Sara Swanson

Watkins Lake, a waterfowl refuge in addition to a park

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Arnold Road and the roadsides are still open for waterfowl viewing.

Watkins Lake State Park and County Preserve–located partially in Manchester Township and partially in Jackson County–offers hiking, bird watching, upland hunting and mountain biking and is now a designated waterfowl refuge. The lake has historically been and continues to be a stop over for migrating waterfowl, but in the past, human disturbance cut down on the lake’s use by birds. In late 2016 the state decided to restrict access to to the lake during the migration periods. The refuge area (marked in red on map) is now closed as of Sept. 1 and will stay closed through Jan. 1. It will close again for a period in the spring. The park property along Arnold Road and Watkins Lake remains open during this time period for waterfowl viewing.

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