One of the signature features of Northern Michigan is the Inland Waterway, an impressive stretch of navigable water that stretches across the state. The combination of beautiful all-sports lakes and winding rivers make these waters some of the most revered in the region.
Pickerel Lake & Crooked Lake
If working from west to east, the Inland Waterway “begins” in the sister waters of Pickerel & Crooked Lakes. Connected by a channel, these waters live somewhat contiguously as a single lake. One of the major draws to Crooked & Pickerel Lakes is their proximity to Petoskey and a wide array of dining, shopping, and recreation. These lakes are much smaller than their Inland Waterway peers (Pickerel Lake is just over 1000 acres, Crooked Lake is roughly 2,300 acres) but enjoy the same limitless on-water pursuits as their larger peers.
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The most well-known and popular lake on the Inland Waterway is Burt Lake. As the 4th largest inland lake in the state of Michigan, Burt Lake knows no bounds when it comes to on-water recreation opportunities. Boaters, jet skiers, fisherman, swimmers, and every other type of lake enthusiast will find Burt Lake an optimal destination. Conveniently located just west of I-75, Burt Lake is convenient for downstate visitors, and relatively close to towns such as Indian River, Cheboygan, Harbor Springs, Alanson, and Petoskey. Burt Lake strikes the perfect balance between on-water fun and off-water accessibility. At over 17,000 acres, Burt Lake has a broad and diverse real estate market, which has seen a significant uptick in values over the last couple years. Most Inland Waterway buyers start their search with Burt Lake properties.
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Following Burt Lake on the list of largest Michigan inland lakes is Mullett Lake, which boasts over 16,500 acres of its own! Mullett Lake is a stunning lake centrally located in the northern lower peninsula. In addition to being a paradise for on-water living, Mullett Lake enjoys exceptional privacy and relative seclusion despite its size. Though Cheboygan and Indian River are in fairly close proximity, Mullett Lake is largely isolated from major social hubs. For buyers that seek exceptional lakefront, sweeping water views, and a relatively affordable price point, Mullett Lake real estate makes sense.
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The rivers of the Inland Waterway are the “ties that bind” this magnificent stretch of water together. The Crooked River ties Crooked Lake to Burt Lake. In the southeast corner of Burt Lake the Indian River begins, and meanders northeast to Mullett Lake. Finally, boaters can make their way from Mullett Lake out to Lake Huron by way of the Cheboygan River, which runs right through the city of Cheboygan. These rivers offer their own broad array of quality real estate. Many times waterfront buyers gravitate towards the rivers due to the relatively affordable price point. While the lakes of the Inland Waterway get most of the notoriety, these connecting rivers are stunning in their own right.
Use the Map Search to Identify Listings on the Inland Waterway Rivers
With close to 40,000 navigable lake acres and miles of winding rivers, the Inland Waterway is truly one of Northern Michigan’s great treasures. For real estate buyers, options abound from modest waterfront condos on Crooked Lake for $150,000 to multi-million dollar lake compounds on Burt or Mullett Lakes. If the idea of limitless on water travel appeals to you, I recommend exploring these lakes and rivers in more detail. Call me at (231) 622-1535 and let me help you hone your search on the Inland Waterway. I look forward to helping with your search!