Welcome to Michigan Lakes!

We are all about Michigan lakes. Life on, in and near Michigan's lakefront brings a richness that rewards for a lifetime. Have a story or comments on your experience? You can be one of the first to share it with the world on our Michigan lake directory.
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Cabins, Cottages & Homes

Road Ends

roadendssignYou may have seen signs similar to this one that reads, “Road Ends”.  Over the years, as many Michigan lakes were developed and platted, roads were planned.  Some were built, many remained unbuilt. A number of plats included roads that ended at the water’s edge. Many of these roads are rights of ways, or easements, can vary in width from sixty six feet down to as narrow as five feet wide.

In these cases, many questions arise.  Who has the what rights to use that water frontage  and what can they do there?  Can a boat be launched there? If so, who has the rights to launch a boat? Can a dock be placed there? If so, who has the rights to do so? Can a boat be moored there and for how long?  Overnight? What about a boat lift?

Questions arise regarding the use inside the right of way or easement. Can one use the area for a family picnic, sunbathing, swimming, fishing or parking of vehicles or trailers?

Now years later, that intent is somewhat vague. Many plats were marked simply “For Public Use” without any description of what was acceptable and what was not. Through many court cases, the answers seem to lie in the intent of the original developers (dedicators of the easement or right of way).

Rather than try to boil it down to this short post, check out a very informative document on line that is well worth the read. It covers the issue from several perspectives.

Generally speaking, if you have legal way to get to the water (via a road end), you have the legal right to use the water. It would be considered for access of in and out use only, not as a site for the family reunion.

There are many ways to enjoy the Michigan Lakes.

Written by Dave.

Interlochen State Park

 Interlochen State Park is situated between two well-known Michigan fishing and swimming lakes. The Odawa tribe originally named the lakes Wahbekaness and Wahbekanetta. Today they are known as Duck Lake, a Michigan lake of 1930 acres with reported depths of up to 98 feet, and Green Lake, a lake of 2000 acres with reported depths of up to 98 feet.

interlochenstateparkBoth lakes reportedly contain Bluegill, Brown Trout, Lake Trout, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Pumpkinseed, Rock Bass, Small Mouth Bass, Splake and Yellow Perch. Parks that have frontage on more than body of water offer twice the amount opportunity for enjoyment. If fish are not biting in one lake, you can move to the next!

Interlochen State Park, or Pine Park as it was originally named, became Michigan’s first state park by the Michigan Legislature in 1917. The park was purchased for $300.00 an acre, which came to $60,000 for this 200 acre parcel of rolling wooded land. The intent of this purchase was to preserve the virgin pine stand for the future people of Michigan to enjoy.

Interlochen State park offers 490 campsites, updated restrooms, trails and a camp store. If you can’t find what you need, supplies can be found just down the road in the village of Interlochen. Adjacent to the park, you will enjoy the Interlochen Center for the Arts with it’s world renowned summer camp. This camp is known as a summer camp for the arts offering many summertime events.

Written by Dave.

Michigan State parks

ducklakesignThere is discussion in Lansing these days to eliminate the entrance fees to the Michigan State Parks, currently $6.00 for a one day pass or $24.00 for a seasonal pass. I am not sure this will ever happen. After all, when does our government ever lower fees for anything?

Under the new plan, Michigan residents would be charged $10.00 more per year for every vehicle registration in the state. All you would need to enter a Michigan State Park would be a Michigan license plate.

One interesting tidbit about the plan: Drivers could opt out of paying the extra $10 if they say they wouldn’t be using the Michigan State Parks or State Recreational Areas — an honor system of sorts. How do you think that will work?

Our state is fortunate to have some 98 Michigan state parks and recreational areas, Below is the list of these parks.

