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#571645 - 09/01/18 12:02 PM Upper MidWest Boating Destinations  
Joined: Jan 2003
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Dock Holiday Offline
Admiral
Dock Holiday  Offline
Admiral

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Lake Geneva, WI
We just got back from a trip to Door County, WI, and would like to plan another trip for next year, so I am seeking recommendations for good boating destinations in the upper Midwest (MN, WI, MI, IA, OH, etc).

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#571648 - 09/01/18 11:08 PM Re: Upper MidWest Boating Destinations [Re: Dock Holiday]  
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GoFirstClass Offline
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Grand Poobah

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Posts: 15,166
Pasco, WA
It would be about a day's tow from Lake Geneva to Mackinaw City, MI and you would be within easy cruising distance of the North Channel and Georgian Bay areas.

I boated there many years ago and still remember how crystal clear the water is and how beautiful the country is.


"Beachcomber" 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge


Anchor's down......Bottoms Up!
#571686 - 09/06/18 09:24 PM Re: Upper MidWest Boating Destinations [Re: Dock Holiday]  
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casualboater Offline
Admiral
casualboater  Offline
Admiral

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Posts: 3,150
Highland, Michigan
GFC has you pointed in a great direction, but I'll digress a little. Crossing Lake Huron to the North Channel and Georgian bay in a smaller boat is more then I can stomach. Those areas are on my list for the trawler I dream of...

Just a few miles south of Mackinaw City is the Inland Water way. Starts in Cheboygan at the Cheboygan river which takes you to Mullet Lake, or you can branch off on the Black River to Black Lake.. From there, the Indian River connects to Burt Lake. From Burt Lake you can take the Crooked River to Crooked Lake. If you have a canoe or kayak, you can complete the passage to Lake Michigan.

The entire system is crystal clear, lots of sand bars for hanging out and a few quaint towns to explore and dine. There is a lock on both the Cheboygan river (free) and the Crooked River (few bucks).

Not far away is Lake Charlevoix, lots of money here as it connects directly to Lake Michigan. The houses are beyond description. You can also hit Walloon Lake which is Hemingway's old stomping grounds, I believe family still owns property there. Torch Lake is just south of there, like a freshwater Caribbean, super clear water. As you head towards Traverse City Elk Lake (which connects to Torch Lake) is great, and boating on Grand Traverse Bay is good. One of our favorite days is Lake Leelanau, gorgeous lake and you can take the river into Leelanau and explore the town and Fish Town.

Of all these, I've spent time everywhere but Walloon, I don't think you could pick a better boating area then Norther Michigan for clear water and sandy bottoms and great little towns.


1989 Larson DC 190
2007 Saab 9-7x
#571687 - 09/06/18 10:18 PM Re: Upper MidWest Boating Destinations [Re: Dock Holiday]  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 15,166
GoFirstClass Offline
Retired Boating Bum
GoFirstClass  Offline
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Grand Poobah

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 15,166
Pasco, WA
Yup, CB mentioned something I didn't think about--the north end of Lk Huron can get a tad bit rough. We crossed east to west one time in swells so large we couldn't see out when we were in the trough and we were on a 32' pilothouse boat.

If you take that inland waterway route he suggested, when you get to Indian River, stop at the Indian River Inn for some great food. Well, at least it was good in the 60's when I lived in Gaylord. The beer was darn cold too! But I wouldn't know that first hand because I was not yet 21.


"Beachcomber" 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge


Anchor's down......Bottoms Up!
#571688 - 09/07/18 09:52 AM Re: Upper MidWest Boating Destinations [Re: casualboater]  
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 11,134
Capn Morgan Offline
Scallywag
Capn Morgan  Offline
Scallywag
Admiral

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 11,134
West Michigan
Originally Posted by casualboater
GFC has you pointed in a great direction, but I'll digress a little. Crossing Lake Huron to the North Channel and Georgian bay in a smaller boat is more then I can stomach. Those areas are on my list for the trawler I dream of...

Just a few miles south of Mackinaw City is the Inland Water way. Starts in Cheboygan at the Cheboygan river which takes you to Mullet Lake, or you can branch off on the Black River to Black Lake.. From there, the Indian River connects to Burt Lake. From Burt Lake you can take the Crooked River to Crooked Lake. If you have a canoe or kayak, you can complete the passage to Lake Michigan.

The entire system is crystal clear, lots of sand bars for hanging out and a few quaint towns to explore and dine. There is a lock on both the Cheboygan river (free) and the Crooked River (few bucks).

