Kent Lake is a recreational lake in southwestern Oakland County. It is part of a 100,000 acres watershed that extends from the headwaters of the Huron River downstream to Kent Lake. Kent Lake makes up part of the 4,486 sprawling acres of Kensington Metropark, containing wetlands providing quality water and artistic value. At 1,200-acres, Kent Lake is inside the park and does not offer lakeside living but is a treasured recreation center for nearby residents and visitors alike.
Kent Lake is the place to be on a sunny day where you can rent paddleboats, canoes, kayaks, or rowboats. Once on the lake, you’ll want to visit and enjoy Labadie Island, fish for crappie, bass, walleye, and trout or just paddle the day away to be surrounded by beautiful nature.
Kent Lake is mostly located in Oakland County, Michigan, a short distance from the Milford and Lyon Townships. A small portion of the lake, including its dam, is located in Green Oak Township, Livingston County. The weather is the idyllic four-season model with a mild summer climate with temperatures hovering between the 70s and 80s. Winter temperatures tend to stay close to freezing. This makes for year-round recreational activities.
The dam is at the downstream end of the lake. The deepest point in the lake is 36 feet at the southwest end. About 85% of the lake averages 10 feet or slightly less with many pockets of vegetation. There are approximately 15 miles of shoreline varying from sandy beach to eroding low bank and includes several shallow bays.
You won’t have traffic from speedboats full of people and pulling tubes (max. speed 10 mph). You will find nice Large Mouth Bass, Pike, and plenty of panfish (gills/crappies). Anglers can also expect to catch Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, and Yellow Perch.
Fishermen will find two boat launches within the park along with several fishing piers at the southwestern end of the lake. There is also an abundance of shoreline fishing with parking available around the lake. Kent Lake is also popular for ice fishing during the winter.
Kent Lake is the focal point of the Kensington Metropark. This is one of the most popular parks in Michigan with 4,486 expansive acres. Kent Lake and the surrounding area is home to a richness of wildlife and waterfowl within the wooded and hilly landscape.
Recreational activities abound year-round. Besides a day at the beach, favorite summer activities include boating and trail bicycling. In the winter, you’ll enjoy cross-country skiing and tobogganing. Sunrises and sunsets over the lake are year-round pleasures.
Other activities include:
- Swimming at Martindale and Maple beaches.
- Wildlife viewing.
- Group camping.
- Baseball fields.
- Touring the lake aboard the Island Queen II in the summer and fall.
- Fun for kids and the young at heart at the Splash ‘n’ Blast.
- 18-hole regulation golf course.
- 27-hole disc course.
- Nature center.
- Farm center.
- Beautiful lakeside picnics.
- Special Events:
- Horse Camp Jr
- Kensington Marathon
- Junior Golf Championship
- Farmer for a Day
- Mad Scientist Camp
- Fun on the Farm
- Outdoor Adventure Club
- Farmer Jr.
- Daring Day for Girls
- And much more on a daily and weekly basis.
- Educational opportunities are provided about the rich natural and cultural history of southeast Michigan.
- An ever-changing schedule of outdoor activities.
With 2-1/2 million visitors every year, Kensington Metropark is a favorite place to enjoy Michigan’s natural treasures.
Photo by: Colin Andersen Photo.
Milford offers quick and easy access not only to Kent Lake and Kensington Metropark but also to other water and wilderness activities on and around the Huron River, Proud Lake, and Island Lake. The township has a small town feel with a population of about 6,400. The average 2017 income was $91,713 with a median income of $71,579. There are approximately 2,833 homes of which 1,922 are owner occupied. The average home value is $227,185 and the median value is $199,434.
More specifically, detached homes in the area have a mean price of $286,457. Attached homes such as townhouses go for about $182,905. Multiplexes range from 2-unit structures at around $217,447, 3-to-4-units: $133,627, and 5-or-more-unit structures at $168,541.
The downtown hub is known for its fabulous family-owned shops and independent restaurants. Originally established around 1900, Milford has preserved a charming traditional downtown in the Old World style that is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Milford is a family orientated town known for its excellent school system, modern YMCA, hometown parades, dance and music schools, and six town parks. The parks are hubs for children and teenagers who are attracted to the playscape, basketball courts, tennis court, volleyball court, and ice rink. Hubbell Pond Park includes a trail system that runs all the way to Kensington Park. This great township also features easily accessed to both I-96 and M-59.
South Lyon Township
Also near Kent Lake and Kensington Metropark is South Lyon Township with a population of about 12,200. The average 2017 income was $85,055 with a median income of $61,559. There are approximately 5,275 homes of which 3,820 are owner occupied. The average home value is $187,772 and the median value is $178,974.
The excellent school system is made up of seven elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. All of the schools are accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges. The South Lyon Community Schools were rated first in the Tri-county area using the Standard & Poors cost performance index. Improvements in MEAP scores are among the best in the state.
This city offers small town living near the crossroads of Interstate 96 and US 23, in the southwest corner of Oakland County. The state capital of Lancing is less than an hour drive and Detroit is only 45 minutes away.
Green Oak Township
Near to South Lyon and also among these great recreational areas is Green Oak with a population of over 19,000. Established in 1835, Green Oak is located in the Southeast corner of Livingston County. Other outdoor recreational areas include Huron Meadows Metropark and the Island Lake State Recreation Area along the Huron River and within the community.
The average 2017 income was $98,906 with a median income of $80,164. There are approximately 7,692 homes of which 6,202 are owner occupied. The average home value is $273,537 and the median value is $244,197.
Green Oak students attend classes in the three school districts of Whitmore Lake, Brighton, and South Lyon. Hawkins Elementary and Scranton Middle School are in the northwest portion of the township with Brummer Elementary School in the southeast portion.
US-23 is the main North/South route through Green Oak Township and I-96 is close to the northern border. Rolling hills, streams, woodlands, and lakes are plentiful throughout the township and 20 percent is public parkland. The Green Oak Historic District Commission oversees the preservation of township heritage. Among the designated sites are:
- The Sawyer/Butler cobblestone house
- The Governor Kinsley Bingham home
- The Olds/Read Greek Revival house
- The 1856 Green Oak Township Hall
- The Herald/Carson Queen Anne style farm house
- The Johnson district vernacular farm house
Other communities that might interested you in the vicinity of Kent Lake are:
- Whitmore Lake
- Walled Lake
- Wolverine Lake
Local Lore (placeholder)
By Wendy Patton
- Governement history: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/2007-36_208896_7.pdf