Algonac State Park,  Marine City Michigan, St Clair County, 1450 acres, St Clair River frontage

Aloha State ParkCheboygan Michigan, 107 acres, 285 campsites, Mullet Lake frontage

Baraga State Park, Baraga Michigan, 56 acres, 116 campsites, overlooks Keweenaw Bay of Lake Superior

Bewabic State Park, Crystal Falls Michigan, 315 acres, 137 campsites, Fortune Lake

Brimley State Park, Brimley Michigan, Chippewa County, 160 acres, 237 campsites,  Lake Superior waterfrontage on Whitefish Bay

Burt Lake State Park, Indian River Michigan, 406 acres, 306 campsites,  Burt Lake waterfront (2000 feet of lake frontage)

Cambridge Junction Historic State Park, Brooklyn Michigan, 80 acres, a historic stage coach stop- Walker Tavern

Cheboygan State Park, Cheboygan Michigan, Cheboygan County, 1250 acres, 76 campsites, Lake Huron waterfontage

Clear Lake State Park, Atlanta Michigan, 290 acres, 200 campsites, Clear Lake

Coldwater Lake State Park, Coldwater Michigan, undeveloped 400 acres, Coldwater Lake

Colonial Michilimackinac Historic State Park, Mackinaw City Michigan, home to the 1892 Old Mackinaw Point Lighthouse

Craig Lake State Park, Champion Michigan, Baraga County, 6983 acres, Remote state park with Craig lake (374 acres) plus five other Michigan Lakes within this Michigan State park

Dodge#4 State Park, Waterford Michigan, 139 acres, One mile of lake frontage on Cass Lake, property was originally donated to the State by the Dodge brothers, only  to be used for a Michigan State Park.

Duck Lake State Park, North Muskegon Michigan, Muskegon County, 728 acres, Frontage on Duck Lake as well as Lake Michigan

Fayette State Park, Garden Michigan, Delta County, 711 acres, 61 campsites, This Michigan state Park is home to a historic industrial town site.

Fisherman’s Island State Park, Charlevoix Michigan, Charlevoix County, 2678 acres, 81 campsites, five miles of natural Lake Michigan waterfront

Fort Wilkins Historic State Park, Copper Harbor Michigan, Keweenaw County, 700 acres, 159 campsites, this Michigan State Park is home to an 1844 restored military outpost, as well as one of the first lighthouses on Lake Superior

Grand Haven State Park, Grand Haven Michigan, Ottawa County, 48 acres, 174 campsites, Lake Michigan waterfront, home to the Grand Haven lighthouse and the pier on the south side of the Grand River channel

Grand Mere State Park, Stevensville Michigan, Berrien County, 985 acres, home to three Michigan inland lakes as well as one mile of Lake Michigan waterfront. Read Waterland Living’s report on  Grand Mere State Park

Harrisville State Park, Harrisville Michigan, 107 acres, 195 campsites, Lake Huron waterfront.

Hartwick Pines State Park, Grayling Michigan, Crawford County, 9762 acres, 100 campsites, four small Michigan lakes, home to the Lumbermans’s Museum

Hayes State Park, Onsted Michigan, 654 acres, 185 campsites, Wamplers lake and Round lake are part of this Michigan State Park

Historic Mill Creek State Park, Mackinaw City Michigan, 625 acres, home to Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park

P.H. Hoeft State Park, Roger City Michigan, Presque Isle County, 301 acres, 100 campsites, over one mile of frontage on Lake Huron

P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, Muskegon Michigan, borders Muskegon County as well as Ottawa County, 1200 wooded rolling acres, 293 campsites, three miles of Lake Michigan waterfront

Holland State Park, Holland Michigan, Ottawa County, 142 acres, 98 campsites, sandy Lake Michigan waterfront, Home to “Big Red” Holland’s Lighthouse

Indian Lake State Park, Manistique Michigan, 847 acres, 217 campsites, located on Indian Lake, Indian lake is the fourth largest Michigan lake located in the U.P., 8400 acres in size, measuring six miles long, three miles wide

Interlochen State Park, Interlochen Michigan, Grand Traverse County, 187 acres, 418 campsites, Frontage on Duck and Green Lakes.  Read Waterland Living’s report on Interlochen State Park

Lake Gogebic State Park, Marenisco Michigan, Gogebic County, 360 acres, 127 campsites, one mile of frontage on Lake Gogebic, The largest Michigan inland lake in the U.P.

Lakeport State Park, Lakeport Michigan, St Clair County, 565 acres, 250 campsites, Lake Huron frontage

Leelanau State Park, Northport Michigan, Leelanau County,  1350 acres, 52 campsites, located at the tip of the Leelanau peninsula with lots of Lake Michigan water frontage, home to the Grand Traverse Lighthouse and Museum

Ludington State Park, Ludington Michigan, Mason County, 5300 acres, 250 plus campsites, This Michigan State Park lies between Hamlin Lake and Lake Michigan, with several miles of lake frontage to enjoy.

