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Pleasant Lake is a small family-friendly lake tucked away in southeast Michigan. The 269-acre all sports lake in Jackson County has more than enough water to boat, water ski and swim, and anglers can expect exceptional fishing year round. Known for its fantastic golf courses, the area around Pleasant Lake has something for the whole family.
The Pottawatomie Indians called Pleasant Lake "Nipcondish," and the lake and area around it were valuable hunting and fishing grounds. Settlers began moving into the area in 1853, and the town of Pleasant Lake was platted November 1, 1870 by William Thompson and Sheldon Ball. It was the railroad, however, that caused Pleasant Lake's most significant growth. The New York Central Railroad passed near the west end of the lake. Every day four passenger trains carried visitors to and from the lake, building the lake's reputation as a recreation destination.
Today Pleasant Lake is a quiet town with a restaurant, shops and amenities convenient to the lake. Cottages dot the shoreline, and there are vacation rentals available as well as real estate for sale. A county park sits on the shore with a picnic area, campground and beach for swimming. A paved public boat ramp is also available for launching boats, and Pleasant Lake has a small island perfect to explore by canoe or kayak.
Pleasant Lake is full of fish; anglers can challenge themselves against the bluegill, crappie, northern pike, and largemouth bass. The lake freezes solid enough in the winter for ice fishing, providing year round recreation opportunities. Jackson County owns the current dam built in 1962, and water levels are managed by the Jackson County Drain Commission.
The first golf course in the area was built in 1898, and Jackson County and the city of Jackson have been recognized by the National Golf Association. The county is also a great place to goose and turkey hunt, and there are over 20,000 acres of public recreation land in the county. In addition to numerous other county parks, the Falling Waters Trail is a 10.5-mile long linear park along the old Michigan Central Railroad Bed. The park is used for hiking, biking, jogging, skating, and in the winter for cross country skiing.
Pleasant Lake is only a few miles north of the Waterloo Recreation Area. The area includes 20,500 acres with over 15 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. There are also trails for cross country skiing and snowmobiling. The Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Center has exhibits, a geology room and places for bird watching. It is a great place to spend the day while visiting Pleasant Lake, or visitors can camp in the recreation area campground if they want to extend their stay.
For hundreds of years, visitors have been coming to Pleasant Lake to catch fish and play in the water. The lake still retains its small town charm making it a great destination for families. Add the nationally recognized golf courses, and Pleasant Lake becomes a southeast Michigan destination with something to please everyone.
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