Lake Saint Helen, Michigan, USA
Also known as: Lake St. Helen
Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Saint Helen — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!
Topics we cover in this article:
- All About Lake Saint Helen
- Things to Do
- Fish Species
- Where to Stay
- Vacation Planning Tools
- Lake Saint Helen Map
- Statistics / Weather / Helpful Links
- Shop Lake Saint Helen Gifts
Looking for Lake Saint Helen cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.
All About Lake Saint Helen
Lake Saint Helen is located in Roscommon County of northern Michigan near Interstate 75 and right next to the town of St. Helen – Charlton Heston’s childhood town. The spring-fed lake looks like three lakes joined together and has a surface area of about 2,400 acres. It is one of the main inflow sources for the South Branch of the Au Sable River which eventually flows into the great Lake Huron to the east. Only 3 miles of the 18-mile shoreline are developed (on the southeast side). The area boasts many cozy waterfront estates.
Fish living in Lake Saint Helen are bass, brown trout, crappie, perch, lake trout, pike, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, walleye and bluegill. The lake is particularly attractive for its bluegill fishery. There is an annual Bluegill Festival that has ocurred every summer in St. Helen for 59 years. It typically includes a parade, a carnival, vendors, tournaments, live bands, raffles, fishing contests, a children’s parade, games, and an auto show. The Bluegill Festival attracts crowds of people every year.
Water levels on Lake Saint Helen are controlled by a gravity-type dam situated at the mouth of the South Branch of the Au Sable River. The dam was completed in 1930, and is controlled by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The dam is used for recreation purposes. The water is relatively shallow and there needs to be enough water for boats to float. The average depth of the lake is no more than 7.5 feet, and the maximum depth is 26 feet.
Lake Saint Helen once had a problem with Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) that was growing in mats on the surface of the lake. The pretty, feathery-like aquarium plant grows rapidly and can stagnate a lake and disrupt recreational activities. A program administered by Enviroscience, Inc. from 1998 to 2001 quickly decimated the EWM beds in the lake by stocking the lake with a population of weevils. As a result, native plants, such as Coontail, Waterlilies and various species of Pondweed, began reappearing and are now thriving on the lake.
The Saint Helen Campground in Township Park provides 30 sites with water and electricity and 30 additional rustic sites. The park’s recreational offerings include two ball fields, tennis and basketball courts, playground, playscape, and a covered pavilion.
Lake Saint Helen attracts water sports enthusiasts such as jet skiiers but is reportedly quiet. Boating and swimming are enjoyed. Hunting in the near wooded regions is a popular sport. Winter time brings out the scarves, mittens, and snowmobiles.
Roscommon County offers all kinds of other attractions. Visit the Houghton Forest State Park with a semi-modern, 50-site campground for tents and small trailers. Visit various historical sites, including the Au Sable River Museum, the Fireman’s Memorial with a festival every September, an historical village with restored 1800’s buildings, and a farm park typical of a Midwest farmstead during the 1930s. Culture yourself at a photography exhibit, art show, or performing arts theater. Experience fine dining and lodging at various hotels and resorts. Or go for the always cozy, rustic cottage setting.
Things to Do at Lake Saint Helen
- Vacation Rentals
- Jet Skiing
- State Park
Fish Species Found at Lake Saint Helen
- Black Bass
- Brown Trout
- Lake Trout
- Rainbow Trout
- Smallmouth Bass
Find Places to Stay at Lake Saint Helen
If you’re considering a Lake Saint Helen lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.
Recommended Sites to Book a Lake Saint Helen Vacation
If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lake Saint Helen lodging partners.
- VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
- Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
- Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
- Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
- TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
- Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
- KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
- RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
- CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.
Lake Saint Helen Statistics & Helpful Links
Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed
Water Level Control: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Surface Area: 2,400 acres
Shoreline Length: 18 miles
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,155 feet
Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet
Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 1,155 feet
Average Depth: 7 feet
Maximum Depth: 26 feet
Water Volume: 3,360 acre-feet
Drainage Area: 72 sq. miles
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Shop Lake Saint Helen Gifts
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