Lac La Belle, Michigan, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Michigan - Upper Peninsula -

Located within Keweenaw County, Michigan, Lake La Belle certainly lives up to its French translation: “Beautiful Lake.” It is located on the Keweenaw Peninsula, a finger-shaped portion of land that seems to poke Lake Superior. This crystalline body of water has a surface area of about 1,100 acres and an average depth of 30 feet. In the Ojibwa Indian language, Keweenaw means “place of the crossing,” in reference to the channel (maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) that weaves across most of the cape.

Fishing is one of the most entertaining pastimes at Lac La Belle, where common catches include walleye, perch, musky, crappie, northern pike, and small mouth bass. Water skiing, canoeing, kayaking and boating are other popular activities. Swimming conditions are particularly favorable at a shore known as Bete Gris Beach, where wildlife watchers frequently spot hawks and eagles soaring overhead. White water rafting along the St. Louis River and golfing at one of the three local greens are other amusing activities.

An intense getaway for skiing enthusiasts, Mount Bohemia is situated just north of Lac La Belle. Steep slopes and powdery snow make it a thrilling place for experienced skiers and snowboarders to practice their crafts. Just minutes south of Lac La Belle lies Haven Falls,a scenic 20-foot waterfall with a 5 to 10-foot crest. Perfect for a day trip, Eagle harbor is located less than a half an hour away; its lighthouse and handful of fascinating museums make it well worth the trip. For scuba divers, Lake Superior offers at least 13 bona fide shipwrecks – one of which dates all the way back to 1865.

Northwest of Lac La Belle sits Isle Royal National Park, a remote island that is only accessible by boat or seaplane. Isolated trails, waterways, and shipwrecks are the park’s main attractions. To the south you’ll find the Baraga State Forest Area, 142,900 acres of woodlands popular with snowmobilers during the wintertime. Even farther south lies the Ottawa National Forest, which is constituted of nearly one million acres of rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and tumbling hillsides.

Lac La Belle tells a riveting history in the mining industry. Often referred to as “Copper County,” Keweenaw County was once a chief supplier of this precious metal. Millions of years ago, volcanic eruptions spewed copper out from under the ground around Lac La Belle. Native Indian inhabitants were the first to use the precious metal to build tools, utensils, and other instruments. In the 1800s French explorers began to capitalize on this national resource . The community of Lac La Belle emerged as a result of a local stamping plant, a facility that that crushed rocks to extract copper. The area was also home to countless mines, along with the immigrants who worked them – mostly Finnish, Italian, and Balkan men. In fact, in 1870 over 70% of the county’s residents were foreign-born. These cultures merged to form a veritable melting pot of influences that are evident in modern regional art. The mining boom reached its peak around 1900, and basically ended after a calamitous strike in 1913. The economy struggled and declined for more than 50 years afterward; although the very last mine did not officially close until 1968.

Dozens of heritage sites can be found close to Lac La Belle, including mineral museums, theaters, old copper mines, and historic churches. The Keweenaw National Historic Park consists of two buildings, Calumet and Quincy, each about 12 miles apart. The park manages to bring the compelling story of the mining trade to life in a touching, entertaining, and educational manner. Likewise, the Keweenaw County Historical Society – instituted in 1981 – serves a similar function in preserving local memoirs and culture.

Lac La Belle’s marina is owned by the State of Michigan. It features a boat launch, bathroom facilities, and picnic areas. Real estate properties and vacation rentals are available. Lac La Belle is a picturesque and unforgettable, little-known lake. Come explore all of the natural beauty this Michigan escape has to offer.

Things to do at Lac La Belle

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Water Skiing
  • Scuba Diving
  • Golf
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Waterfall
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Forest
  • National Park
  • National Forest
  • Museum

Fish species found at Lac La Belle

  • Bass
  • Crappie
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Walleye

Lac La Belle Photo Gallery

Lac La Belle Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Water Level Control: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Surface Area: 1,100 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 600 feet

Average Depth: 30 feet

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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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