Not far away is Lake Charlevoix, lots of money here as it connects directly to Lake Michigan. The houses are beyond description. You can also hit Walloon Lake which is Hemingway's old stomping grounds, I believe family still owns property there. Torch Lake is just south of there, like a freshwater Caribbean, super clear water. As you head towards Traverse City Elk Lake (which connects to Torch Lake) is great, and boating on Grand Traverse Bay is good. One of our favorite days is Lake Leelanau, gorgeous lake and you can take the river into Leelanau and explore the town and Fish Town.

Of all these, I've spent time everywhere but Walloon, I don't think you could pick a better boating area then Norther Michigan for clear water and sandy bottoms and great little towns.


Thanks Casual, was waiting for you to post this , so I did not have to.

I'll add:
We did the Inland waterway for our 6th time this past July.
We just got back from 5 days in Charlevoix at the City Marina. Cruised to Boyne City, East Jordan, Ironton while on the lake
We did a side trip to Fisherman's Island on Lake Michigan, and a trip up the lake from Charlevoix to Bay Harbor, then went
up to Petoskey and back to Charlevoix.
We did camping and boating for 9 days on Torch lake mid August. This is our 5th year doing this trip.Of course we hit Clam Lake, Lake Skegomog
and Elk Lake while we were there.
We did GT Bay in early June for 3 days. Hit 6 different ports/cities during the trip.

Needless to say, owning a cuddy has been a perfect fit for us. Lot's of overnights, and some long trips this year.


2004 Chaparral 235 SSi
[Linked Image]
#571689 - 09/07/18 12:18 PM Re: Upper MidWest Boating Destinations [Re: Dock Holiday]  
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Dock Holiday Offline
Admiral
Dock Holiday  Offline
Admiral

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Lake Geneva, WI
Crazy good info above! Gives me plenty of stuff to research over the winter! Thanks! thumb


Wondering, has anyone boated in Lake Superior around the Apostle Islands or Houghton MI?

#571690 - 09/07/18 12:35 PM Re: Upper MidWest Boating Destinations [Re: Dock Holiday]  
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 11,134
Capn Morgan Offline
Scallywag
Capn Morgan  Offline
Scallywag
Admiral

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 11,134
West Michigan
Originally Posted by Dock Holiday


Wondering, has anyone boated in Lake Superior around the Apostle Islands or Houghton MI?


We never have. We like to swim and enjoy the water, Superior is beautiful, but you need a wet suit to
get in it. It never gets much above 60 degrees, EVER.



2004 Chaparral 235 SSi
[Linked Image]
#571696 - 09/10/18 02:42 PM Re: Upper MidWest Boating Destinations [Re: Dock Holiday]  
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Posts: 3,150
casualboater Offline
Admiral
casualboater  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,150
Highland, Michigan
We had a magical summer vacation on Lake Superior a few years ago. Summer was hot, and the lake was swimmable, particularly in some of the shallow sandy bays. We did not take the boat, but did rent a pontoon to tour the Pictured Rock lakeshore. Took all day, swam in the lake and played in waterfalls. Amazing trip. Also spent some time in the Keewenaw Penninsula, which is where Houghton is. Did a couple of beach days there.

Fair warning, this was late July and I think I mentioned, hot. It's a narrow window if it appears. I have not visited the Apostle Islands, but if I do manage to get a trawler it's high on the list.


1989 Larson DC 190
2007 Saab 9-7x
#571697 - 09/11/18 08:59 AM Re: Upper MidWest Boating Destinations [Re: Dock Holiday]  
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Justification Offline
Admiral
Justification  Offline
Admiral

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Fruit Heights, Utah
I've been able to overnight in Traverse City a couple of times, fortunately in the summer.
What an amazing location that I would love to enjoy by boat.
I was there for the Cherry Festival in July of 2017 and had a really good time getting a feel of the "small town atmosphere"
Heading to the hotel I saw a boat coming in and thought, "That looks like a Predator"
Wandered over to the marina and sure enough it was a Predator 83 tied up to the transient dock. Real good cross section of boats


Beer makes you feel the way
You should feel without beer.
#571698 - 09/11/18 12:04 PM Re: Upper MidWest Boating Destinations [Re: Dock Holiday]  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,150
casualboater Offline
Admiral
casualboater  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,150
Highland, Michigan
We were there for the air show last year, we attend frequently. Put the boat in early or they ramp fills up on a nice day. We boat into town via the Boardman River and check out some of our favorite stores, then head back out to the beach area to toss the hook and enjoy the show. Usually stay for a while after just enjoying the beach time. One of my favorite trips, even when we only go up for the day.


1989 Larson DC 190
2007 Saab 9-7x

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