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  Any tips on S. Haven or Charlevoix Michigan?

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Author Topic:   Any tips on S. Haven or Charlevoix Michigan?
SuburbanBoy posted 08-02-2001 11:28 AM ET (US)   Profile for SuburbanBoy   Send Email to SuburbanBoy  
Any tips on S. Haven or Charlevoix Michigan? We are taking a family trip soon, stopping in South Haven enroute to Charlevoix. I have a 15' w/70hp w/GPS and Compass. Where are the boat ramps? Any interesting places to explore? All suggestions are appreciated. It looks as if the Black River in South Haven can hold some interest. And as I recall, Beaver Island off of the Charleviox coast might be doable, but I have not checked the distance. Thanks!


RFK posted 08-02-2001 03:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for RFK  Send Email to RFK     
Have been to Charlevoix several times and have covered both arms of the lake. Pretty place, and you will have a great cruise. Charlevoix has good ramps, and you will have no trouble finding them.

Didn't have the courage to go to Beaver Island, so I can't help you there. However, if this is a family trip, consider stopping on Torch Lake. The south end of Torch has a marvelous sand area. You can put in at Alden. From the beach area you can go down a river, which is on the west side and it will take you to two adjacent lakes. (Torch has the appearance of a Carribean setting when you go from the deep water to the light sand area.) Incidently, Torch is the deepest inland lake in Michigan.

The harbor area of Charlevoix is picturesque,and the lake is nice to cruise. I think Torch offers more family fun.

RFK posted 08-02-2001 03:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for RFK  Send Email to RFK     
Another fun trip is Petosky over to Harbor Springs. Petosky's ramps are good. Harbor Springs is a quaint place, and you get an opportunity to see the great old mansions from the water. (It is a gated community and therefore you can't get in from land.) There is a Whaler dealer in Harbor Springs.

Dick K.

Whaletosh posted 08-02-2001 03:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    
I will be in around St. Joe, South Haven, Saugutuck, and Holland the last week of August and the first week of September.

The public launch ramp for South Haven is just upstream of the drawbridge on the south/east side of the river (it bends at this area so direction is hear to describe). Plenty of docks and parking and good bathrooms. With a 15 you could explore upstream, but the Black River isn't really all the navigatable much above Blue Star highway and isn't really all that interesting. If the lake is nice run up to sugatuck for an afternoon. If the lake isn't so nice go up in a car.

The Charlevoix area has many ramps:

Charlevoix-municipal launch site on the south side of Lake Charlevoix

Ironton- right at the junction of the east arm and the main lake. Wonderful DNR site. Lots of parking, great dock, stall toilets, and no fees as of the last time I was there.

East Jordan- at the end of the east arm. small municipal dock with moderate parking. would be fine for your boat.

Boyne City-don't know much about this, there is a ramp a Young State Park, which is usable by you boat.

Charlevoix is a big lake and there are probably other launch sites. Jim has a write up in another section of the website about a trip he made to the Charlevoix area.

Don't even think about Beaver Island; it is 32 miles to the St. Marina. Not a trip for 15 footer.

If you are going to be in the Charlevoix area for a while thoroughly explore the lake, Charlevoix, Boyne City. You might want to go to the Horton's Bay and Walloon Lake area to see some of the Hemingway historical sites; including Windmere Cottage on Walloon lake. Much of this area is presented by Papa in his Nick Adams stories.

If you have time and want to go for an extended cruise trailer over to Conway and put into Crooked Lake. This is the western gate of the Inland Waterway. you can boat via Crooked Lake, Crooked River, Burt Lake, Indian River, Mullet Lake, Cheboygan River and into Lake Huron if desired. There is small lock near Alanson and larger lock in Cheboygan. Leave plenty of time! it is a long trip and much of it is no wake. Pay atention to the channel markers. Especially on the Indian River; which twists and turns trough some wetlands.

