Perch Lake, Michigan, USA

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

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Looking for Perch Lake 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 Perch Lake

Sipping wine on the dock at Perch Lake with nothing to break the quiet but the chorus of bullfrogs, time slows down – settling into a new rhythm. Peaceful uninterrupted nights give way to still mornings, and the wine changes to coffee, warming hands as the mist rises off the northwest Michigan lake. With its wooded shore and proximity to the state forest, Perch Lake feels like a step away from civilization into a calmer, more restful time.

Tucked away in the Northwest Region of Michigan in Grand Traverse County, Perch Lake covers 40 surface acres. No motor boats are allowed on the lake, preserving its natural charm. Its tree-lined shore and white sand beaches make it the perfect lake to explore by canoe or kayak and for swimming. The lake is full of fish and has healthy populations of bluegill, perch, pike and bass to challenge anglers. In the winter, ice fishing is popular on Perch Lake. The Boardman River, near the lake, also offers visitors a chance to canoe and fish.

Perch Lake is surrounded by the Traverse City State Forest. The 330,000-acre forest has trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding and includes the Seven Bridges Natural Area. Spanning parts of the Rapid River, a fantastic trout stream, the natural area was created around the river’s rustic wooden bridges. Only four bridges remain, all of which were rebuilt by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The state forest also includes the 3,300-acre Skemog Swamp Wildlife Area. It is a great place to explore a swamp environment and see the mink, otters, beavers, herons, egrets and songbirds that make the swamp their home. The wildlife area encompasses seven miles of shoreline along the Torch River and Skemog Lake. Boardwalks across the swamp provide visitors access to it and two viewing platforms to see the swamp wildlife.

Although Perch Lake may seem like a natural, wilderness lake, it is only 20 miles east of Traverse City. Known for the cherry orchards that line part of the Grand Traverse Bay off Lake Michigan, Traverse City is the self-proclaimed “Cherry Capital of the World.” Originally established to support the freighters that used the Manitou Passage between the mainland and the Manitou Islands, today the city has restaurants, charming shops and a variety of accommodations. Five nearby lighthouses, four of which are open for tours, offer visitors a chance to explore the region’s rich maritime history. At two of the lighthouses visitors are even allowed to serve as volunteer lighthouse keepers.

Perch Lake has waterfront vacation rentals and real estate available for sale. The surrounding forest and wooded shore, however, makes it seem almost uninhabited. With amenities as close as Traverse City, visitors can relax at Perch Lake, star gazing and listening to the frogs sing the night to sleep, while at the same time having easy access to anything they might want or need. Add the ice fishing and nearby skiing, and Perch Lake becomes a four season destination with something to please everyone. This northwest Michigan lake is sure to call visitors to its shores year after year.

Things to Do at Perch Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Forest

Fish Species Found at Perch Lake

  • Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Sunfish
  • Trout

Find Places to Stay at Perch Lake

If you’re considering a Perch Lake 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 Perch Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Perch Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, 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.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, 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.

Perch Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 40 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 849 feet

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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Custom Lake Tumblers

Captain / First Mate Custom 20 oz Tumbler

Custom Lake T Shirt

Personalized My Boat My Rules Unisex T-Shirt

Custom Lake Coffee Mug - On Lake Time

On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


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