CLEAR LAKE - Disc golfers looking for a new challenge can check out the new nine-hole course at Clear Lake State Park.
The new course has a crushed stone path winding through it, making it universally accessible, Park Supervisor Joe Hall said. It winds through the park, north of Atlanta on M-33, and runs along Clear Lake's shore at one point. The course also has interpretive signage telling about the area, including one with information about the Kirtland's warbler, according to a release from the Department of Natural Resources.
"It has been very busy, and so far all the reviews of it have been very good," Hall said.
The course was added to the park after local disc golfers approached park management two years ago looking for a new place to play, Hall said. At the time, the two closest courses were in Alpena and Grayling. Since then, Treetops Resort in Gaylord has added one.
Clear Lake State Park received a grant from a program within the DNR called Chief's Challenge, Hall said. The program funds park improvements the DNR might not normally fund.
"Basically, it's a funding mechanism for improvement projects, different things to bring people into the parks," he said.
Aside from being the only fully accessible disc golf course in the area, the state park's new course gives people another recreation opportunity, Hall said. The park's namesake is an appropriately named lake, complete with sandy beaches. There's a campground, a boat launch, a day use area and trails through the woods.
"A lot of people don't just want to come out and sit on the beach any more," he said. "They're looking for activities, things to do in the park. The more we can offer that, the better."
The course is free to use for those with a Recreation Passport, Hall said. It will be open throughout the year, and equipment is for sale at the park office.