Mackinac Island State Park, Mackinaw Island Michigan, Mackinaw County, 1800 acres, surrounded by Lake Huron waterfront, read more about the historic  Mackinaw Island State Park

Maybury State Park, Northville Michigan, 944 acres

McLain State Park, Hancock Michigan, Houghton County, 443 acres, 98 campsites, two miles of Lake Superior frontage

Mears State Park, Pentwater Michigan, 50 acres, 175 campsites, Lake Michigan waterfrontage

W.M. Mitchell State Park, Cadillac Michigan, Wexford County, 334 acres, 221 campsites, frontage on Lake Cadillac and Lake Mitchell. Read Waterland Living’s report on  W.M. Mitchell State Park

Muskallonge State Park, Newberry Michigan, Luce County, 217 acres, 150 campsites, Located between Lake Muskallonge and Lake Superior with waterfront on both Michigan Lakes

Muskegon State Park, Muskegon Michigan, Muskegon County, 1165 acres, 244 campsites, two miles of Lake Michigan water front, one mile of Muskegon Lake waterfront

Negwegon State Park, Ossineke Michigan, Alcona and Alpena Countys, 2469 acres of undeveloped wooded land with frontage on Lake Huron

Newaygo State Park, Newaygo Michigan, Newaygo County, 257 acres, 99 campsites, Muskegon River frontage on all sports Hardy Pond

North Higgins Lake State Park, Roscommon Michigan, 429 acres, 174 acres, Higgins lake waterfront

Onaway State Park, Onaway Michigan, 158 acres, 96 campsites, Black Lake frontage

Orchard Beach State Park, Manistee Michigan, Manistee County, 201 acres, 166 campsites, Lake Michigan frontage

Otsego Lake State Park, Gaylord Michigan, 62 acres, 155 campsites, Otsego Lake

Palms Book State Park, Manistique Michigan, 388 acres, This Michigan State Park is home to Michigan’s largest freshwater spring

Petoskey State Park, Petoskey Michigan, Emmet County, 303 acres, 168 campsites, Little Traverse Bay waterfront

Porcupine Mountains State Park, Ontonagon Michigan, Gogebic and Ontonagon Counties, 59,020 acres, 240 plus campsites, one of the largest wilderness areas in the Midwest

Port Crescent State Park, Port Austin Michigan, Huron County, 600 acres, 137 campsites, three miles of Lake Huron waterfront on Saginaw Bay

Sanilac Petroglyps State Park, Cass City Michigan, 240 acres,  a historic Michigan site of rock carvings

Saugatuck Dunes State Park, Saugatuck Michigan, Allegan County, 1000 acres, two and half miles of Lake Michigan waterfront

Seven Lakes State Park, Holly Michigan, 1434 acres, 70 campsites, a newly installed dam created one large lake from several smaller lakes.

Silver Lake State Park, Mears Michigan, 2936 acres,  200 campsites, 450 acres reserved for off road vehicles

Sleeper State Park, Caseville Michigan, Huron County, 723 acres, 230 plus campsites, Lake Huron waterfront on Saginaw Bay, Rush Lake waterfront

Sleepy Hollow State Park, Laingsburg Michigan, 2678 acres, 180 campsites, Lake Ovid (410 acres) is located within this Michigan State Park

South Higgins Lake State Park, Roscommon Michigan, Roscommon County, 100o acres, 400 campsites, Frontage on Higgins Lake as well as Marl Lake

Sterling State Park, Monroe Michigan, Monroe County, 1300 acres, 250 campsites, One mile of waterfront on Lake Erie

Straits State Park, St Ignace Michigan, 181 Acres, 255 campsites, Great views of the Mackinac Bridge from the Lake Huron waterfront

Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Paradise Michigan, Chippewa County, 46,179 acres, 346 campsites, home to the Tahquamenon Falls

Tawas Point State Park, East Tawas Michigan, Iosco County, 183 acres, 193 campsites, Lake Huron waterfront, home to the Tawas Point Lighthouse

Thompson’s Harbor State Park, Roger’s City Michigan, 5109 acres, seven and half miles of waterfront on Lake Huron

Traverse City State Park, Traverse City Michigan, Grand Traverse County, 47 acres, 343 campsites, quarter mile waterfront on Grand Traverse Bay, Read Waterland Living’s report on Traverse City State Park

Tri-Centennial State Park, Detroit Michigan, 31 acres, located in Downtown Detroit and is considered Michigan’s first urban park.

