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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Crystal Lake in Benzie County

There's probably a Crystal Lake in every county of Michigan. But this is the largest one in the state, and the 9th largest inland lake in the state. It's about an hour north of me,in Benzie County, and occasionally my work assignments take me there. Today was such a day. Here's a map.

Crystal Lake

The pictures are taken from the spot labeled "1."

First we are looking west, toward Lake Michigan, at that big square end. Here's a odd thing about this lake. It has no natural outlet to Lake Michigan. In 1873 some people (I'm thinking non-engineers) opened a channel but they neglected to take into account the fact that Crystal Lake is much higher. It dropped the level of Crystal Lake significantly. Even though the channel was closed, the water level never recovered. Whether you want to call it good or bad, it provided a ring of rather level land which is now populated with cottages and created several nice beaches.

Crystal Lake

Here's a view of the hills straight across. There aren't any towns on the north side of the lake. Frankfort and Elberta are southwest. Beulah and Benzonia are at the east end. The watershed for this lake is very small. There are also no rivers that flow into it. The water is known for being exceptionally clear, so at least it earns its name.

Crystal Lake

Looking east, you can see the bay bumping out to the south, and the narrow end in the distance. There is one small creek that will flow out of Crystal Lake when the water is high, drain into the Betsie River and then into Lake Michigan. It's in the middle of that bump of a bay. As lakes near Lake Michigan go, this one is unusual in many ways.

Crystal Lake

For a look toward the west in summer, see Vistas, Lakes, and Who's Looking

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Ratty said...

Looks like a nice place to visit. A strange thing for me is that I was just recently considering visiting Crystal Lake just south of Sioux City. I guess they have them everywhere. :)

Ann said...

Michigan likes to name their crystal lakes huh? :)
Looks like a nice view in those pictures

Secondary Roads said...

What an interesting story on the uniqueness of this beautiful lake and of its development.

Anonymous said...

People really do not understand how things work, yet we do like pretending we do.

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