Wamplers Lake, Michigan, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Michigan - Southeast -

The favorite destination of many summer visitors, 750-acre Wamplers Lake has delighted countless generations seeking water-based fun. Nestled in the picturesque Irish Hills of southeast Michigan, Wamplers Lake occupies the corner intersections of Jackson, Lenawee and Washtenaw counties. Located beside the old stagecoach road from Detroit to Chicago, adventurous settlers moved into this area of the Michigan Territory by the 1830s and promptly declared Wamplers Lake a good place to settle. Teeming with fish and surrounded by the many green hills reminiscent of Ireland with small lakes lapping at their feet, Wamplers Lake quickly became the perfect summer home of area residents, many of whom were Irish immigrants. But secrets like Wamplers Lake don’t keep; soon residents from Toledo and Detroit were building summer cottages at Wamplers Lake.

An all-sports lake, Wamplers Lake is a great spot for boating, wind-surfing, tubing, water skiing, personal watercraft, sailing and pontooning. A marina rents most smaller watercraft and offers launch facilities for private boats. The sandy beach at the state park borders shallow water with a gradual slope ideal for children. A dockside pub offers food and spirits to thirsty boaters and also hosts events throughout the year, such as a cardboard boat race, and holiday events. Cedar Hill State Park was opened on the eastern shore in 1920 as one of the state’s first state parks. Later renamed Walter J Hayes State Park, the park is still a sought-after swimming, fishing and camping location. The 650-acre park offers 185 campsites with amenities, playground, hiking trails, sanitation facilities, mini-cabins, children’s programs, picnic shelter, two boat launches and a fishing pier. The park also provides access to neighboring Round Lake, a small 66-acre no-wake lake rimmed in wetlands that is a favorite for canoeing and kayaking. Both lakes offer excellent fishing for black crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass, northern pike, pumpkinseed, rock bass, smallmouth bass, walleye and yellow perch. Particularly the pike and perch draw ice fishermen in winter. Ice fishing tournaments are commonly held here, and fishing shanties appear as soon as the ice is safe for travel. The Department of Natural Resources stocks several species as scientifically determined necessary to promote optimum fishing.

Wamplers Lake is primarily spring-fed, but gains some water from neighboring Round Lake to the east. A small water-control structure on the stream to Mud Lake keeps water levels stable. As population numbers grew at surrounding lakes, a navigable channel was dug to Iron Lake to the south. Another channel, this one to Sand Lake, was dug in the 1930s to increase water levels in Sand Lake during a drought but is no longer in evidence. Wamplers Lake is surrounded with a large number of smaller lakes such as Timber Lake only few yards to the west. Most are home to private cottages and have little public access, but public boat ramps are located on Vineyard Lake, Sand Lake, Allen’s Lake, Deep Lake and One-Mile Lake. Early in its development Wamplers Lake became home to several children’s camps and church retreat camps. The Michigan Girl Scouts maintains a camp for their members on the north side of the lake, and a church-based retreat facility holds a spot near the state park.

During the Big Band era, Wamplers Lake boasted of a dancehall that drew headliners like the Les Brown Band and Louis Armstrong. The Wamplers Lake Pavilion survived long enough to feature the famed Michigan rockers Bob Segar and Ted Nugent before succumbing to the ravages of age and a change in concert venues. Locals still reminisce about the events of the period, including a raid by the local sheriff who confiscated all the beer (apparently there was a licensing problem) except for 10 or so kegs which ‘accidentally’ rolled into the lake. The Irish Hills area along US 12 featured a large number of tourist attractions well into the 1980s. Most are now gone as tourism tastes changed, but the Twin Observation Towers still stand along the road to the west of Wamplers Lake. Although they are no longer open for climbing, the towers hold a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Go-cart tracks, water slides, miniature golf, ice cream stands, BBQ stands and any number of antique and curio shops delight the casual browser. Michigan International Speedway is about five miles west of Wamplers Lake and offers, besides NASCAR races, such activities as wine tasting events, car shows and automotive testing events. Michigan State University’s Hidden Lake Gardens is less than 10 miles away. The 750-acre botanical garden features a dwarf and rare conifers collection, bonsai collection, conservatory and hosta collection set among miles of forested winding paths. The Gardens are a favorite spot for leisurely walks and photography.

Nearby St. Joseph Shrine overlooks neighboring Iron Lake to the south, The historic stone church was built by Irish immigrants in the 1840s and is both an active parish and a favored overlook above the lake below. The original outdoor Stations of The Cross, built between 1932 and 1936 on the overlook path are a wonderful example of the artistry found in rustic materials. Built in dressed stone, decorative concrete and mosaics, the Stations are in the process of being restored. Some of the Stations feature the particular artistry in decorative concrete that graced many nearby locations at one time and can still be seen on some private properties in the area. Mexican concrete artists sculpted these structures shaped into tree trunks, wood, rope and bark. The Irish Hills once displayed many such structures; most have unfortunately given way to age and deterioration. The best remaining example of this style of concrete art can be seen about 15 miles west on US 12 in the tiny town of Somerset Center. Here, a wealthy oilman imported Mexican artisans and charged them with creating a private oasis on his estate. The two ‘trees’ that stand guard at the front of the property are also constructed by the same ‘el trabeio rustico’ method and serve as chimneys for the underground rathskeller (an underground tavern) and garages. William McCourtie donated the 42-acre estate to the village during the Depression. It has since been named a county park. It’s well worth a visit with camera in hand. While in Somerset Center, check out the finds at the local antique shops, or head a mile north to one of the area’s favorite fruit farms for fresh cider, apples or peaches in season.

Although Wamplers Lake once offered many camps, today updated properties offer rental cabins and cottages with private docks and housekeeping amenities. A new condo development along the north shore boasts lake views from every room and boat slips for each unit. Both a golf course and an RV park are located within a mile of the lake. Bait shops, groceries and supplies of all types can be found nearby in the town of Brooklyn. Other nearby lakes also offer choices of lodgings, from lakefront motels with beaches to individual cabins, private cottages, and bed and breakfasts. Real estate is available in all price ranges. With all of these lodgings available, visitors shouldn’t have much trouble locating just the right property for either a short vacation or an entire season. Reservations coinciding with the NASCAR schedule should be made months in advance. Even with all of this going on, Wamplers lake will evoke a touch of nostalgia among those who spent happy summers lakefront on friendly, family lakes. So come, bring the family and allow the kids to create memories of Wamplers Lake that will stay with them for a lifetime.

Things to do at Wamplers Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Tournaments
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Wind Surfing
  • Tubing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • State Park
  • Playground
  • Miniature Golf
  • Antiquing
  • NASCAR

Fish species found at Wamplers Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye
  • Yellow Perch

Wamplers Lake Photo Gallery

Wamplers Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Jackson County Drain Commissioner

Surface Area: 750 acres

Shoreline Length: 5 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 967 feet

Average Depth: 7 feet

Maximum Depth: 35 feet

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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