Twin Lakes State Park, Toivola Michigan, Houghton County, 175 acres, 62 campsites, Lake Roland waterfront

Van Buren State Park, South Haven Michigan, Van Buren County, 400 acres, 220 campsites, One mile Lake Michigan waterfront

Van Riper State Park, Champion Michigan, 1044 acres, 187 campsites, one half mile waterfront on Lake Michigamme and one and a half miles of waterfront on the Peshekee River

Warren Dunes State Park, Sawyer Michigan, Berrien County, 1952 acres, three miles of Lake Michigan waterfront

Warren Woods State Park, Sawyer Michigan, Berrien County, 311 acres, waterfront on the Galien River

Wells State Park, Cedar River Michigan, Menominee County, 678 acres, 150 campsites, three miles of Green Bay waterfront

Wilderness State Park, Carp Lake Michigan, Emmet County, 10,512 acres, 250 campsites, twenty six miles of Lake Michigan waterfront

Wilson State Park, Harrison Michigan, Clare County, 36 acres, 150 campsites, Budd Lake waterfront

Young State Park, Boyne City Michigan, Charlevoix County, 563 acres, 240 campsites, Lake Charlevoix waterfront

Written by Dave.

Summer Nook

summernookI came across this postcard from 1912, sent from Grand Rapids to a gentlemen in Ann Arbor. It reads:

Dear Friend,

Received your card some time ago and was glad to hear from you, am slow in answering it but have been so busy. I really haven’t much news to write. It began to snow today and it won’t be long before we have plenty of it. I presume you will be home for Thanksgiving as you can’t miss the turkey at home. Have you got over being homesick? You are not missing much in this town, only your auto. How about it? Hope to hear from you again.


Written by Dave.

Bridge Over the Grand River

grandriverbridge“This bridge is but a short distance from my house, it makes it very convenient if I get tired of life, I can find a quick relief only a short distance away.” 4/27/11

I hope this gentlemen was only joking!

Written by Dave.

I am waiting for you

iamwaitingforyouFeb. 28, 1910

I received your card and was glad to hear from you, but it is a bit of a surprise that you are way in Marquette. I suppose you will be there the rest of the winter. We had a big snow storm about a week ago and there is very much snow now. The people can now go out sleigh riding. I had a bad cold but am better now. Hope this will find you in good health.”

The statement on the front of this card, “I am waiting to hear from you”, got me to thinking about the incredible changes that have take place in communication since this card was written. We don’t do a lot of waiting to hear from people these days. If someone doesn’t answer their cell phone or our email quickly enough, we text them. And, as soon as we hear from them, we hit delete.

We check peoples Face Book to see what is happening or stay in touch through Twitter. We can communicate with many people with only one entry.

Now, I am not against technology. I couldn’t run my business without effective communication and it is a great way to stay in touch. But, since I started the “Postcards from the Past” segment, I am always amazed, these people must have treasured their postcards. They treasured hearing from friends and family. They enjoyed the beauty of the picture on the front of the postcard. They saved them and probably looked at them often throughout their lives.

Things have changed, but people have not. People still enjoy a surprise. Surprise someone you care about today. Send a special email just for them, or send a fun text. Or better yet, send them a postcard!

Written by Dave.

Michigan City

michigancityYes, this site is still devoted to Michigan places and lakes, but today I am going to venture out a bit and go to Michigan City, Indiana. I figure this is acceptable because it has Michigan in it’s name and this is such an interesting postcard.

The world of postcards is fascinating and I find that many postcards cause more questions than they provides answers. This postcard is one that I found particularly interesting. First of all, look at that picture. Where did they find all those men in hats? And then the message on the postcard really has me wondering. “Gone but not forgotten. You won’t know there ever was a Michigan City 100 years from now.” It is signed “J.J.”  

