Ionia State Recreation Area
The Ionia State Recreation Area is located just a few miles southwest of the city of Ionia, Michigan, it is north off I 96, exit 64.
There are several different trail options there, a hiking trail around Sessions Lake is about 3 1/2 miles long and the one I do most often. If you click on the link, you will see from the map that there is also a system of cross-country ski and mountain bike trails as well as an equestrian trail system if you don’t mind sharing with a few riders. The trails are well-marked and most are fairly easy, maybe overly easy for many people. When you get to the far west end of the cross-country/equestrian trails closer to the Grand River the terrain is rougher, but still fairly easy. I guess I could sum this area up as pleasant, it is a nice place to go once in a while for a nice walk in the woods. There is a lot of wildlife in the area, and with both Sessions Lake and the Grand River, waterfowl are abundant as well.
Another nice feature is Sessions Lake, it is a man-made lake, nothing spectacular, but it does give you the option of combining some walking with some kayaking if you like. That’s one of my favorite things to do if I can. I will spend the day in a place like this, paddle around the lake first, then walk it, or vice versa, depending on the time of day and the weather. There is also a launch site on the Grand River if you wanted to kayak the Grand.
The area does get a lot of use, from what I can see, Sessions Lake is a popular fishing lake, especially with ice fishermen. The trails are well used, but they are in good shape, but it isn’t like a wilderness experience. There is camping there as well, although I have never camped there. Since it is so close to where I live, I go there as a day trip. I wouldn’t consider it a “destination” type park since I am so close, but if you’re from out-of-state, it very well could be for you. I like it as a change of pace, as I said, it is a pleasant area that I enjoy walking and kayaking a couple of times a year.