Grand Haven, Michigan is a popular sailing and power boating location. You may access the lake by boat from Lake Michigan, the Grand River, or Spring Lake. The city of Grand Haven also offers fishing in its lakes as well as golfing on its nine courses.
Boats are available for rent at several locations along the shoreline. You can go out fishing, wakeboarding, waterskiing, or tubing. There are also cruises to enjoy the scenery while listening to live musicians playing onboard.
In addition to being a popular destination for boaters, Grand Haven is known for its beautiful beaches. There are more than 20 public access beaches located within five miles of the downtown area. You can walk any one of them in less than an hour. Bring your chair and umbrella, lay out a blanket, and have a picnic. When you're finished, throw your trash in the garbage cans provided or take it with you.
There are no motorized vehicles allowed on the beaches, so if you want to avoid traffic congestion, come without your car. However, there are bus services that will take you to various parts of town if you don't feel like walking.
Grand Haven is close to many other recreational activities as well.
You can also reach the lake by airboat on private property or with a permit from the U.S. Forest Service. There are no commercial fishing boats allowed on the lake but you can try your luck at trophy hunting.
The best times to go boating are in the warmer months. The water is less crowded then and you have a better chance of finding some peace and quiet. In the winter, most areas are closed to traffic so you won't find many people on the lake. However, this is also when the fish tend to hide away from the cold weather. If you're looking for action, plan your trip during these months.
There are several different types of boats available for rent on the lake. Most people opt for a canoe because it's easy to maneuver and allows you to cover a lot of ground quickly. If you want to feel like you're really out on the water, book a pontoon boat because there are plenty of places where you can drive your car onto the boat which gives you full use of its seating capacity.
The Illinois Waterway connects Lake Michigan to the Gulf of Mexico through the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. Commercial tug-and-barge traffic is heavy on these rivers. The Erie Canal and the Hudson River in New York allow pleasure boats to access and depart the Great Lakes. Canals were once used to transport cargo along with people; they are now used for recreational purposes only.
Lake Michigan is the largest of the five major Great Lakes. It covers an area of about 95,000 square miles (250,000 km2) and has a maximum depth of 684 feet (202 m). The lake was formed when the last glacier melted at the end of the Ice Age 10,000 years ago. The water that remained after the ice had receded served as drainage for a large forest area now known as the Lake Michigan Basin.
The lake supports a diverse population of fish, including largemouth bass, black crappie, whitefish, yellow perch, and tiger muskellunge. Fish feed on algae that grow on the bottom of the lake. Fishing remains popular here as it is in other parts of North America. However, fishing since the 1950s has been restricted in some areas due to pollution from agricultural runoff and urban development. Public access sites offer fishing without a license for humans 16 years or older. Catch-and-release is recommended for all species except for black crappie, which can be kept as food fish.
Boating is available all year in locations like Navajo Lake, which flows south into New Mexico for the bulk of its length. Another popular site is Grand Lake, which is known as the "Great Lakes of Colorado" due to its five nearby lakes. Boat rentals are available at the majority of large lakes and marinas. You can also bring your own boat if you want to go fishing or sightseeing around the area.
The best times to go boating in the Great Lakes region are from mid-May through mid-September. The water temperatures generally stay consistent throughout this period, so you won't need a coat for cold days or nights. Fishing remains good during most of these months, but expect some areas to be closed because of low lake levels. Check with local authorities before you go if any areas are restricted because of toxic algae growth or other issues.
Navajo Lake is one of the largest resorts in southern Colorado and has many activities available including hiking, biking, skiing, and white-water rafting. It's only an hour drive from Cortez on Highway 160 west toward Taos National Forest.
Grand Lake is smaller than Navajo Lake and has fewer attractions, but it's still a nice place to go boating. The town of Granite is located on the shore of the lake, so there are plenty of places to eat after you get off the boat.