The card is postmarked Feb 16, 1909, just a little over 100 years ago and was sent from a small town near Michigan City, Indiana.

Well, I went into Michigan City’s website and 100 years after the postcard was written predicting it’s demise, the city seem to be alive and well.

Just goes to prove you can’t believe everything you read on a postcard.


Written by Dave.

No Name lake

nonamelakeThere are several Michigan lakes actually named “No Name Lake”. One islocated in Clare County and another in Livingston County. There are several more of them are located in the Upper Peninsula.

I do not have a clue why someone would name a lake “ No Name Lake”. Can you picture yourself talking about your sweet weekend retreat on No Name Lake? Then having to try and explain why it is called that.

I shot this photo on a lake that is a yet to be a named lake in Montcalm County.

Written by Dave.

Is it a lake?

What has 842 acres of surface water, six miles of water frontage and contains 27 billion gallons of water?

It is the Consumers Power reservoir at the Ludington Plant. Perhaps you have seen the 170 foot tall dike, berm or hill surrounding this engineering marvel. The top of the reservoir is 950 feet above sea level, Lake Michigan being 579 above sea level.

While traveling in the area, you may have seen the six transmission lines that run from the pump house, two leading to Ludington and Traverse City and four leading to Grand Rapids.

During the day, water is released from this gigantic reservoir and flows by gravity through six large penstocks (pipes), each 1300 feet long and 28 feet in diameter. The water runs through six turbines generating electricity at high demand hours. Water is lowered forty feet during this daytime process.

During the night, when the demand is low, water is pumped back up to the reservoir from Lake Michigan through the six turbines/pumps. Lake Michigan water levels are not effected by these activities.

What about the fish? Consumers Power Company is quick to point out their 2˝ mile long fish net that is installed to reduce fish loss. The net is in operation between April to October every year. It is removed to prevent damage from ice and the winter storms.

To learn more about this impressive engineering achievement. Visit them on the web. Better yet, see it yourself on Lakeshore Drive between Pentwater and Ludington.

The power company has a observation tower on top of the reservoir. The views of the reservoir and Lake Michigan are magnificent from this vantage point. To reach the reservoir, it is somewhat of hike a up the paved path aptly called the “Beast”, but benches are provided along the path for those that want to take a breather, or simply sit and enjoy the view of Lake Michigan. There is plenty of parking at the parking site and restrooms are available. There is also an over the street walkway to view the jetties protruding out into Lake Michigan, as well as the pump house and the transmission lines.

On the day I visited this facility, I was unimpressed by the overall maintance of the site. The observation site had peeling paint and was full of graffiti, the grass was unkept and things overall gave the impression that no one cared for the property. In today’s scheme of things, it reminded me of a foreclosure.




Written by Dave.

Cartier Mansion

cartiermansionOver the years as my wife and I would consider travel plans, we would explore travel sites and brochures. The concept of staying at a bed and breakfast would always come up, but I would always squelch that idea. The thought of staying in a stranger’s home, with a group of other strangers, was not appealing to me at all.

This past weekend my thinking may have changed a bit. While I did not stay at a Bed and Breakfast, I attended a workshop at the Cartier Mansion Bed and Breakfast in Ludington Michigan.

This impressive home is a large, brick, neoclassical home built by William Cartier during Michigan’s lumber boom era in the early 1900’s. The large inviting front porch led to an impressive center entrance where the Cartiers would welcome their friends and business associates.

Even more impressive is the original woodwork throughout the home, each room finished with a different species of wood. The different rooms feature mahogany, oak, cherry, and my personal favorite, the black walnut in the library. Off the library is a delightful cozy den with a fireplace. I could just envision the Cartiers relaxing in this room with their close friends, enjoying the rooms  beautiful pocket benches next to the fireplace. The room even has pockets in the brick for guests to place their drink. I could go on and on about the detail of the house, but I will let you explore their website.

Now for the people. Gary and Sue Ann Schnitker are owners of the B & B and are only the third owners of this residence. I arrived very early Friday morning and I was welcomed by Gary, a very warm and personable gentleman, who with his warmth and sincerity, quickly erased my false, preconceived ideas of a B &B. 

