Located in the heart of the Leelanau Peninsula, Lake Leelanau is a pristine lake running through almost the entire county. Lake Leelanau appears to be two lakes, and is even referred to as North Lake Leelanau and South Lake Leelanau, but the two lakes are connected by what is known as “The Narrows,” a narrowing of the lake that looks like a river. The village of Lake Leelanau is located at the narrows. South Lake Leelanau is the shallower and warmer lake of the two, but both are breathtakingly beautiful and from top to bottom the North and South Lake total about 22 miles in length.
Lake Leelanau’s water levels rose 12 feet when a dam was built on the Carp River (which connects Lake Leelanau to Lake Michigan) in 1854.
Cool things to do: boat around the lake (rent one from Stander Marine in Leland), swim (public access spots: Nedow’s Bay, East Leland Park (on 641 at the northern end of North Lake Leelanau), Fisher “Fudgie” Beach (just south of Leland on M-22) Schneider’s Beach (at the end of Popp Road (off M-204) 1.5 miles west of the village of Lake Leelanau), fish, or just hang out.
Head into Lake Leelanau for some fantastic vegetarian food and great antique shopping, Cedar for the best processed meat in the area and some great local ice cream inventions, or Leland for great shopping, delicious food, and much more.