Long Lake-Grand Traverse County, Michigan, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Long Lake Grand Traverse County — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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Looking for Long Lake Grand Traverse County 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 Long Lake Grand Traverse County

Long Lake, near Traverse City in Grand Traverse County, is a popular vacation destination with activities and vistas that lighten the soul. Whether your vacation plans include non-stop fun or solitude, you can have the best of both worlds at Long Lake.

Located just 15 minutes from Traverse City, Long Lake is the perfect spot for a vacation or year-round home. The neighborhood is becoming upscale, although not as expensive as Traverse City. Yet there are still loads of summer-cottage-style residences and a good number of year-round homes. They all share beautiful views and a clean lake. The sandy-bottomed lake and sand bars provide plenty of swimming spots; the natural shoreline holds plentiful fish for the taking. There are even two tiny connected ponds, Mickey and Ruth Lakes, and four islands. The Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy allows public access to South Island in Long Lake and the Carter-Strong Bird Sanctuary on Ruth Lake. In addition, the Gerald Oleson Foundation allows public access to its island on Long Lake. Timbers Girl Scout Camp shares the northeast shore.

The lake is enjoyed for all types of water sports. Watercraft rentals are available locally or you can bring your own. There are two public boat ramps at Gilbert Park and Crescent Shores Boat Launch. Fishing is popular here; the lake gives up bluegill, brown bullhead catfish, green sunfish, largemouth bass, muskellunge, northern pike, pumpkinseed sunfish, rock bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, yellow bullhead catfish, and yellow perch. And, in winter, there is ice fishing, of course. No matter what the season, there is something interesting going on at Long Lake.

Long Lake is primarily spring fed and has a natural outlet stream leading to Lake Dubonnet. Much of the land in the area is agricultural, but there are still many stands of woods in the area. Long Lake is definitely a far cry from the city in feel but very close if you need to make the trip. Hiking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and birdwatching are a short distance away. Grand Traverse County has worked hard in conjunction with Long Lake Township to assure that the area remains accessible to nature and in sound ecological shape. The two local lake associations work together to manage the natural resources under their care.

For those times when you wish a change of pace or scenery, Traverse City offers galleries, fine dining, and shops just a few minutes away. The spectacular bay is a perfect spot for either sheltered sailing or as the gateway to Lake Michigan. The Traverse City regional airport makes this area accessible for family and business gatherings.

Traverse City is a town of festivals; there is always an Art Show or celebration going on, such as the world-famous Cherry Festival. In keeping with their reputation as a fruit producing area, there are farm markets and U-Pick facilities all over the county. Charlevoix is a short drive from Traverse City and provides yet another great resort city with activities planned year-round to enchant the visitor.

Less than thirty miles to the west, you can hike Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, see the lighthouse, or visit a local winery. There’s even an old-fashioned drive-in at Honor, 20 miles away. Interlochen Center for the Arts hosts a summer music festival just a few miles south. The majority of the major ski resorts in Michigan are less than two hour’s drive from Long Lake. Mackinaw City and the Big Mac Bridge are a 112-mile drive along the lakeshore on US 31. If you go, make sure to cross to St. Ignace and sample one of the world-famous pasties. And you won’t want to miss the lighthouses at Old Mission Point and Grand Traverse.

Long Lake is 325 miles from Chicago and 266 from Detroit. Book your vacation rental, and come visit Long Lake. You’ll never want to leave.

Things to Do at Long Lake Grand Traverse County

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding

Fish Species Found at Long Lake Grand Traverse County

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Brown Bullhead
  • Bullhead Catfish
  • Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye
  • Yellow Bullhead
  • Yellow Perch

Find Places to Stay at Long Lake Grand Traverse County

If you’re considering a Long Lake Grand Traverse County 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 Long Lake Grand Traverse County Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Long Lake Grand Traverse County 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.

Long Lake Grand Traverse County Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 2,860 acres

Shoreline Length: 17 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 846 feet

Average Depth: 26 feet

Maximum Depth: 70 feet

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

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