Michigan’s Biggest Inland Lakes

When people talk from afar about our great state conversations don’t make it far without mention of the Great Lakes. This is warranted of course, but to the uninitiated, it’s easy to gloss over the still very large, very impressive, and very fun inland lakes around Michigan. We’ll run you down the list of the top five largest inland lakes in Michigan and tell you a little bit about each so you can plan one or more of these into your next trip!

5. Mullett Lake

“Relaxing on Mullett Lake (Michigan)”by cseeman is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

  • 25.98 Square miles
  • Maximum depth: 148 feet

Mullett Lake is not only one of the largest inland lakes in Michigan, it’s also the site where the state record largest sturgeon was caught. Mullett Lake is located near the northern tip of the lower peninsula and is connected to the state’s next largest lake via the Indian River. Which logically takes us to…

4. Burt Lake

Hgjudd at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
  • 26.72 Square miles
  • Maximum depth: 73 feet

Located just west of Mullett Lake, Burt Lake is just slightly larger than its neighbor to the East. The two lakes, as mentioned previously, are connected via the Indian River, but are also split by I-75. Both of these lakes are a part of the Inland Waterway, a 38 mile stretch of rivers and lakes which allows boaters to travel between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.

3. Lake Charlevoix

Royalbroil [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
  • 26.97 Square miles
  • Maximum depth: 122 feet

Once known as Pine Lake, Lake Charlevoix is located to the southwest of the above two lakes and is bordered by Boyne City, a popular tourist destination. The south shore of the lake is home to Young State Park, a 560-acre park with one of Michigan’s most popular beaches.

2. Torch Lake

Andrew Lin [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
  • 29.33 Square miles
  • Maximum depth: 285 feet

One of Michigan’s most sought after destinations, this 19-mile long lake has some of the clearest water you’ll find in Michigan. The clear water and beautiful sounding scenery have made the parties on Torch Lake’s many sandbars legendary. Fortunately, this huge lake is also accessible, with more than 40 access points allowing multitudes of boaters to take in the summer fun.

1. Houghton Lake

“Houghton Lake”by Corvair Owner is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

  • 31.32 Square miles
  • Maximum depth: 20 feet

Though Torch Lake is much bigger in terms of volume, Houghton Lake covers the most surface area and as such is considered Michigan’s largest inland lake. Referred to by some as “Tip-Up Town” due to the ice fishing festival of the same name, Houghton Lake is a major tourist destination during the summer and winter months.

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