About the Sleepy Hollow State Park and its History
This public recreation area covers 2,678 acres in Ovid and Victor’s civil townships in Clinton County, Michigan. Within this beautiful recreational location is a reservoir known as Lake Ovid. It is a 410-acre human-made lake that is generally shallow and never exceeds 23 feet of depth. They created the park through a series of land acquisitions, and in the 1970’s they made a dam on the Little Maple River.
The park name’s inspiration came from Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” book. The previous owner’s name was Crane, also the book’s main character. One of the community’s most popular events is the Ichabod Crane Days, which features a headless horse rider and attracts thousands of guests every October.
Michigan State opened the Sleepy Hollow State Park in 1976. They introduced their 18-Hole Legend Disc Golf course in 2009. Today, it has 181 modern campsites available between its north and south campgrounds, 16 miles of tracks for hiking and biking, and 9 miles for horseback riding. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources currently administers the recreational grounds.
7835 E. Price Road, Laingsburg, Michigan 48848
- Office: 517-651-6217
- Reservations: 800-447-2757
- Registration Office (Memorial Day-Labor Day): 9 am to 10 pm
- Regular Hours: Mon-Fri: 8 am to 8 pm, Sat-Sun: 9 am to 5 pm
- Check-in: 3 pm, Check-out: 1pm
- Quiet Hours: 10 pm to 8 am
©By Crordiway – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=93748948
There are more than 228 bird species recorded in Sleepy Hollow State Park. From Blue Jay to the Eastern Bluebird, some have sightings of the rarely recorded species of Bonaparte’s Gull or Bald Eagle. Waterfowl, shorebirds, and passerines can also be seen, especially during migration. Wetlands and forest meadows enable essential habitats for wildlife populations in the location that is mostly farm fields. It also allows opportunities for hunting during seasons.
Various types of fish are found in Lake Ovid, such as Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Bluegill, Crappie, Sunfish, Rock Bass, Perch, Channel Catfish, Muskellunge (Muskie), and Bullheads. This abundance makes it a viral site for fish enthusiasts. Muskellunge and Catfish are currently increasing due to the Michigan local agency’s successful monitoring. As expected, these species will bring balance to the lake’s ecosystem.
Under the Koppen Climate Classification, Clinton County, Michigan, classifies as a warm-summer humid continental climate (DfB). The camp ranger hosts the park’s weekly nature program during spring. Notably, since snowshoeing and cross country skiing tracks are some of the activities enjoyed by the guests, you’ll see more frequent guests during the winter season.
Activities, Features, and other Amenities
They offer a wide range of recreational spots for various year-round outdoor activities. These include the following:
The area features 181 modern campsites, and guests can make camp reservations over a call or online. They also offer accommodations like modern and rustic cabins, rustic walk-in camp locations, group and organization campgrounds. The camp locations vary in area size and level of privacy.
There are great-suited locations for group-sized campers, while other camp spots are secluded behind the greeneries for a more solitary feel. Up to four camp spots can share on a single electric pole and are usually located far from the paved pad. We recommend you bring an extension cord and use a surge protector for your RV, especially if you’re going to share the pole with other campers.
Boating, Canoeing, and Kayaking
The Muskrat Lake and Looking Glass River are the two boating access locations in Clinton County. Please note that they enforce a “No Wake” policy for Lake Ovid. Rowboats, paddleboats, kayaks, and pontoon boats are available for rent. You can rent watercraft and stand-up paddleboards for $25 per day.
They usually host events, making this activity enjoyable and informative as well. Please be reminded that any person over 17 must have a fishing license. We advise that you always follow their guidelines regarding this activity. You can check their website regarding other events held by the community.
Picnicking and Swimming
A beach located northwest of the campground has an accessible table, beach house, and communication services. Three locations offer this activity, and each has vault toilets, grills, hand water pumps, tables, and a shelter. Moreover, the east area of the camp offers a picnic shelter equipped with a fireplace. There is an area where a bridge connects to the largest island on the lake.
The shelters are free of charge but are on a first-come-first-serve basis. If you want to make a reservation, you need to pay a per-day fee. Spots are open every day during the season from 8 am to 10 pm. Firewoods are available for purchase.
Bicycling, Cross-Country Skiing, Trail paths, Horse Riding
Various tracks are dedicated to biking, mountain biking, hiking, horse riding, and cross-country skiing. 9.5 mi for horse track, harness, and dog sledding. Hiking track, mountain biking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing has a 16 mi dedicated track.
While cross-country skiing is open for all tracks, snowmobiling is only allowed in the west end of the park and must have a minimum of 4 inches of snow on the ground. Please note that you must have a current registration for snowmobiles. Please be reminded that snowmobiles are restricted on cross-country ski pathways.
