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Ionia Recreation Area in Michigan

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

Nearest City: Ionia, MI

Difficulty: Easy

Type: Day Trip

Date: Published: 9/22/00


Sessions Lake, at the heart of the Ionia Recreation Area, is an excellent place to get away from the crowds that often plague other state parks and recreation areas. Even on the busiest days of summer this park is surprisingly empty and is an enjoyable retreat half way between Lansing and Grand Rapids. Perhaps the lack of people is due to the fact that Sessions Lake is a no-wake lake, which is all the better for paddlers. Sessions Lake is a 140-acre man made lake comprised of many small bays that make for great exploring. Wildlife abounds along the shore of the lake and you are almost certain to see a great blue heron stalking fish in the shallow waters. You may also see green herons, raccoons, whitetail deer, and numerous species of waterfowl. Largemouth bass and walleye are both found in the lake although the best fishing is for crappie and carp. Should you tire of paddling there is an excellent trail system that winds around the lake.

How to get there:

From I-96 take exit number 64 and go North 3 miles to the entrance of the park.


Camping is available with 150 sites. Modern toilets are available from May 1 to October 15 only, but pit toilets are available the rest of the year.

Trip Details

  • Trip Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water

Trip Location