Location and access:
Access via Craig Lake Road (marked as Megellan; Craig Lake State Park sign at intersection) from US-41. Access is narrow dirt road, but well graded.
Land Owner/Entry Fee:
Michigan State Park – requires Passport
Small dirt parking lot with gated 1/4 mile 2-track trail to access site. The portage is very well graded, downhill from the parking lot.
Outhouse, picnic tables, firepits, recycle and trash at access site.
The water is very dark brown/red, but very pleasant to swim in. We stopped at one of the campsites, beached and swam, also at the picnic area near the access site.
The water was very refreshing, but the it was pretty mucky on the bottom. Also, the water is so dark, you can’t really see the big rocks – so, I suggest caution if “diving under”.
Description and thoughts:
Craig Lake State Park includes 3 lake systems and a network of trails that make it possible to portage from lake to lake. We paddled along the shoreline of Craig Lake, keeping the mainland to our left. We were out for about 3 hours, including a stop to swim. Our pace was pretty slow and mellow, so it could be done much quicker with more focused and consistent paddling.
There are some islands that you can paddle up to, some are sandy and seem to have picnic areas.
We all agreed that the lake is just stunningly beautiful and it was definitely worth the portage for the drop-in.
Old Town Loon 12′ Kayak
Time of year:
Early August, 2011