Located on beautiful Lake Sanford and less than 10 miles from Midland, Sanford offers recreational opportunities year-round.
Biking, hiking, boating, swimming, and cross-country skiing are the many ways to play and enjoy the outdoors in the
Sanford Lake Park
is a great place to get wet, have some fun, and simply relax. The park features a long sandy swimming beach and
splash playground for kids. Two sand volleyball courts near the beach are popular during the summer, and the park's ample
supply of picnic tables offer relaxing spots to enjoy beautiful views of Sanford Lake. Away from the beach and under the shade
of tall trees, the park has a couple of picnic shelters and a nice playground. An admission booth is located at the
entrance of the park and a fee is required to enter Sanford Lake Park.
On the eastern shore of the Tittabawassee River, Sanford Park
features five baseball diamonds, a soccer field, horeshoe pits, a volleyball court and basketball court.
Kids enjoy the parks nice playscapes and swingsets, which are located near the drive into the park. A large pavillion is on the
northwest side of the park, and a smaller picnic shelter is located near the boat launch. A dam regulates the flow of water from Sanford
Lake into the Tittabawassee River, and the area around the base of the dam is very popular with fishermen, who either wade into the river
to fly fish or stand on the banks to cast their lines.
Pere Marquette Trail
The Pere Marquette Trail
is a former railroad route that stretches from Midland to Baldwin (with a gap in the trail in Clare).
The paved section from Clare to Sanford and Midland is very popular with cyclists, joggers, and walkers, who enjoy the scenic views and
smooth trail surface. Sanford has two parking areas with easy access to the Pere Marquette Trail.
Near the center of town, on the corner of Maple and Railroad,
the Sanford Staging Area has modern restroom facilities that are easily accessible from the trail. An historical marker about State Salt
Well No. 1 and a marker describing the significance of the "W" signs along the trail are near the
trail and provide for some interesting facts.
On the southwest corner of Saginaw Road and Smith Street, there is a parking lot with a four-hour parking limit. The Pere Marquette Trail passes
just past the southern edge of the parking lot.
Kayaking and Canoeing
Sanford Lake and the Tittabawassee River are conveniently located near downtown Sanford
and attract boaters and fishermen to the area from May through September. Sanford Lake Park's boat launch
provides access to Sanford Lake for recreational boats and fishing boats, while small boats, canoes and kayaks primarily use
the Tittabawassee River boat launch at Sanford Park.
Sanford Lake is favorite spot for catching muskies, and the lake has been known to have larger ones than other lakes in the region. Baits that imitate suckers seem to
have the best luck for catching a muskie.
Fishermen also like to cast their lines into the Tittabawassee River from the river banks near Sanford Park and the dam. The Tittabawassee River is known for trout, bass, other species. Many anglers prefer to catch and release fish from the Tittabawassee River, especially downriver from Midland, because of dioxins and other contaminents that have been found in the river.
A valid fishing license is required to fish on Michigan lakes and waterways. You can get a license online at the Michigan DNR E-License web site
and at bait shops and sporting goods stores.
Sanford's city center is located along Saginaw Road, near the Tittabawassee River.
A hardware store, ice cream shop, and a handful of other business are in downtown.
Further to the southeast on Saginaw Road, you'll find a Dollar General near the
Sanford Chamber of Commerce and a Food Pride Grocery Store on the corner of Meridian Road.
Sanford has a few family-owned eateries on Saginaw Road, including TJ's Pizza and Alex's Railside Restaurant.
Sanford's Village Offices and Senior Center are located along the drive into Sanford Park.