Owasippe Scout Reservation

Owasippe Scout Reservation

Owasippe Scout Reservation of Muskegon County, Michigan

Hiking Owasippe Scout ReservationCountry skiing Owasippe Scout ReservationMountain biking Owasippe Scout Reservation

Trail Distance:

25 miles long.

Trail Description:

This area is owned by the Chicago area Boy Scouts and is closed for public use during the summer months. The ski trails are not groomed.

Owasippe Scout Reservation (OSR), located in Twin Lake, Michigan is the resident camp operated by the Chicago Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. It began in 1911 as Camp White on 40 acres of land on Crystal Lake donated by the White Lake Chamber of Commerce, and bills itself at the United States' longest continuously operating Boy Scout camp.[1] At its peak of use the reservation covered 11,000 acres (45 km²) and served over 10,000 Scouts per summer, but the overall decline in Scouting nationwide has seen yearly attendance fall to approximately 3,800 campers. Previous property consolidations have left the camp at 4,800 acres (19 km²) in size, and the council is now attempting to sell the camp but with stiff resistance from the local community, Scout volunteer leaders, and staff alumni. E. Urner Goodmam Scout Museum E. Urner Goodmam Scout Museum.

Owasippe is also home to the E. Urner Goodman Scout Museum, housed in the old Blue Lake Township hall at the reservation's administration center.


Species of note within Owasippe include the Karner Blue butterfly, Bald Eagle, Eastern Box Turtle, Blandings Turtle, and Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake. In 2002, the Nature Conservancy organized a Bioblitz to catalog the species of flora and fauna on the Reservation, and later produced a report listing the various species that were found. Owasippe is known to be one of the last locations in Michigan which hosts the Oak Savanna, a rare ecosystem, and the Coastal Plain Marsh which hosts unique flower and fauna dependent on acidic soils.

In early 2006 The Nature Conservancy further noted that the "Bio-Blitz" of 2002 was not the definitive work on the species within Owasippe. It is reasonable to assume that other species, not particularly evident during the two weekends of the "Bio-Blitz" have been missed in the accounting of species.

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Permission and information sources are from Contributers to this Web Site, the Department of Natural Resources, Michigan.gov, National Park Service, and the USDA Forest Service.


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