Pleasant Lake, Michigan, USA

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

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Looking for Pleasant Lake MI 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 Pleasant Lake MI

Pleasant Lake is a small family-friendly lake tucked away in southeast Michigan. The 269-acre all sports lake in Jackson County has more than enough water to boat, water ski and swim, and anglers can expect exceptional fishing year round. Known for its fantastic golf courses, the area around Pleasant Lake has something for the whole family.

The Pottawatomie Indians called Pleasant Lake “Nipcondish,” and the lake and area around it were valuable hunting and fishing grounds. Settlers began moving into the area in 1853, and the town of Pleasant Lake was platted November 1, 1870 by William Thompson and Sheldon Ball. It was the railroad, however, that caused Pleasant Lake’s most significant growth. The New York Central Railroad passed near the west end of the lake. Every day four passenger trains carried visitors to and from the lake, building the lake’s reputation as a recreation destination.

Today Pleasant Lake is a quiet town with a restaurant, shops and amenities convenient to the lake. Cottages dot the shoreline, and there are vacation rentals available as well as real estate for sale. A county park sits on the shore with a picnic area, campground and beach for swimming. A paved public boat ramp is also available for launching boats, and Pleasant Lake has a small island perfect to explore by canoe or kayak.

Pleasant Lake is full of fish; anglers can challenge themselves against the bluegill, crappie, northern pike, and largemouth bass. The lake freezes solid enough in the winter for ice fishing, providing year round recreation opportunities. Jackson County owns the current dam built in 1962, and water levels are managed by the Jackson County Drain Commission.

The first golf course in the area was built in 1898, and Jackson County and the city of Jackson have been recognized by the National Golf Association. The county is also a great place to goose and turkey hunt, and there are over 20,000 acres of public recreation land in the county. In addition to numerous other county parks, the Falling Waters Trail is a 10.5-mile long linear park along the old Michigan Central Railroad Bed. The park is used for hiking, biking, jogging, skating, and in the winter for cross country skiing.

Pleasant Lake is only a few miles north of the Waterloo Recreation Area. The area includes 20,500 acres with over 15 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. There are also trails for cross country skiing and snowmobiling. The Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Center has exhibits, a geology room and places for bird watching. It is a great place to spend the day while visiting Pleasant Lake, or visitors can camp in the recreation area campground if they want to extend their stay.

For hundreds of years, visitors have been coming to Pleasant Lake to catch fish and play in the water. The lake still retains its small town charm making it a great destination for families. Add the nationally recognized golf courses, and Pleasant Lake becomes a southeast Michigan destination with something to please everyone.

Things to Do at Pleasant Lake MI

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Birding

Fish Species Found at Pleasant Lake MI

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Pike
  • Sunfish

Find Places to Stay at Pleasant Lake MI

If you’re considering a Pleasant Lake MI 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 Pleasant Lake MI Vacation

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

Pleasant Lake MI Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Jackson County

Surface Area: 269 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 940 feet

Maximum Depth: 53 feet

Completion Year: 1962

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