Silver Lake, Michigan, USA

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

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for Silver 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 Silver Lake

Pushing her kayak out into the water of Silver Lake, she glides through the early morning mist rising off the surface of the water. With steady, strong strokes she heads toward one of the six islands that dot the northwest Michigan lake. Over eight acres of islands and almost ten miles of irregular shoreline and peninsulas ensure plenty of places for her to explore. She’ll share the morning lake with the fishermen. By the time the children wake up and the speed boats start to cruise across Silver Lake, she’ll be ready to bask on the lake’s sandy shores resting sore muscles and letting the tension melt away in the sun.

As with most of the lakes in Grand Traverse County, Silver Lake was formed by glaciers. The 600-acre lake has an average depth of 23.4 feet and a maximum depth of 96 feet. On the south end of Silver Lake, Beitner Creek is the primary outlet. It joins the Boardman River which goes on to flow into the Grand Traverse Bay at Traverse City. In 1987 the Grand Traverse County Drain Commission added a high water overflow dam at the outlet of Silver Lake.

The Silver Lake Improvement Association was established in 1965 by a group of property owners. Intended to protect and preserve the water quality of the lake, the Association also provides a resource for owners of the many vacation rentals that ring the lake. In addition to the lakeside rentals, there are private residences and real estate available for sale on Silver Lake. The Silver Lake Improvement Association hosts an annual boat regatta and a fishing contest.

There is public boat access to Silver Lake near the town of Grawn. Along with canoeing, kayaking, boating, sailing and water skiing, fishing is popular on the lake. Silver Lake has abundant populations of perch, bass, sunfish, bluegill, walleye and pike to challenge anglers. Nestled in the western part of Grand Traverse County, the lake is surrounded by pine and hardwood forest and is ringed with sandy beaches perfect for swimming.

Grand Traverse County was established in 1840. Originally called Omeena County, it was named Grand Traverse County on April 7, 1851. Located along Grand Traverse Bay off of Lake Michigan, the county includes Traverse City. Called the “Cherry Capital of the World” for the cherry orchards that grew along the bay, Traverse City was originally established as a port city. The city is near the Manitou Pass, historically a busy and hazardous pass between the Manitou Islands and the mainland. Today Traverse City has restaurants, quaint shops, and any amenities visitors to Silver Lake might want. Snow skiing is nearby for winter enthusiasts, and local vineyards with wine tasting are available for wine connoisseurs.

Blue water, sandy beaches and more than enough room to boat, water ski and fish combine to make Silver Lake a fantastic Northwest Michigan destination. Add its proximity to Lake Michigan and Traverse City and a trip to Silver Lake is sure to hold something to please the entire family.

Things to Do at Silver Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Downhill Skiing

Fish Species Found at Silver Lake

  • Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Find Places to Stay at Silver Lake

If you’re considering a Silver 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 Silver Lake Vacation

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

Silver Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Grand Traverse County Drain Commission

Surface Area: 600 acres

Shoreline Length: 9 miles

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 862 feet

Average Depth: 23 feet

Maximum Depth: 96 feet

Water Volume: 13,887 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1987

Water Residence Time: 3.9 years

Drainage Area: 2,962 sq. miles

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.

Shop Silver Lake Gifts

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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