds.
Visitor recreation activities include camping, fishing, mushroom gathering, bird-watching, hunting, hiking and canoeing. Mountain biking and horseback riding are also common uses on the area trails. Although trails are not groomed in the winter, the area is popular for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
The Bowman Lake Trailhead serves as a main entry point onto the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT). A 3-mile segment of the NCT is located within this area and mountain biking is allowed on this section of trail. In addition, a small trailhead is located on NFS Road 6267, giving access to the Bowman Lake Campground Trail, which is approximately 7.5 miles of loop trail designed for nonmotorized recreation.
This trail system can also be used by mountain bikers and horseback riders. Four improved campsites are located on Bowman Lake. Segments of the State of Michigan snowmobile trail system and Michigan Cycle Conservation Club Trail (MCCCT) system are located immediately south of the area.