Other Features and Amenities
- ADA Accessible (limited spots)
- Electric Hookups
- Picnic table
- Trash disposal
- Drinking water
- Communication Service
- Pet-friendly rustic cabins
For RVs and Motorcoach
- Sanitary Dump
- 20/30-amp Hookups
- Limited spots with 50-amp Hookups
- Water Hookups
- Limited Pull thru spots
- 40 ft Max Length
Special Rules and Regulations
- Fires Allowed – Firewoods are available for purchase on the premises or from nearby vendors who sell USDA-certified firewood. If it is not available, buy them as close as possible to where you will burn them. Please remember, do not transport it or take it home with you. This deed eliminates the possibility of harming and killing trees in the area due to the invasive insects and diseases hitching in the firewood.
- Alcohol Allowed – The management does not allow any possession of alcoholic beverages by minors.
- Fifteen (15) consecutive nights is the maximum stay duration.
- If you are a guest but not staying in a camp, there is a $10 fee for dump station services.
- Use generators only during emergencies.
- Although there is a change in the law regarding the public use of marijuana, it is still not legal or allowed on recreational premises.
- Pets and Animals Allowed – Please ensure that your pets are kept on a 6-foot leash. They must never be left unattended. Your animals are your responsibility; please clean up after your pets.
*You can download their map at their website for better navigation of the location. You can also contact the main office for inquiries and other information.
Michigan State has its recreation passport available to residents and non-residents. Passport holders can use it to explore state parks, historic spots, boat launches, pathways, and many more. These fees will help support the local community’s resources and preserve them for the next generation.
- $12 when purchased with a license plate registration renewal (resident vehicle passport via Secretary of State)
- $17 when purchased at Sleepy Hollow State Park (valid until next vehicle registration)
- $6 when purchased with a license plate registration renewal (resident motorcycle passport via Secretary of State)
- $11 when purchased at Sleepy Hollow State Park (valid until next vehicle registration)
- $34 Non-resident annual pass
- $9 Non-resident daily pass
- $25 per night – Campsites
- $17 per night – Walk-in only (Rustic Camp spots)
- $101 per night – Deluxe Cabin
- $68 per night – Rustic Cabin
There is an extra $10 per night/pet for cabin use. You can only avail of this service for up to two pets (cats and dogs only).
Requiring of Recreation Passport does not apply for the following cases:
- Entry access on foot or bicycle into recreation grounds, walking and hiking tracks, historic locations, boat launches, and other state-managed destinations.
- School and public transit authority buses
- Locally registered vehicles with a valid resident ex-prisoner of war plate
- Locally registered vehicles with a valid resident disabled veteran plate
- Locally registered vehicles with a valid resident medal of honor plate
- Locally registered vehicles with a valid resident Congressional Medal of Honor plate
- Motor vehicles that are carrying snowmobiles are required to display the Recreation Passport.
*Note that the pricing is subject to change at any time. You may contact the office for updates and other inquiries.
You can make reservations for camp locations and harbor slips for up to six months before your planned arrival date. Similarly, you can make a reservation twelve months from the arrival date for day-use shelters and overnight lodgings. You may contact them through their website, Facebook page, or call.
Reservation Website: www.midnrreservations.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SleepyHollowSP
Mon-Fri: 8 am to 8 pm
Sat-Sun: 9 am to 5 pm
Nearby Attractions and Other Accessible Establishments
Andy T’s Farm Market
They are known for Gourmet Sweet Corn and Pumpkins. They have 70 acres of farm fields where they directly harvest fruits and veggies.
- Location: 3131 US-127 BUS, St Johns, MI 48879
- Open daily: 9 am to 7 pm
Blue Moon Ice Cream Shop
Their shop features 20 flavors of premium hand-dipped ice cream with added yogurt and no sugar. They also offer shakes, flurries, hot dogs, bbq sandwiches, and more.
- Location: 9032 S Kasson St, Cedar, MI 49621
- Open daily: Mon-Sat: 11 am to 8 pm sun: 12 noon to 8 pm
Central Pharmacy Laingsburg
This locally owned pharmacy offers over the counter and medication services. They also offer health service plans and packages.
- Contact: 517-651-1777
- Mon-Fri: 9am to 6 pm
- Sat: 9 am to 2 pm
- Sun: Closed
City of Laingsburg
You can also visit the city grounds. There are libraries, walking pathways, historical areas, and other attractions for traveling guests and non-residents.
You can drop by at this shop for propane, plumbing, electrical connection cords, adapters, and other services for your RVs.
- Location: 271 E Grand River Rd, Laingsburg, MI 48848
- Contact: 517-651-5477
- Open daily: Mon-Fri, 8 am to 7 pm Sat: 9 am to 5 pm Sun: 10 am to 2 pm
Mancino’s Italian Pizza & Grinders
In the late 1930s, Samuel Mancino established the Mancino’s Pizza and Grinder shops in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. With 80 locations, their original concept is still prevalent. You can drop by at their shop to avail of pizza and grinder deals and packages for you and your family to share.