As I waited in the parlor for the rest of the workshop participants, I had the opportunity to admire the cherry trim, the inlaid floors and the casually elegant period furniture. Sue Ann then came out of the kitchen, and I was given another warm welcome. I felt like I was a long lost friend!

The meals that were served were outstanding, beginning with a four course breakfast. All of the fantastic food was prepared and served by Sue Ann and Gary. The surroundings, the proprietors and the food went far beyond my expectations.

I was not able to spend the night at the mansion that weekend, but it is now on top of my list of things to do.

Written by Dave.

Pictures or Photographs?

You can’t teach old dog new tricks.  Or can you?

For the past several years, I have heard reports about a pair of photographers who were doing some amazing work in the Ludington area. After seeing their inspiring photos of Lake Michigan and the Ludington State Park, I had to learn a little bit more.

A father and son team, Brad and Todd Reed own a growing gallery on the main street in Ludington Michigan.

While exploring their website, we learned about a class they offer two afternoons a week during the summer months, so one summer afternoon my wife and I made plans to attend one of the sessions. We knew we needed to sharpen our skills or, more truthfully, acquire some skills. I was hesitant about spending three hours in a classroom on a beautiful summer afternoon, but we were blown away with what we heard. Time flew by and we wanted to hear more.  Todd was our instructor that afternoon and he shared some of their tips, experiences and ideas. In the evening Todd joined him and our group for a sunset photo shoot. They gave tips and advice on setting up that perfect shot.  But, we found it just as fascinating to watch Todd and Brad setting up their shots and explaining their rational on how they were composing the shot.

One side note, as we were about to leave our home for the class, my wife asked me if I had packed the tripod. I had not, so set the camera down and packed the tripod. About 65 miles into the trip, I asked my wife to erase the shots on the camera. She asked “Where did you put it?”  Sure enough, we packed the tripod and left the camera on the counter!  Fortunately, we had a spare camera with us and Todd graciously loaned us one of his.  But, we learned a good lesson that day. If you are going to take a camera class, bring a camera! 

Todd and Brad also offer a more detailed class over the course of two days with and early morning shooting session and a sunset shooting session. The weekend includes a review and critique of photos taken and instruction of the technical aspects of photography. They go over shutter speed, F Stops, ISO, depth of field and much more. They ask you to take the manual to your camera and they help each person individually to understand how their particular camera works. Throughout the entire weekend, I never felt I was asking a dumb question or was wasting their time. They teach you how to take your camera off automatic and get creative.

The morning shoot was in the Ludington State Park and Todd and Brad shared insight on how to catch the morning light and make it work in your photograph.

The evening shoot was on the Lake Michigan shoreline. Yes, the sunset was an object of the lens, but there was so much more to shoot. Todd explained that so many people leave with their cameras as soon as the sun sets, thereby missing some spectacular shots. I never realized how good the shooting is after the sun goes down.

This is not your ordinary photo class taught by a part time photo enthusiast. Todd and Brad have real passion and flair for what they are doing. Todd is a former newspaper photographer and instructor. Brad a natural photographer, taught us that photography is an action sport. You have to get right up their where it is happening!

The intent of this site is not to recommend places or businesses, but this site seeks to promote Michigan and when I see someone with a passion for the beauty of Michigan who has the gift of capturing it and sharing this beauty with others, I do not hesitate to recommend them.

Visit their website, sign up on their email list, take their afternoon class, and take their picture perfect weekend class. Visit their gallery on Ludington ave and buy something.




Written by Dave.

The Badger

badgernightI don’t know if you have ever seen the Ludington Badger in the darkness of the early morning as it prepares for it’s morning voyage. It is a pretty sight to see the windows all lit just waiting for the passengers to board and the smoke billowing into the nighttime sky. There is an air of excitement as you hear the clanking of supplies being loaded.

One early morning, I was setting up to take a few pictures of the Badger preparing for it’s daily trip. Before setting up the tripod, I decided to snap a few pictures without the tripod and found the results to be quite interesting. Hope you enjoy this unique view of the Badger!

Written by Dave.

The Car Ferries

I like Ludington. I also like the Badger. A friend sent me this flyer about the upcoming show. I found it of interest to me, so I am passing it on. For more info you can visit the Badger’s website.










Written by Dave.