Small-Town Michigan and Lovely Lake Charlevoix

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July 20, 2009

General Info: Young State Park covers 563 acres of beautiful wilderness at the east end of Lake Charlevoix on the northwestern side of “the Mitten”–Michigan’s lower peninsula. The terrain varies from lakeshore to gently rolling hills and cedar swamp, making it a nice stop off the beaten path to explore northern Michigan’s natural splendor.

lake-charlevoix-boating-michiganHours and Fees: The park is open from April 1 to December 1 for summer fun on Lake Charlevoix or enjoying the winter wonderland snow trails. A vehicle permit is required. Call the park office at (231) 582-7523 for details. Download the park map PDF.

Activities: Lake Charlevoix beckons with plenty of activities to enjoy the summer sun on the water. It is 17,260 acres and has depths up to 122’. It also has access to Lake Michigan. A boat launch provides access for boats under 16’, and you can enjoy fishing, power-boating, water-skiing and sailing. The lake is stocked each year with rainbow, brown and lake trout. The smaller Mirror Lake is a pond stocked with sunfish and rock bass; it’s a great fishing site for children.

The park also features a swimming area on Lake Charlevoix with a beach house and concession stand nearby for your convenience. Picnic areas with grills/fire pits overlook the beach, and an adjacent playground lets visitors keep a watchful eye on their children at play. Two hiking trail loops meander around the park and allow opportunities for walking, jogging and wildlife watching. The Deer Flats Nature Trail is 3.4 miles and doubles as a cross-country ski trail in winter. The 1.5-mile White Birch Trail is strictly for foot travel only. Horseshoe pits, softball fields, and basketball courts round out the park’s outdoor activities.

young-state-park-summer-picnic-areasJust two miles east of the park, the small-town charm of Boyne City is worth exploring. Check the Boyne Chamber of Commerce website for a calendar of local events to see what’s happening while you’re in the area.

Camping Info: Young State Park has three separate camping areas, all with modern facilities. There are a total of 240 RV campsites with 50 amp electrical hookups. A dump station is available. The sites are grass back-ins (20×40’) and are handicap accessible. Restrooms and showers are located at all three campgrounds. Firewood and a public phone are also onsite. Nightly rates range from $16-$29 depending on type of site and time of year.

If you’re from the Great Lakes State or have visited Young State Park in the past, please chime in with your stories and travel tips!

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  1. Doug,
    Thanks for pointing out the typo—Ooops! Haha. I’ll fix it right now.

  2. Doug L

    I’ve always loved the Lake Charlevoix area. Small towns, friendly people, many artists and galleries to visit, and some of the best food to be found in Michigan. The geographic decription in the article is a bit off; you might want to check on the north WEST side of the state. Lake Charlevoix empties into Lake Michigan, and unless someone recently moved it…