Grand Lake, Michigan, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Michigan - Northeast -

Grand Lake is steeped in history, rich in beauty and loaded with ways to enjoy the area. Grand Lake is in the Northeastern Tourism Region of Michigan. In addition to its beauty, it is the largest lake in Presque Isle County.

Grand Lake is located 20 miles north of Alpena and three miles inland from Lake Huron near Presque Isle Harbor. Grand Lake is 12 miles long and three miles wide.. The water reaches depths of 25 feet. The average depth is less than 15 feet. Its limestone bed gives the water beautiful color and doesn’t support a lot of plants so the water is clear. Grand Lake’s shores are a mix of forests and homes. There are opportunities for vacation rentals and several cottage-lined resorts. Because the lake is shallow it warms quickly after the arrival of summer weather, making swimming a treat.

Grand Lake is 5,662 to 5,823 acres of pristine water. Different sources cite different sizes. It is dotted with 19 tree-filled islands that range in size from one-tenth acre to 263 acres. These characteristics and its location make Grand Lake a good breeding ground for the common loon. Anglers head to Grand Lake in hopes of catching some of the many kinds of fish the lake has to offer. Northern pike, walleye, rock bass, smallmouth bass, whitesucker, yellow perch, bluegill, pumpkinseed, brown bullhead, bowfin, common shiner, longnose gar, largemouth bass, yellow bullhead, green sunfish, and the common carp all make their home in the big pond. There are three public boat launches on the west side of Grand Lake, accessible via State Route 23.

Presque Isle County is a traditional destination for anglers and hunters alike. Anglers rank it as the state’s best Chinook salmon fishery. Hunters come for a wide range of game. Water fowl, turkey, snowshoe hares, whitetails and black bears are just some of the game that will challenge hunters.

Winter weather draws cross-country skiers to Grand Lake. There are more than 31 miles of well maintained cross-country skiing trails in Presque Isle County. Visitors who prefer more speed will enjoy the 125 miles of well-groomed snowmobile trails.

In warmer weather a bike ride is a good way to take in the beauty of Grand Lake, Lake Huron and Thunder Bay River. Paved paths hug the Grand Lake shoreline. If you like a few bumps in the road there are many off-road opportunities as well. Shops in nearby Rogers City and Alpena have bikes for rent.

A scenic drive on East Grand Lake Road on the east side of the lake will give you a chance to explore the history of the area and take in views of Grand Lake and Lake Huron. The journey will take you over rolling hills, through beautiful forests and by five historical sites. These sites include two lighthouses: the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse and the New Presque Isle Lighthouse. The old lighthouse dates back to 1840. The younger of the two was built in 1870. Both have museums and public access to the towers.

The town of Presque Isle has a long maritime history. Originally freight steam ships traveling Lake Huron would stop for wood fuel. Today the towns of Presque Isle and nearby Grand Lake are tourism and recreation stops. A greenway trail system has been developed between the two communities and includes the lighthouse area. Public docking, launching, swimming and restaurants are available on a seasonal basis at Presque Isle Harbor.

There are more greenway trails on the southern end of Presque Isle Township. There is a nature trail at the Besser Natural Area. You will also find the ruins of the historic Village of Bell, a booming town in the lumbering era. Foot trails will take you from the historic village to an area of geographical interest. The Rockport property, now under public ownership, has a number of sinkholes and major dune/swale environments.

Wildlife awaits in the City of Alpena at the Wildlife Sanctuary. There is great bird and wildlife watching on the mile-long trail on Sanctuary Island. On your visit you are likely to see swans, ducks, otters and turtles. After the hike you can travel paved bike paths of three, five, 12 or 20 miles. These trails meander along picturesque Thunder Bay River.

Travel just four miles from Grand Lake on route 23 and you will find the Emily Min Hunt Nature Preserve operated by the Thunder Bay Audubon Society. The 438-acre preserve boasts a forest of mixed hardwood, an abandoned apple orchard and many bluebird houses.

Another stop you might want to make on your visit to Grand Lake is the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The Sanctuary protects more than 100 shipwrecks in the Great Lakes. The wrecks span more than a century of Great Lakes shipping history. You can see the wrecks without getting wet by visiting The Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center in Alpena. Around 200 shipwrecks are depicted in state of the art displays.

Pack your bags, at any time during the year, for a trip to Grand Lake. A waterfront cottage is waiting for you with a view of the clear water and the fresh smell of pine to breathe new life into your soul.

Things to do at Grand Lake MI

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Museum
  • Ruins

Fish species found at Grand Lake MI

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Bowfin
  • Brown Bullhead
  • Carp
  • Chinook Salmon
  • Gar
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Longnose Gar
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Salmon
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye
  • Yellow Bullhead
  • Yellow Perch

Grand Lake MI Photo Gallery

    Grand Lake MI Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

    Surface Area: 5,662 acres

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 594 feet

    Average Depth: 15 feet

    Maximum Depth: 25 feet

    Drainage Area: 34 sq. miles

    Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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