Another trip would be to trailer down to the launch ramp at the northern end of torch Lake in East Port. you can navigate down to the southern end, through the Torch River to Lake Skemog and then to Elk Lake. Be carefull of the "Sand Bar" at the south end Torch Lake, this is large sand bar that would be great to stop at and play in the water. Also be carefull in the torch river the current is very stong and you need to watch for dead heads and logs. the water is very clear.

A good trip by car would be to head up to Harbor Springs and to take "The tunnel of Trees" to Cross Village. This is M-119 and winds around the northern shore of Little Traverse Bay. Try to time it so that you get to got to Legg's Inn for Polish and American food.

hope this helps.


Whaletosh posted 08-02-2001 04:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    
Harbor Springs has many areas that aren't gated, in particular a nice shopping area downtown.

The Whaler dealer in Harbor Springs is the Irish Boat Shop. They have a store in Charlevoix as well.

While in Charlevoix at least drive by and see one of the "Mushroom" houses. These were designed by Frank Loyd Wright.

Ben posted 08-03-2001 07:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ben  Send Email to Ben     
I will be up at Torch Lake for the next 2 weeks beginning Saturday - it is a great lake. We are staying at the North end and each day the kids get a 18 mile boat ride to the ice cream store in Alden. When will you be up there - maybe I will see you on the lake?


Whaletosh posted 08-03-2001 09:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    

I am going to be at Interlochen Sunday afternoon through Friday morning. Maybe I'll zip up to Torch Lake. I have a Dauntless 14. If you see one on the lake it is probably me. I will be monitoring channel 16, hail for Whaletosh.


Whaletosh posted 08-03-2001 09:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    
P.S. for Ben,

I really like Quicken 2000 on my Mac.

RFK posted 08-04-2001 07:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for RFK  Send Email to RFK     
Here a beat-the-heat side trip from Torch Lake. About half-way on the east side of the lake you can exit to get on Clam Lake. Go all the way up Clam and on the northeast corner you can enter Grass River. About half a mile up Grass River there is a stream coming in from the east side. If you have the right one, this is Cold Creek. Nose in and get out in the sand and you will get quite a shock. The creek lives up to its name! The water is unbelieveably cold. Have canoed up the creek and it is an interesting place. You can't walk more than twenty yards without your legs cramping up.
Whaletosh posted 08-04-2001 02:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    
Further upstream on the Clam River you would aslo get to Lake Bellaire. A dam prevent getting to Central lake. Launch in Central Lake and you acn for to Elsworth and Six Mile Lake.

Torch, Elk, Skemog, Bellare, Charlevoix, Huron, Michigan, Central, Six Miles, Walloon, Elsworth, Burt, Black, Pickeral, Crooked, Inland Waterway...... Yes, there really are that many possibilities in this area and they are all very close to Charlevoix. Here in michagan we used to have a saying, "if you are looking for a pleasant peninsula look around you".

Can you tell I love my home state?


Orca posted 08-06-2001 12:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Orca  Send Email to Orca     
Whaletosh, I believe the houses you refered to are Earl Young's.He also did the Weathervane. Aug.4 was a "Woodstock of boating day" on the sandbar. While goofing on the "Thunderduk" a swooped in for classic oneup. Maybe 500 boats in all. Many,many go fasts. Pontoon with a 225 Merc,hyd. jacker Plate,chain saw blender,1800 watts. Only two Whalers. Would a scientific sampling indicate that Whalers don't party?
jimh posted 08-07-2001 08:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Lake Charlevoix is a perfect spot for a Whaler-15 to cruise around. The launch ramp at Ironton is excellent.

I would not suggest going to Beaver Island in a 15-foot boat. It is a long trip and you are exposed to the full fetch of Lake Michigan. You can trailer your boat over to Beaver Island via the ferry, although that might be expensive. Once there, most of the boating would be exposed to the open lake winds and waves, so it could be rough.

From Charlevoix you can go east on Lake Michigan about five miles to Bay Harbor. It is an interesting spot to poke around and see the new development of homes and boats in the area. They have a "shopper's dock" where you can tie up and go ashore.

We were up there for five days last month and got banged around pretty good in the open lake, so I would not suggest making any long passages in a small Whaler unless the weather was especially calm.


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