Watkins Lake State Park and County Preserve Information (Geography)
|Watkins Lake State Park |
and County Preserve
Watkins Lake from Arnold Road
|Type||Michigan State Park|
|Location||Jackson, Washtenaw counties, Michigan, USA|
|Nearest city||Manchester, Michigan|
WATKINS LAKE STATE PARK AND COUNTY PRESERVE Latitude and Longitude:
|Area||1,122 acres (454 ha)|
|Elevation||974 feet (297 m) |
|Operated by||Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission|
Watkins Lake State Park |
and County Preserve
Watkins Lake State Park and County Preserve is a combination public recreation area and nature preserve located five miles west of Manchester in Jackson and Washtenaw counties, Michigan.  The area occupies a total of 1,122 acres (454 ha), with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources owning 717 acres (290 ha) in Norvell Township, Jackson County, and Washtenaw County owning 405 acres (164 ha) in Manchester Township.  Dedicated in 2017, it is under the joint management of the Michigan DNR and the Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission.   A five-mile former rail corridor runs through the park and into grasslands in the eastern portion of the preserve. 
The park bears the name of Royal and Sally Carpenter Watkins, the first settlers to farm the area, who are known to have participated in the Underground Railroad in the years leading up to the Civil War. In 2016, the state acquired a portion of their former lands in Norvell Township using $2.9 million from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. 
- "Watkins Lake". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- "Watkins Lake State Park". Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
- "Watkins Lake State Park & County Preserve". Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
- DesOrmeau, Taylor (June 17, 2016). "Michigan gets new state park through $2.9 million land purchase". MLive. MLive Media Group. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
- Swanson, Sara (October 31, 2016). "Watkins Lake State Park & County Preserve dedicated in ribbon-cutting ceremony". The Manchester Mirror. Manchester, Michigan. Retrieved January 14, 2017.