- Location: 1063Old US 27, St Johns, MI 48879
- Contact: 989-224-1414
- Open daily: Mon-Thurs, 11 am to 9 pm, Fri-Sat, 11 am to 10 pm, Sun, Closed
Village of Ovid and its First Congregational Church
In 1971, it became a Michigan Historic Site and got listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. This religious building is a frame Gothic Revival structure. However, in 1979, the church became a private residence. You can stop by and see the church and read its marker. There are at least eight other markers within 14 miles from the park’s historical marker.
General and RV Camper Essentials
Of course, your adventure will not be complete without bringing the necessities. Below, we listed some of the essentials you might want to consider when you are on a campout.
- Comfortable sleeping bag, mattress, or sofa bed
- Pillows and extra blankets
- Screen tent ( if you are staying on a tent site, we also recommend that you put an extra cover below your tent to avoid water leaks during the rainy season)
- Medical and first-aid kits
- Bug sting ointment and aloe lotion
- Backpack or Rucksack
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Lantern, awning lights, solar-powered lights (for outdoor lighting)
- Extension cords
- A surge protector (we recommend you to have a reliable battery autoformer for your RV)
- Solar charger
- Water filter
- GPS and cell signal booster
- Compass and camp map
- Camp chairs and extra folding table (if needed)
- Multi-tool, pliers, and wrenches
- Duct tape, cable ties, or rope
- Heater (very convenient if you are sensitive to cold, especially during winter)
- Toiletries such as towels, soap, shampoos, toilet paper, etc
- Cleaning items like trash bags, dish soap, disinfectant wipes, multipurpose cleaners, and rubber gloves
- Cooking essentials such as cookware, skewers, utensils, cups, plates, bowls, food containers, cooking oil, and other ingredients for cooking
- Portable stove and portable grills (if you need extra cooking equipment)
- Coolers and refrigerator
- Coffee maker and pot
- Mat patio or patio rugs
- Bicycle or mountain bike (if you are bringing your bicycle, you need to install a bike rack on your RV for convenience)
Camper Ratings and Reviews
To better give you a feel of the Sleepy Hollow State Park, we included some of what the guests have to say about the site. We gathered some of the notable reviews from Facebook and Google reviews sources.
|“The rustic cabin was a really wonderful place for my family and I to get away for the weekend. Secluded, quiet and beautiful. Lots of trails to explore, a beach for the doggo and a play structure for my kiddo. We all had a blast and we will definitely be visiting again!” – Stephanie|
©by Arlene Sterling, https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=10219390966306632&set=
“Absolutely beautiful and wonderful trails,excellent parking for horse trailers” – Arlene
©by Judy Franklin, https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10216819730978295&set=
“We recently stayed in the cabin here. What a wonderful time we had!
The cabin is simple, clean, and with all the fun close by, but we felt we were secluded.
The bathhouse was clean, trails groomed, kayaking was a blast. The only thing that I would suggest is a dock or launch closer to the cabin.
We’ll definitely be back!!
Thank you!” – Judy
“Good beginner trails, close to home nice to get out and ride locally daily.” – Justin
|“Great place for hiking! We brought our dog and enjoyed about a 4 mile hike. We were there earlier in the morning so there weren’t a lot of other folks around which was nice” – Kimmy, rated (5) stars.|
|“Very fun park to camp at. Very family-friendly. The beach was beautiful and the disc golf course was very fun and well set-up.” – Lauren, rated (5) stars.|
Please write a review about the place to help other interested campers. Writing a review and giving your feedback about the site will help campers and the management as well.
Sleepy Hollow State Park Pandemic Reminder
Please note that some information above may not be accurate or up-to-date due to local guidelines regarding the pandemic. Before traveling, make sure to review and check each establishment or location you’re staying at regarding their guidelines and updates of amenities and services. Here, we listed some of the important reminders:
- Outdoors, on tracks, or at camp spots – You must stay at least 6 feet from other people who aren’t from your household. We advise you to wear a mask if you’re going to be near others.
- The Oct. 29 MDHHS Gatherings and Face Mask Order will require everybody to wear a face-covering mask when two or more persons are present in indoor public spaces. It includes restrooms/shower buildings, contact stations, and visitor centers. Violators that are caught will have to pay a penalty of up to $1,000.
- If possible, it would be better to pay using a debit or credit card to decrease the exchange of cash and face-to-face contact.
- The park encourages you to bring your gloves and disinfectants to safeguard yourself during your stay. We recommend you bring a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
- Please note that hard surfaces such as playground equipment, handrails, and tables will not be sanitized between each use. You may use your sanitation wipes instead. Rest assured that overnight lodging facilities, restrooms/shower buildings will be cleaned and sanitized according to the CDC guidelines.
- Camper check-in procedures may vary depending on location.