Glen Lake

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Glen Lake
Location Leelanau County, Michigan
Coordinates 44°52′N 85°57′W / 44.867°N 85.950°W / 44.867; -85.950Coordinates: 44°52′N 85°57′W / 44.867°N 85.950°W / 44.867; -85.950
Primary outflows Crystal River
Basin countries United States
Surface area 4,871 acres (19.71 km2) Big
1,415 acres (5.73 km2) Little
Max. depth

130 ft (40 m) Big

13 ft (4 m) Little

Glen Lake is a lake located in Leelanau County in the U.S. state of Michigan, near Lake Michigan. Several villages and hamlets lie along or near its shore, including Burdickville, Glen Arbor, and Glen Haven. The lake actually consists of two large bodies of water connected by a narrow channel crossed by the State Route 22 bridge, with the larger body to the east being referred to as "Big Glen Lake" and the smaller body to the west as "Little Glen Lake". The two bodies, collectively referred to as Glen Lake, are at the same level and hydrologically similar. The total surface area of the two bodies are 4,871 acres (20 km2) and 1,415 acres (6 km2), with maximum depths of 130 feet (40 m) and 13 ft (4 m) respectively. There was a point in time when the lakes were actually the same depth,[citation needed] but sand blown from the adjacent Sleeping Bear Dunes is slowly filling in Little Glen. Big Glen Lake is nearly perfectly round, while Little Glen is more elongated. The lakes empty into Lake Michigan via the shallow Crystal River which winds through Glen Arbor.

Glen Lake from the shore

The lake is located in a spectacular setting of wooded rolling sand hills just east of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, centered at 44°52′N 85°57′W / 44.867°N 85.950°W / 44.867; -85.950 (Glen Lake). It is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the Great Lakes region. Its waters, filtered by the underlying and surrounding sands, are remarkably clear and pure, and glow with an iridescent indigo blue. Its beauty, purity, and lack of large waves make it a popular lake for vacationers, with opportunities for boating, swimming, and fishing. Sportfish present include yellow perch, smallmouth bass, northern pike, brown trout, and lake trout.

Big Glen Lake From West Shore
Big Glen Lake's Clear Water

The many trails, roads, and elevations in the area make Glen Lake a popular destination for running training. At the end of August, many colleges and high schools send students from athletic programs to the Glen Lake area for training, including the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia.

According to local legend, Glen Lake was recognized as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world by National Geographic Magazine. Although the National Geographic Society denies ever publishing such a ranking, the assertion dates back to at least 1936.[1]

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  1. ^ National Geographic, April 1936, page 476