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Old 11-14-2017, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by R-KID View Post
...I never heard about the inland waterway.

[NOTE: a somewhat longer and more detailed version of this article is now available at

http://continuouswave.com/forum/view...t=2862&p=16357 ]

The inland waterway extends from Lake Huron at the mouth of the Cheboygan River, thence upstream into Mullet Lake, thence through the Indian River into Burt Lake, thence through the Crooked River to Crooked Lake and Pickerel Lake, ending at Conway. The total distance is probably more than 75-miles round trip. Many parts of the waterway in the rivers are limited in speed to 5-MPH. On the open water of the lakes you can go as fast as you want.

Originally Posted by R-KID View Post
...Easy to navigate?

The waterway has several obstacles;
--a dam and lock separates the upper and lower Cheboygan River; passage through the lock is on demand and costs about $5. Watch for very strong inrush currents on the upper side of the lock when it is filling; there is a very substantial height difference, perhaps 20-feet.

--several bridges of fixed height cross the waterway; I don't know the precise vertical draft limit, but if your boat is taller than about 15-feet, you should investigate this further; as I recall, the lowest bridge is probably the fixed highway bridge in Cheboygan at LINCOLN AVENUE. There is a SMALL CRAFT CHART BOOKLET available for this waterway; it will have details on vertical draft and bridge clearance; it shows 9-feet vertical clearance at the Lincoln Ave bridge, and this is likely to be controlling vertical draft. You can work around this by just launching upstream of this bridge, at THE FORKS.

--a very small lock separates the Crooked River south of Alanson from the two lakes above. The height difference is only about a foot. Generally I would not recommend travelling past this lock unless you really want to go to the very end of the waterway and return. Passage through the lock is about $5.

The waterway typically has at least 5-feet of water. The height of the Mullet and Burt lakes and most of the Cheboygan and Indian rivers is controlled by the dam in Cheboygan.

The waterway is well marked along the river passages. There are navigation marks at the ends of the lakes guiding you into the rivers.

Originally Posted by R-KID View Post
...Are there boat motels ?
Contact the BEST WESTERN RIVER TERRACE HOTEL
(231) 627-5688

If you take a room there, you can moor your boat to the seawall along the river at the hotel. You can also leave your boat trailer parked there, too. There is ramp nearby

When making a reservation with the hotel, tell them you are a boater and want to use the seawall and also leave your trailer there.

There is also another motel on the river: Fleetwood Inn and Suites. It is just upstream of the Best Western.

I am familiar with all of this route and have transited it many times in my 24-foot outboard boat.

There are two good launch ramps in Cheboygan:

--a large ramp and parking lot at the mouth of the river on the west bank, just north of town;

--a small ramp with less parking on the river, just upstream of the dam and lock

There is an excellent ramp facility south of Cheboygan at "The Forks".

I have never stayed at the motels mentioned.


Originally Posted by R-KID View Post
...is it scenic?
The waterway is most scenic in the Fall when the foliage is changing colors. However, there is a problem to travel the waterway at peak Fall color:

--because the trees along the lakes and rivers are near warm water, they do not change color until quite late in the season;

--because of the late change in color along the waterway, you may find that while the rest of northern Michigan trees are in brilliant fall color, the ones along the waterway are still in their summer green stage or at the earliest stage of color change;

--if you wait for the leaves to change color along the waterway, the air temperature will probably be very cold; we have started a "Fall Color Cruise" up there with air temperature in the 40's.

--the perfect cruise is one that occurs on an Indian Summer day, following a week of much colder temperatures.

In the absence of fall color foliage, the waterway is still relatively scenic; you will pass hundreds of beautiful lakefront homes worth millions, travel through preserved marshes and wetland forests, and have a chance to stop for lunch in several places (the villages of Indian River, Alanson, and Conway). You will also see a lot of other boaters in pontoon boats and PWCs.

Where to eat along the waterway:

--PIER M33, which has plenty of dock space for boaters; it is in the southern part of the Cheboygan River, not too far from Mullet Lake; the food is really top notch. This is not just a place on the water, it is a very good restaurant.
https://pierm33onthecheboygan.com/

--HACK-MA-TACK INN--rustic and traditional, has a seawall for boats; an old-style up-north place; lots of atmosphere. http://www.hackmatackinn.com/

--THE INN BETWEEN--in Indian River at the highway bridge; it is a bar, serves bar food; put a good place to stop on a fall color tour when you are cold and hungry; no website; look them up on Google and get reviews.

--ALANSON DEPOT RESTAURANT--in Alanson, a short walk up from the river and free docking (if there is an open slip). This is a decent place, not fine dining.


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Last edited by jhebert; 11-29-2017 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:00 AM
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I have written many narratives of trips in the Great Lakes, particularly Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior.

