Home > Activities > Visiting >
Rules and regulations
A federal “Wilderness” designation requires an act of Congress. The Act not only implies that the area has retained “its primeval character and influence,” but also calls for its protection and careful management “to secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness.”
Special rules therefore apply within the Sylvania Wilderness and must be observed by all visitors. The following are a few examples:
A maximum of 6 people per campsite is allowed for any purpose or activity to minimize the impact on the resources near the campsites. All washing and bathing with soap must be done on land, 150 ft or more from shore, to preserve the water quality of the lakes. All food items must be repacked in reusable containers to prevent littering.
Also remember not to bring firewood from home. You can purchase wood in Watersmeet; it may also be available at the Clark Lake campground.
Motorize or mechanized equipment, including motor boats, strollers, and bicycles, are not allowed. Small electric motors are, however, permitted on Crooked, Devil’s Head, and Big Bateau Lakes. (A property owner and the guests of the property owner are allowed to use gas motor boats on Crooked Lake.)
For a complete set of rules and regulations, go to the Ottawa National Forest's "Sylvania Wilderness and Recreation Area" web page (see link below).
- At the Sylvania Entrance Station (906.358-4404)
- At the Watersmeet Ranger District Office (906.358-455)
- ONF: Sylvania Wilderness and Recreation Area
- Center for Outdoor Ethics: Leave no trace
The seven principles of "leave no trace":
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces
- Dispose of waste properly
- Leave what you find
- Minimize campfire impacts
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate of other visitors
Photo by Ottawa National Forest