Ocqueoc Township

Parks & Recreation

Ocqueoc Falls

About the Falls

Ocqueoc Falls is the only universally-accessible falls system in the United States.

It is also the largest waterfall in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The park area includes approximately six miles of hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and snowshoe opportunities with three marked loops.

After hiking the trails, take a swim in the falls! At this site, you can see where the Ocqueoc River has cut a channel through the limestone bedrock that underlies the entire region. During spawning season, you can see the salmon swim through these underground channels. The remnants of an old mill operation can be seen just above the falls. A State Forest Campground is located at the falls as well and offers great fishing.

Ocqueoc Lake

About the Lake

Ocqueoc Lake is a 132-acre natural lake located in northern Presque Isle County in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula between the cities of Cheboygan and Rogers City. The Ocqueoc River enters the lake along the south shore, and exits the lake on the north shore. No official lake level control structure exists on the lake; however, a sea lamprey electrical weir exists on the river a short distance downstream of the lake, and this structure may influence higher lake levels by acting as a type of low head dam. The river outlet flows about five miles to Lake Huron, thus, potadromous fish species such as Rainbow Trout (Steelhead) or various salmon species can at times be found in Ocqueoc Lake.

Outdoor Center

About the Outdoor Center

Ocqueoc Outdoor Center, formerly known as Camp Black Lake, is a former Civilian Conservation Corps located at 7142 Ocqueoc Lake Road in Ocqueoc Township, Michigan. It is now used as a youth and adult outdoor education center. The site is significant as one of only two surviving CCC camps in Michigan, out of the 122 different original camp locations. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2021.

The state of Michigan began setting aside land for state forests in the 1920s. In 1928, the Black Lake State Forest was created in Presque Isle County. When Franklin Roosevelt started his New Deal programs, the area became an ideal place to begin some of the New Deal conservation programs. Camp Black Lake was built in 1933 as part of the Emergency Conservation Work (later renamed the Civilian Conservation Corps) program. The camp was used to house unemployed middle-aged veterans of the Spanish American War and WWI. These were replaced by younger men in 1936, but veterans returned the next year. The camp was active year-round until the CCC was disbanded in 1941.

After World War II, most of the buildings at Camp Black Lake were repurposed as a youth outdoor recreation and education center. The State of Michigan owned the CCC buildings and the surrounding state forest, but leased the site to Michigan State University Extension for 4-H camping groups, and later to the Michigan United Conservation Clubs for similar purposes. The MUCC terminated their lease in 2002, and the camp buildings were to be demolished. However, objections from residents and local government officials in Presque Isle County led the state to transfer the buildings and grounds to Presque Isle County in 2004. The county continues to own and operate the site as a youth and adult outdoor education, recreation, and event venue.