Little Glen Lake, Michigan, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Michigan - Northwest -

White sand beaches and strikingly blue water to rival the Caribbean don’t instantly call northwest Michigan to mind, but for Little Glen Lake it’s true. Self-named one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, Little Glen Lake and its sister lake, Big Glen Lake, are undisputedly some of the most beautiful lakes in the state.

Big Glen Lake and Little Glen Lake were carved by glacial erosion during the last ice age and were originally connected to Lake Michigan. Eventually, sand filled in the space between the lakes, creating a sandbar separating Lake Michigan from the Glen Lakes. That same sand also filled in part of Little Glen Lake. This smaller lake lies west of Big Glen Lake and covers 1,415 surface acres. Little Glen Lake is hydrologically the same as Big Glen Lake; originally, the two lakes were the same depth. Over time, however, sand filled in Little Glen Lake, so that its maximum depth today is 13 feet. The Glen Lakes are connected by a narrow channel and surrounded by pockets of forests and rolling sand dunes.

Both lakes feature sandy shores and spectacularly blue, crystal clear water. Access to the lakes is from a public boat launch on Little Glen Lake or from one of the many marinas. Alligator Hill pushes its nose into the northern side of Little Glen Lake and is a beautiful place to explore by canoe or kayak. With plenty of water to boat, swim and water-ski, the lake is also a fantastic place to fish. There are abundant populations of yellow perch, smallmouth bass, and northern pike along with both brown trout and lake trout.

The Glen Lakes are to the east of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore which was established in 1970. The dunes soar 110 feet above Lake Michigan, and the park preserves them and provides an opportunity to climb them. Including both the north and south Manitou Islands, the National Lakeshore also includes 31 miles of the shore of Lake Michigan. Passenger ferries provide access to the Manitou Islands and the lighthouse that still stands there. Visitors can climb the 100 foot tower for spectacular views of the Manitou Passage. On the southwest corner of the Island, visitors can explore the Giant Cedars and Shipwreck Hike. Passing through an old-growth white cedar forest known as the “Valley of the Giants,” the trail leads to the 1960 shipwreck of the Liberian freighter, the Francisco Morazan.

A seven and a half mile long driving loop allows the less adventurous to enjoy the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Lumberman Pierce Stocking loved the bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan. He planned the road in the 1960’s and operated it until 1976. After his death in 1977 the road became part of the National Seashore and was renamed the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. Open to traffic from April through November, the road offers spectacular views of the dunes, Lake Michigan and Manitou Islands and has an overlook looking down on Little Glen Lake.

Both the Port Oneida Historic Farm Tour and the reconstructed village of Glen Haven give visitors an opportunity to explore the rich history of Michigan’s Great Lakes. Glen Haven, originally called Sleeping Bearville, was a steamboat stop operating from 1865 through 1931. It was a natural harbor for the steamships that traveled from Chicago to Buffalo, and today visitors can tour the restored general store, blacksmith shop and cannery. Glen Haven sits on the sandbar that separates Lake Michigan from Little Glen Lake.

Glen Arbor is the nearest town to Little Glen Lake. In addition to restaurants and shops, the town has a variety of accommodations. Vacation rentals on Little Glen Lake include cabins and waterfront homes. Lakefront real estate is also available for sale. Trails near the lake invite hiking, biking and horseback riding during warm months, and cross-country skiing and snowmobiling during winter months. Hunting is also nearby.

The Glen Lakes have the well-earned reputation as some of the most beautiful in the world. With its amazingly clear blue water and white sand shores, Little Glen Lake more than lives up to the self-proclaimed title. Add the lake’s rich history, spectacular sand dunes and abundant fishing, and visitors will return time after time to this beautiful northwest Michigan lake.

Things to do at Little Glen Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing

Fish species found at Little Glen Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Brown Trout
  • Lake Trout
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Trout
  • Yellow Perch

Little Glen Lake Photo Gallery

    Little Glen Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

    Surface Area: 1,415 acres

    Maximum Depth: 13 feet

    Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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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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