You can find these lengthy, detailed, illustrated narratives at

http://continuouswave.com/sail-logs/index.html

During the peak of the limited boating season, most marina with transient slips available will fill up very early in the day. Plan to arrive in early afternoon to get a slip. Call ahead for reservations.
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Last edited by jhebert; 11-14-2017 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 11-14-2017, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by km1125 View Post
Here are some charts of the areas.

This is the Inland Waterway from Cheboygan to Conway:
http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/14886.shtml

This is Lake Charlevoix:
http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/14942.shtml

Torch Lake and Grand Traverse Bay:
http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/14913.shtml

The Navionics WebApp pags with the Inland Waterway:
https://webapp.navionics.com/?lang=e...y=_sztGxu%7CcO
I can’t believe how deep lake Charlevoix and Grand traverse bay is.
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Old 11-14-2017, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jhebert View Post
I have written many narratives of trips in the Great Lakes, particularly Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior.

You can find these lengthy, detailed, illustrated narratives at

http://continuouswave.com/sail-logs/index.html

During the peak of the limited boating season, most marina with transient slips available will fill up very early in the day. Plan to arrive in early afternoon to get a slip. Call ahead for reserverations.
I can't get anything done since you posted this. I'm read to head up north! Thank you for awesome reading and all.
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by R-KID View Post
I can’t believe how deep lake Charlevoix and Grand traverse bay is.
Hell, Torch is over 300' deep.
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:34 AM
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The water is crystal clear too. You can clearly see details on the bottom in 25' of water these days. Every town in N Lake Mi has free shoppers docks, you can get lunch in Harbor Springs and ice cream after swimming in Charlevoix by boat the whole way. I like to leave the car parked, go days with only the boat for transportation, easy to do in many areas Up North.
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Old 11-15-2017, 03:32 PM
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Michigan does it right
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Old 11-21-2017, 03:15 PM
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If you get to Hessel, MI post here and I'll cook you dinner out at our cottage on Marquette Island.

Wilderness Bay is a great spot to anchor overnight.
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Old 11-29-2017, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by R-KID View Post
I can’t believe how deep lake Charlevoix and Grand traverse bay is.
In the Great Lakes it is possible to find depths of 1,000-feet. The maximum depths of the upper lakes are

SUPERIOR = 1,333-feet
MICHIGAN = 925-feet
HURON = 752-feet

On the lower lakes, LAKE ONTARIO is 880-feet deep. Only LAKE ERIE, at 211-feet, is relatively shallow.

Source: NOAA Chart 14500

http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/14500.shtml

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Last edited by jhebert; 11-29-2017 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 02-26-2018, 06:10 AM
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All of those pictures are beautiful but the prices in the areas pictured are a bit pricey. As an alternative you may want to consider Flint, as base of operation? Oh, did I mention the water?
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Old 02-27-2018, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Bison View Post
All of those pictures are beautiful but the prices in the areas pictured are a bit pricey. As an alternative you may want to consider Flint, as base of operation? Oh, did I mention the water?
Nothing wrong with the water. It was the same old plumbing that most cities still have in place. They had jumped around with Detroit and their own supply a couple times and in doing so, failed to condition the water (standard practice) to prevent old lead from leaching.
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Old 03-09-2018, 02:58 AM
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In my opinion there are three things every trailer boater should do in Michigan
in no particular order

Inland Waterway- I love it
Torch Lake- put in at Elk Lake and enjoy-
Higgins Lake- -anytime you can see bottom in 20' of water

plus all the great places to put in on Great Lakes, weather depending
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:32 AM
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Doesn't anyone like Houghton Lake anymore?
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Strypes View Post
Doesn't anyone like Houghton Lake anymore?
Houghton can get crowded and rowdy. Good for some walleye. Higgins is deeper, colder, cleaner. State park is easy to launch a big boat from.
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Strypes View Post
Doesn't anyone like Houghton Lake anymore?
It's average depth is 7ft, limits the amount of things you can do on it, and it's not connected to anything, so just a round lake...
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Old 03-24-2018, 06:20 AM
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For a summary of boat launch ramps in the Grand Traverse Bay area, see

Grand Traverse Bay Launch Sites
Grand Traverse Bay Launch Sites - CONTINUOUSWAVE

For information about the Inland Waterway see

Inland Waterway: Cheboygan to Conway
Inland Waterway: Cheboygan to Conway - CONTINUOUSWAVE

For a narrative of a six-day trip in the Grand Traverse Bay area by boat, see

July 2001 Cruise; Lake Michigan
July Cruise 2001
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Old 05-05-2018, 09:21 AM
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If you end up around Petoskey/ harbor spings dock at bay harbor. Only a little more per night and it is a super protected harbor. It is actually an old quarry with a channel blasted to the lake.
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