Mecosta-Osceola County
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Birding Mecosta-Osceola County: Hotspots near Big Rapids & Reed City


(A) Rogers Dam Pond Access ★

Rogers Dam Pond Access provides birders with a spot to search the Muskegon River and Rogers Dam Pond for waterfowl species. During the winter months, Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers can usually be found. Unfortunately, many of the ducks stick to an area on the far side of the river that is blocked by trees, preventing birders from getting a good view. The parking lot for the dam is plowed regularly during the winter.

Directions: Click here

Common GoldeneyeCommon Goldeneye


(B) Northend Riverside Park ★★

Located on the banks of the Muskegon River, Northend Riverside Park provides birders with access to the Riverwalk, a 2.64-mile long pathway with benches, picnic areas, bike racks, and fishing platforms. One of the park’s highlights is a 250-foot wooden bridge that crosses the Muskegon River, where Belted Kingfishers and Wood Ducks are regularly seen.

Directions: Click here



(C) Haymarsh State Game Area ★★

Protecting over 3,000 acres of pristine wetlands, fields, and lakes, Haymarsh State Game Area is a true wilderness area. Bald Eagles and Common Loons nest next to the Haymarsh Lakes, which have been greatly enlarged by a dam. The birds enjoy feeding on the many kinds of fish, including Pike, Bluegill, Perch, and Bass. There is a primitive campground available, providing guests with rustic toilets.

Map: Click here
Directions: Click here

Common LoonCommon Loon


(D) Martiny Lakes State Game Area ★★

Sparkling with natural beauty, Martiny Lakes is one of Michigan’s best kept secrets. A natural zoo, Martiny Lakes provide nesting habitat for Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons, and Common Loons while the nearby forest houses beavers, otters, and black bears. The lakes are a popular destination for fishermen.

Tubbs Lake State Forest Campground is located on the shores of one of the lakes. The campground is first come, first serve, and only costs $10 per night. The GPS points lead to a parking area by Lower Evans Lake.

Map: Click here
Directions: Click here

Great Blue HeronGreat Blue Heron


(E) Kettunen Center ★★

Protecting 160 acres of forest and wetlands, Kettunen Center is a popular retreat for 4-H clubs, church groups, and other youth-centered organizations. Located next to 40-acre Center Lake, the camp’s ecologically-rich grounds make it a great spot for outdoor education workshops. Buffleheads and Hooded Mergansers are a common sight during the spring months.

Website: | Map: Click here
Directions: Click here