Sleepy Hollow State Park, located in Clinton County, contains over 2,600 acres and is situated on Price Road off from US-27 near St. Johns, Ovid and Laingsburg. A river winds it's way through the woods and fields of the park and Lake Ovid is nestled in the middle of it all. Lake Ovid is a 410-acre lake (Lake Lansing is a 450 acre lake for comparison), which was developed from the Little Maple River. Lake Ovid is a no wake lake and may be the best inland lake kayaking destination in the Lansing area. There are two or three islands in the lake, which create some interesting airflow on windy days and add some additional enjoyment to the kayaking experience.
It is not uncommon to share the lake with many fishermen. Since they are normally fishing from a stationary point, however, they are not a problem. And, because it is a no wake lake you won't find anyone going much faster than trolling speed. There are usually a few other canoes and kayaks on the lake, and even a sailboat will stop out now and then. On occasion the parking lot is quite crowded, but the lake is always peaceful. Lake Ovid may not be the best place to practice rolling or wet exits as there is a fair amount of underwater plant life. However, this does not interfere with paddling and if you really want to practice some in the water exercises, you can go to the swimming area for a fairly weed free experience.
Lake Ovid is home to a large population of birds and other wildlife, including Sandhill Cranes, Blue Heron, geese, ducks, muskrats, turtles, and deer. Unlike other lakes where all the wildlife has been run off by powerboats, you can expect to see most of these creatures on every visit to the lake.
There are modern campsites nearby in the park and places to grill if you want to spend a little more time enjoying the park. Be prepared to buy a state park day pass or annual sticker if you don't have one.
Directions: You can get to Sleepy Hollow state park following many different routes, but one easy way is to take 127/27 North to Price Road. Take price road east and you will run right into Sleepy Hollow State Park. For MapQuest directions, use this address: 7835 Price Road, Laingsburg. It is about a twenty-minute drive from downtown East Lansing. The easiest place to launch is right from the boat ramp. I usually drive my car right down to the ramp and unload on the grass. If the ramp is busy, I carry the kayaks about twenty yards South of the ramp to a grassy area.
- Trip Duration: Day Trip
- Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water