Long Lake (Grand Traverse County, Michigan)

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Long Lake
Neal Lake
Long Lake, Grand Traverse County, Michigan.jpg
Long Lake from the Northwestern Shore. Gilbert Park in foreground. Brush, Picnic & Long Islands in background.
LocationGrand Traverse County, Michigan (Long Lake Township & Green Lake Township)
Coordinates44°42′N 85°42′W / 44.7°N 85.7°W / 44.7; -85.7
TypeLake
Primary inflowsMickey Lake, Ruth Lake, Fern Lake, Page Lake
Primary outflowsPlatte River [1]
Max. length3.96 mi (6.37 km)
Max. width1.86 mi (2.9 km)
Surface area2,860 acres (12 km2)[1]
Average depth26 ft (8 m)
Max. depth88 ft (27 m)[1]
Shore length116.71 mi (26.9 km)
Surface elevation846 feet (258 m)[2]
IslandsPicnic Island (or Snake Island), Long Island, Fox Island, South Island, Brush Island
SettlementsNeal (Ghost Town), Crescent Shores, Long Lake Peninsula
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Long Lake (formerly known as Neal Lake) is the largest lake in Grand Traverse County, Michigan.[2] It is located about 15 minutes west of Traverse City. It is locally known for being a great fishing and recreation lake, especially boating its 4.6 square miles. The Carter-Strong Bird Sanctuary is a protection area at the southwestern end of the lake.[3] Long Lake is the 36th largest lake in Michigan by surface area.

The mouth of the Platte River, which initially flows west out of southern Long Lake as Sucker Creek, and into nearby Lake Dubonnet.

Long Lake is the namesake of Long Lake Township.

Geography[edit]

Long Lake is almost completely encircled by forests. Many small subdivisions sit in these forests, making the lake a popular residential area, especially on its eastern and northern shores, which are shallow.

The lake is also known for its jagged coast, with many bays and peninsulas, like Sucker Bay (which outflows into the Platte River) and the Long Lake Peninsula, a small, private unincorporated community on the largest peninsula in the lake.

Two other towns sit on the western and northern shores of the lake, Crescent Shores and Linwood (a.k.a. Neal) respectively.

The nearest towns that aren't on the lake are Traverse City to the east, Grawn to the southeast, Interlochen to the south, and Lake Ann in Benzie County to the west.

Surrounding Lakes[edit]

Below is a list of the smaller lakes that surround Long Lake, some of which flow into Long Lake.

  • Bullhead Lake
  • Whelock Lake
  • Cedar Lake
  • Skiver Lake
  • Jersey Lake
  • Fern Lake
  • Page Lake
  • Coffield Lake
  • Hunter Lake
  • Huellmantel Lake
  • Dyer Lake
  • Bass Lake
  • Saunders Lake
  • Dubonnet Lake
  • Ruth Lake
  • Mickey Lake

Recreation[edit]

Long Lake is famous in the area for being a popular recreation lake.

There are three public parks on the shores of the lake:[4]

  • Taylor Park
  • Gilbert Park
  • Crescent Shores Park & Boat Launch

Many homeowners on the lake also own boats. Boaters on the lake choose to swim, water ski, and fish. Many varieties of fish live in the lake, but fishers tend to find Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Muskellunge, Northern Pike, Rock Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Sunfish, Walleye and Yellow Perch.[5]

Points of Interest[edit]

  • Carter-Strong Bird Sanctuary
  • Head of the Platte River
  • Long Lake Peninsula
  • Page Lake
  • Mickey Lake
  • Linwood
  • Crescent Shores

Lake Roads[edit]

Long Lake is surrounded by 4 main roads: North Long Lake, South Long Lake, East Long Lake, and West Long Lake Roads. These roads encircle the lake in their respective directions. North Long Lake Road, also known as County Road 610, is the longest and most traveled, and it connects Traverse City with Lake Ann and northern Benzie County.

Islands[edit]

Below is a list of the islands in Long Lake:

  • Picnic Island (a.k.a. Snake Island)
  • Long Island
  • Fox Island
  • South Island
  • Brush Island

Long Island is a popular location for boaters on the water to visit. It is the largest island in the lake, and is surrounded by shallow waters, which makes it popular for swimmers and fishers. It is also the largest island in Long Lake.

Picnic Island is a small island, but has a large hill on it. This island is popular with hikers and people who want to spend a day on the lake. This island is occasionally known as "Snake Island" because of its abundance of snakes.

Fox and South Islands are the most popular islands in the lake, as every summer, local Boy Scouts camp on these islands. These islands are also owned by the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy.[6]

Brush Island is the smallest island in Long Lake, and it is virtually unused, with a small amount of boaters using it as a fishing destination.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Miller, J.B., and Thompson, T., 1970. Compilation of data for Michigan lakes: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File-Report, 368 p.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Long Lake (Grand Traverse County, Michigan)
  3. ^ "Carter Strong Bird Sanctuary - Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy". Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy. Retrieved 2017-11-24.
  4. ^ "Long Lake Twp. Parks Map" (PDF).
  5. ^ "Long Lake". Lake-Link. Retrieved 2017-11-24.
  6. ^ "Long Lake Facts | Long Lake Association | Traverse City, Michigan". Long Lake Association. Retrieved 2017-11-24.

External links[edit]