Sylvania Wilderness.

As part of the same trip to the apostles I want to camp a few nights in sylvania.Does anyone know where their are nice groves of large trees and really nice islands to swim out oo or good snorkeling areas?

thansk for any help:-)


Hardwood forest

– Last Updated: Jul-30-06 7:32 PM EST –

The area is hardwood maple/basswood forest with mixed in white pine and hemlock. I can't imagine that there wouldn't be camping amongst the trees at every campsite. You need to contact the folks at the Ottawa National Forest for information on Sylvania. I'm pretty sure you need reservations and I believe this is an area where you are assigned to a campsite.

My favorite
My favorite spot in Sylvania, is the Eagle campsite on Loon lake. There are a couple of small islands that are posted “No landing” to protect Loon nesting, but I think your ok this late in the year. It’s also a great spot to day-trip from with portages to three different lakes nearby.

You do need to register, but I’ve never had a problem getting the sites I wanted.

Wish I was there!

The area has a lot of old growth forest and virtualy all of the wilderness campsites are in forest. Excellent swimming, lots of sandy beaches and the water is tremendously clear in the main lakes. Fishing is difficult because of the clear water, and the area has special regs. no live bait, no scented bait, barbless hooks, catch and release only for bass, other game fish have large size limits, etc. In spite of this Sylvania is well known for it’s smallmouth bass fishing, both size and amounts if you know what you are doing and or hit the right time.

Makes for a fantastic Oct. trip!


Loon and fishing
thanks for the tip.if i cant get birch site i was heading for loon.I"ll keep eagle in mind.

also thanks for the fishing tip.i may leave the fishing alone if its that regulated.i wanted to eat em not throw em back in.I"ll just snorkel instead.

thanks for all the good info.


power boats in Sylvania
I visited sylvania about five years ago, very scenic place but beware … there are a couple of lakes where power boats are permitted for owners of lake side property. don’t know if thye are still permitted but might be worth checking into so you are not disappointed(as I was) about getting away from powerboats.

power boats
from what I"ve read all thats allowed in clatke and crooked lakes are electric motors upto 4 horse.faster then a canoe but definitely now a blast you out of the water type.boat.its the noise and wakes that bother me.4 horse won"t phase me.hopefully what i read is right.

thanks for the tip.


mabe rules have changed?
maybe the court case that was pending at the time I was there has reached a compromise. When I was there horsepower had no limits ONLY for the property owners on clark lake, but they could take their high powered pontoon boats alot of places.

The jist is this, at that time there were a group of property owners who petitioned and sued the federal gov. to allow them unrestricted use of their boats within the recreation area, they apparently won but maybe the ruling has been overturned? I would try to find out just to be sure… hope your trip is excellent.


We’ve been to Sylvania numerous times over a span of almost 15 years. We’ve noticed some changes.

The boat landing at Clark Lake now ends with about a 3’ vertical drop. It is no longer a launching spot for trailered boats.

Motorboats are allowed on Crooked Lake, but for the cottage owners only, at slow no wake speed, and restricted to the bay by the landing. These rules seem to be ignored, though.

There are private cottages on the lake which extends into WI - Big Bateau, is it? These owners also can have their motorboats.

In probably about 15 extended trips up there at various times spring, summer, and fall, motorboats have never been a problem. We’d prefer to never see any, but they are far and few between. They have all been respectful to paddlers, too.

Sylvania remains one of my favorite places to go.

cYa, Jim

My two cents
I was there about 3 years ago. Many of the sites can be reserved well in advance (May 15th), but they do leave 1/4 of them strictly first come/first serve, as well as the sites that were not reserved by the May 15th deadline. We waited till we got there and had a few sites to choose from, not a lot, but enough. We were there at a very busy time though.

Crooked Lake does allow motors, but those boats didn’t seem to be going very fast, not sure the regs. We did experience some very good fishing on Crooked for bass and northern.

Here are a couple sites with info. and phone numbers:

It’s a great area and I’ll definitely be going back.

Fishing Sylvania
I have been in Sylvania a dozen times. I don’t fish, but on our last trip, early June with water temperatures warmer than usual we canoed in on crooked lake. Any step bank into the lake yeilded a pan fish. The person I was with was 67 and he caught several large bluegills and sunfish. The most fish he ever caught in his lifetime. This was the best fishing our group ever had here. Loon and Clark are nice clear lakes. I love to swim in both. Boats on Crooked are limited to private cottages and resorts, the boat traffic is much less. The boaters have always been courteous to me.

thanks for all this great info rolling in.I have three weeks to go and I"m there.last year we attempted to go at this time and the gas prices went nuts.their still nuts but stable nuts.last year they jumped 30 cents in one day.and it was only 3.30 here it was i believ close to 5 in michigan.i was afraid I’d come out of the wilderness and not be able to afford to get home.


My group like to camp and fish on Whitefish Lake. A little portaging to get there but there are only three campsites on the entire lake and your secluded. Good fishing as well with great snorkeling and swimming areas. I’m going to try to make it this fall for a weekend.