Pine Lake, Michigan, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Michigan - Southwest -

Located in rural Barry County, Michigan, Pine Lake is actually four lakes connected by small navigable channels. With Kalamazoo a short 30-mile drive to the south, Grand Rapids a 65-mile drive to the north, and Battle Creek 30 miles to the southeast, Pine Lake offers a tranquil retreat from the busy pace of city life. The land surrounding 660-acre Pine Lake is typical of the low, rolling plains found in Michigan’s Southwest Tourism Region. Here, the four seasons bring a full range of activity from wildlife watching in the spring and boating in the summer to scenic drives in the fall and ice fishing in the winter.

Pine Lake is a spring-fed lake with no inlet or outlet. Lake levels are dependent upon snow melt, rain, and evaporation rates that can lead to substantial fluctuations in water levels. The Barry County Drain Commissioner maintains a pump that adds water to Pine Lake, should the water level become too low. In the event of high water levels, seawalls are constructed to protect lakefront property. The four lakes that make up Pine Lake are known by their number. Lake 1 is the southwestern lake with its far west shore bordering Allegan County; Lake 2 is in the northwest; Lake 3 is in the northeast; Lake 4 is the southeastern lake. In addition to the connecting channels, several islands and coves make Pine Lake an ideal place for fishing and boating.

The Pine Lake Association is a non-profit volunteer organization that monitors conditions in and around Pine Lake’s 11-mile shoreline (islands not included). The board and association directors address issues involving water level, invasive plants, and safety. The association publishes “Pine Lake News” and sponsors events that enhance the wonderful sense of community found on Pine Lake. Residents actively participate in the annual Pine Lake garage sale, Fourth of July boat parade, Halloween party, and fundraising raffles.

The majority of Pine Lake’s well-developed shore is lined with vacation rentals, seasonal and weekend residences. Two parks owned by Prairieville Township provide public access to Pine Lake. One-acre Center Street Park is located along the western shore of Lake 2. Here, visitors will find a paved boat launch, pier, picnic tables, restroom, and parking. An annual pass and daily fee are required for use of Center Street Park boat facilities. Pine Lake Recreation Area is an 18-acre park with courts for playing volleyball, tennis and basketball, a ball field; play equipment, and pavilion with picnic tables, restroom and water pump.

Those fortunate to live along Pine Lake’s waterfront will find opportunities for boating, swimming, water skiing, riding personal water craft, and fishing just outside their door. Posted boating regulations follow “The Michigan Handbook of Boating Laws and Responsibilities,” published by Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources. In addition to the published regulations, Pine Lake’s many coves are all considered no-wake zones. If fishing is your pleasure, you will enjoy the thrill of catching bluegill, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, crappie, or walleye.

Barry County’s comfortable country lifestyle attracts residents and visitors to the shores of Pine Lake. Michigan’s rural traditions come to life within easy driving distance of Pine Lake. Located on Barlow Lake, Bowens Mills lies 20 miles north of Pine Lake. A Michigan Historical Site, this restored mill has seen milling operations come and go since the late 1830s. Now this living history museum is open by appointment May through August. From the second weekend in September to the end of October, the mill’s cider presses come alive for “It’s Cider Time Festivals.”

Charlton Park Village Museum and Recreation Area, 25 miles northeast of Pine Lake, is built upon lands once used by Pottawatomi Native American tribes. Today, the land is occupied by 25 restored buildings housing artifacts that depict rural Michigan life during the late 19th and early 20th century. The grounds are open daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Come prepared for picnics, swimming and fishing because the surrounding 298-acre recreation area includes river and lake access, shelters, paved boat ramp, and beaches.

Yankee Springs Recreation Area lies 10 miles north of Pine Lake; nine lakes are located within this 5,200-acre park. A modern campground at Gun Lake provides a boat launch, electrical service and modern restrooms. Rustic campgrounds are available, including provisions for equestrian campers. Thirty miles of hiking trails, 12 miles of mountain bike trails, and nine miles of horseback trails are open to cross-country skiing in the winter. Fishing, hunting, wildlife watching and swimming are among other activities available in the recreation area. Picnic shelters, playgrounds, two public beaches, and two “universally accessible fishing piers” are available for family fun.

Located between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, and 20 miles southeast of Pine Lake, Fort Custer Recreation Area offers rustic and modern campgrounds. Originally a World War II military training center, the state now maintains 25 miles of trails open to hiking, cross-county skiing, dog sledding, horseback riding and mountain biking. And when the snows start to fall on Pine Lake, winter sport enthusiasts will find two ski areas within 20 miles of their home. To the west of Pine Lake, Timber Ridge and Bittersweet Ski Areas offer skiing, and snowboarding fun.

With each season, residents find a new reason to appreciate the simple pleasures of life on Pine Lake. Wake to the smell of fresh country air, celebrate holidays with family and neighbors, and enjoy the natural beauty and gentle sounds of lakefront living. You are welcome at Pine Lake, where lakefront vacation rentals and real estate properties are available and waiting for you.

Things to do at Pine Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Water Skiing
  • Tennis
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Snowboarding
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Dog Sledding
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Museum
  • Playground

Fish species found at Pine Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Pine Lake Photo Gallery

Pine Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Water Level Control: Barry County Drain Commissioner

Surface Area: 660 acres

Shoreline Length: 11 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 892 feet

Average Depth: 14 feet

Maximum Depth: 32 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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