Waterways to Explore Near Charlevoix

Charlevoix is surrounded by various lakes and bodies of water, giving it the reputation as a water enthusiast’s paradise. Here you can enjoy Michigan summers at their best: water, sun and sand. Plan a vacation (or two) on the water in the Charlevoix area to make the best of the season. 

Charlevoix Lighthouse
Charlevoix Lighthouse | Photo Courtesy of Trevor Mahlmann

Share This

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 Petoskey Stones and be sure to see a sunset over Lake Michigan during your visit.

2. Round Lake

Located between Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix, Round Lake is a gateway between waterways. Don’t let this smaller lake fool you! Be sure to check out the beautiful houses in the area 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.

3. 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 waters, this lake is a must for those seeking tropical colors in the Mitten state. Stop by the large sandbar in the southern portion of the lake to meet up with other boaters.

4. 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. Just be sure to bring your water shoes!

5. Lake Charlevoix


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. After a day in the sun, enjoy the courtesy docks at the Charlevoix, Boyne City and East Jordan marinas and grab a bite to eat.

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 and leisurely travel. Walloon Lake is home to perch, walleye, northern pike, trout, and small mouth bass, making it a great spot for fishermen.

7. Chain of Lakes 

This area is a popular place to go fishing! Six Mile, St. Clair, Ellsworth, Wilson, Benway, Hanley, Intermediate, Bellaire, Clam, Torch, Skegemog, Elk makeup the Chain of Lakes. 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.