Lake Hudson State Recreation Area

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Lake Hudson State Recreation Area
Lake Hudson State Recreation Area (Bear Creek Dam).jpg
View of Lake Hudson from the dam
Map showing the location of Lake Hudson State Recreation Area
Map showing the location of Lake Hudson State Recreation Area
Location within the state of Michigan
LocationHudson and Medina townships
Lenawee County, Michigan
Nearest cityHudson, Michigan
Coordinates41°50′10″N 84°14′30″W / 41.83611°N 84.24167°W / 41.83611; -84.24167Coordinates: 41°50′10″N 84°14′30″W / 41.83611°N 84.24167°W / 41.83611; -84.24167
Area2,796 acres (11.32 sq km)
Governing bodyMichigan Department of Natural Resources
Official website

Lake Hudson State Recreation Area is a public recreation area located mostly within Hudson Township in southwestern Lenawee County in the U.S. state of Michigan. A very small portion of the recreation area extends south into neighboring Medina Township.

The park was established in 1979, and it encompasses 2,796 acres (4.37 sq mi; 11.32 sq km) surrounding the Lake Hudson reservoir. Lake Hudson is recognized as the first dark-sky preserve in the United States, when it was designated as such in 1993. It is governed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and is operated and maintained by the nearby Hayes State Park in the northern portion of the county.[2]

Lake Hudson[edit]

The main geographic feature of the recreation area is Lake Hudson (sometimes referred to as Hudson Lake). It encompasses 502 acres (2.03 sq km) and has a maximum depth of 24 feet (7.3 m).[3] The lake was originally three separate smaller lakes called Bear Lake, Covell Lake, and Haley Lake—all connected by the small Bear Creek.[4] The creation of a small earthen dam at the southern end of Bear Lake eventually flooded the area and connected the three lakes, which are combined today as Lake Hudson.

Lake Hudson contains a single public access boat ramp.[5] Despite the lake's larger size, the entire lake is designated as a "no-wake" lake. While motorized vessels are permitted, it is unlawful to move at speeds creating a wake.[5] The lake is a well known fishing destination, as it is frequently stocked by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources with walleye and muskellunge.[6] The largest muskellunge caught in Lake Hudson is recorded in the state's Master Angler Entries at 47 inches (119 cm) long. Several similarly sized muskellunges are also listed.[7] In addition to walleye and muskellunge, other fish species in the lake include black crappie, bluegill, channel catfish, largemouth bass, pumpkinseed, and yellow perch.[5]


Lake Hudson Recreation Area campground

The Lake Hudson State Recreation Area includes a semi-modern campground consisting of 50 campsites. The campground features electrical hookups but no sewer connections or shower facilities, and a hand pump is the only source of water. There are vault toilets in the campground, boating access site, and the day-use beach area.

The forest area surrounding Lake Hudson is commonly used for seasonal game hunting, including waterfowl, turkey, and deer hunting. The forest contains numerous trails, but motorized vehicles are not permitted off the main roads. In addition to camping, fishing, and hunting, other activities within the recreation area include picnicking, metal detecting, swimming, bird watching, hiking, photography, and geocaching.[2]

In 1993, Lake Hudson was designated as the first dark-sky preserve in the United States.[2] It is currently one of seven such preserves in the state of Michigan, along with Negwegon State Park, Port Crescent State Park, Rockport State Recreation Area, Thompson's Harbor State Park, Wilderness State Park, and the internationally recognized Headlands Dark Sky Park.[8] As required by the designation, the park must utilize measures to reduce light pollution, such as dimming headlights and outdoor lighting.

Sizable communities near Lake Hudson include the village of Clayton about 2.5 miles (4.0 km) north, the city of Hudson eight miles (12.9 km) northwest, and the city of Morenci nine miles (14.5 km) south. Nearby state parks within 30 miles (48 km) include Hayes State Park, Cambridge Junction Historic State Park, and Watkins Lake State Park and County Preserve, as well as Harrison Lake State Park south in Ohio.


  1. ^ State of Michigan (2019). "When were Michigan state parks and recreation areas established?" (PDF). Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Michigan Department of Natural Resources (2019). "Lake Hudson Recreation Area". Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  3. ^ Lake-Link, Inc. (2019). "Hudson Lake". Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  4. ^ Historic Map Works (2019). "Hudson Township, Posey, Bear Lake, Covell Lake, Clayton (1928)". Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Michigan Department of Natural Resources (2019). "Boating Access Site Detail: Lake Hudson". Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  6. ^ Michigan Department of Natural Resources (2019). "Fish Stocking Database". Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  7. ^ Michigan Department of Natural Resources (2019). "Master Angler Entries (Lenawee County)". Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  8. ^ State of Michigan (2019). "Dark Sky Preserves". Retrieved June 20, 2019.