Metcalf Lake

5475 Baseline Road, Assyria Township, Barry County

***Baseline Road access is closed at this time.

Temporary access is now available from North Avenue - Please look for the gate & sign***

Metcalf Lake is a 160-acre forested parcel with a 35-acre lake that was donated to the City of Battle Creek Parks & Recreation Department in 1998 by David & Eleanor Bailey.  The Bailey's deeded the property with the following conditions:

-That it be kept as a nature area for use by the public;

-That it not be used as a campground, however, it shall be permitted to be used in limited overnight rustic camping as part of its recreation programs;

-That all persons using the Lake use a personal flotation device (PFD);

-That the property be used for a public park and recreation area.  It is intended as a natural space for individuals to study and appreciate nature.

The City of Battle Creek Parks & Recreation Department was unable to develop the property based on the location and the amount of resources required for programming.  CCD, through a lease agreement with the City of Battle Creek Parks & Recreation Department approved by the City Commission, manages the Metcalf Lake property for public recreation. 

In an effort to create a usable, natural area for public enjoyment, CCD is creating a complete management plan for the Metcalf Lake property that includes information about:

-Management Intent

-Property Overview

-Management Goals & Objectives

-Actual Environment

-Ecosystems

-Impacts on Natural Resources

-Implementation Plan

The heavily wooded parcel has not been managed for many years and is in need of proper forest management, entrance drive & parking area, invasive species control/eradication, fisheries survey, trails, cabin & outbuilding removal, and more!  All of these items require funding.  One available avenue to acquire funding is through select timber harvests. 

 CCD, along with a professional consulting forester, conducted two select timber harvests in the Spring of 2016.  For both biological and financial reasons, the cutting of trees is essential.  When done properly, it can be very rewarding.  Using a selection technique promotes regeneration of shade tolerant trees, provides proper spacing to encourage rapid growth and reproduction, and results in a variety of species in many different size and age classes.  In other words, the forest will be structurally and compositionally diverse.