7 Charlevoix Waterways to Explore in 7 Days

If you seek a definition of Pure Michigan Lake Effect, simply look at Charlevoix. Surrounded by three different lakes and located within minutes of other area waters, Charlevoix has a reputation as the water enthusiast’s paradise. Here you can enjoy Michigan summers at their best: water, sun, and sand. Plan a vacation (or two) using the list of our favorite bodies of water and the activities to enjoy on each.

1. Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan offers unlimited access to sailing, motor boating, fishing, kayaking, scuba diving and many other fun adventures. Spend the day exploring the coastline of Charlevoix, or head over to Beaver Island for an amazing day trip. Lake Michigan beaches in the Charlevoix area provide some of the best hunting ground in the state for the elusive Petoskey Stone. Make sure to see a sunset over Lake Michigan during your visit!

Stunning sunsets are just some of the beautiful views to be found in Charlevoix

Photo Courtesy of Mark Haveman

2. Lake Charlevoix

Lake Charlevoix was voted the best lake in the eastern half of the country, via a USA Today vote, for good reason. Nestled between Charlevoix, Boyne City, and East Jordan, Lake Charlevoix guarantees a day of adventure and beauty. If you’re a thrill seeker, Lake Charlevoix is great for wakeboarding, waterskiing and tubing. Paddlers can access the lake from the many beaches that dot the shoreline. Fishing on Lake Charlevoix is diverse because of the two distinct sections. After a day in the sun, enjoy the courtesy docks at the Charlevoix, Boyne City and East Jordan marinas to grab a bite to eat.

3. Round Lake

Located between Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix, Round Lake is a gateway between waterways. Don’t let this small lake fool you! Be sure to check out the beautiful houses located on Round Lake and see if you can spot several Earl Young buildings. Paddle through the hidden river next to the Coast Guard Station to explore the wildlife and historic homes.

The lakes and waterways around Charlevoix are a boater's paradise

Photo Courtesy of Kelly Kazmierski

4. Torch Lake

Did you know that Torch Lake is the second largest inland lake in Michigan as well as one of the most popular boating destinations? Known for its amazing turquoise blue water, this lake is a must see. Stop by the large sandbar in the southern portion of the lake and enjoy a picnic in the sun.

5. Jordan River

Spend the day tubing, rafting or kayaking down the Jordan River. At a moderate pace, the Jordan River offers great meandering views of northern Michigan’s natural beauty in a serene setting. There are rentals available for kayaks, canoes, or tubes. Make sure you wear water shoes…this river likes to steal flip flops if you tip!

Explore the pristine waterways around Charlevoix on the coast of Lake Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Alan Leese

6. Walloon Lake

Walloon Lake is a perfect mix of natural beauty and boater’s paradise. This inland lake offers boaters and sailors the perfect opportunity for both exciting adventure or leisurely travel. Looking for a great place to fish? Walloon Lake is home to perch, walleye, northern pike, trout, and small mouth bass. If you’re looking for a great paddling destination, Walloon Lake is the perfect size lake to explore.

Explore the many waterways in and around Charlevoix via speed or sailboat

Photo Courtesy of Michael Murphy IV Photography

7. Chain of Lakes (Six Mile, St. Clair, Ellsworth, Wilson, Benway, Hanley, Intermediate, Bellaire, Clam, Torch, Skegemog, Elk)

This area is a hidden gem and a popular place to go fishing! The inland grouping of lakes winds its way through East Jordan, Ellsworth and ends in Elk Rapids. Spend the day exploring the waterways and waterfront towns. When planning, make sure to check which lake connections are navigable for your choice of watercraft.

Whether you are a motor boat enthusiast, beach lover, fisherman, kayaker, standup paddle boarder, adventure seeker, a sailor, or simply looking for beautiful water views, the Charlevoix area offers amazing water voyages. For more information on getting out on the water, renting or chartering boats and paddle sport equipment, or for planning your next summer vacation go to visitcharlevoix.com.

 What is your favorite thing to do when visiting Charlevoix? Share with us by commenting below!