Lake Charlevoix Live Cam

It is the third largest inland lake in the state

Hosted by:
  • Lynda's Real Estate Service
  • 27 S Lake St. - Boyne City
  • Michigan 49712 - United States
  • +12315829555
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Lake Charlevoix is a picturesque freshwater lake located in the northern part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. It has a rich history, with Native American settlements dating back thousands of years. Here's an overview of the historical significance of Lake Charlevoix:

Native American Presence: The area around Lake Charlevoix was inhabited by various Native American tribes for centuries before European settlers arrived. The Odawa (Ottawa) and Ojibwa (Chippewa) tribes were among the indigenous peoples who lived in the region. They relied on the lake for fishing and transportation.

European Exploration and Settlement: The first Europeans to explore the area were French fur traders and missionaries in the 17th century. The French established trading posts and missions in the Great Lakes region, including near Lake Charlevoix. The lake's name itself reflects its French heritage, as it was named after Pierre-François-Xavier de Charlevoix, a French Jesuit explorer.

Logging and Lumber Industry: In the 19th century, the logging and lumber industry became a dominant force in the region. The vast forests surrounding Lake Charlevoix provided an abundant supply of timber, which was floated down the lake and its tributaries to mills. This industry played a crucial role in the development of nearby towns and contributed to Michigan's economic growth.

Resort and Tourism Destination: As the lumber industry declined in the late 19th century, the area around Lake Charlevoix began to attract tourists looking for a natural paradise. The lake's clear waters, beautiful shoreline, and proximity to Lake Michigan made it a popular destination for summer resorts. Charlevoix, Boyne City, and East Jordan are among the towns that developed around the lake to cater to the growing tourism industry.

Famous Architecture: Charlevoix, in particular, is known for its unique architecture. The town features several buildings designed by renowned architect Earl Young, who used local stone and driftwood to create distinctive, whimsical structures. These "mushroom houses" and other unique buildings have become iconic symbols of the area.

Modern Recreation and Preservation: Today, Lake Charlevoix remains a popular destination for boating, fishing, swimming, and other outdoor activities. It is also part of a broader effort to preserve the natural beauty of northern Michigan. Efforts to protect the lake's water quality and ecosystem continue to be a priority for local communities and environmental organizations.

Lake Charlevoix's history is intertwined with the broader history of northern Michigan, from its Native American roots to its role in the logging industry and its transformation into a recreational haven. The lake's natural beauty and cultural heritage continue to make it a cherished destination for both residents and visitors.

Top Tourist Attractions

Lake Charlevoix and the surrounding area offer a variety of tourist attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you're interested in outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply taking in the natural beauty of the region, here are some top tourist attractions around Lake Charlevoix:

  • Lake Charlevoix: The lake itself is a major attraction. It's perfect for boating, sailing, kayaking, and fishing. You can rent watercraft or take a scenic boat tour to explore the lake's pristine waters and picturesque shoreline.
  • Charlevoix Mushroom Houses: These unique and whimsical homes, designed by architect Earl Young, are an iconic attraction in Charlevoix. You can take guided tours to learn more about the history and architecture of these one-of-a-kind structures.
  • Fisherman's Island State Park: Located at the northern tip of Lake Charlevoix, this state park offers hiking trails, a beautiful beach, and excellent birdwatching opportunities. It's a great spot for picnics, swimming, and wildlife observation.
  • Ironton Ferry: Take a ride on the historic Ironton Ferry, which crosses the narrows between Lake Charlevoix and Lake Michigan. It's one of the last remaining hand-cranked ferries in the United States and provides unique views of the surrounding waterways.
  • Castle Farms: This historic castle and garden in Charlevoix offers tours of its beautifully landscaped grounds, gardens, and historic buildings. It often hosts events and weddings in a picturesque setting.
  • Downtown Charlevoix: Explore the charming downtown area with its boutique shops, art galleries, and restaurants. It's a great place to stroll, shop for unique souvenirs, and enjoy local cuisine.
  • Boyne City: Located on the eastern shore of Lake Charlevoix, Boyne City offers a variety of activities, including the Boyne City Farmers Market, great dining options, and access to Lake Charlevoix for boating and fishing.
  • Jordan River Valley: Just east of Lake Charlevoix, this scenic area is known for its hiking trails, including the North Country Trail. The Jordan River, a designated National Wild and Scenic River, flows through the valley, providing excellent opportunities for canoeing and kayaking.
  • Petoskey: Nearby Petoskey is famous for its beautiful Lake Michigan beach and its unique "Petoskey stones," fossilized coral rocks found along the shore. The town also offers shopping, dining, and cultural attractions.
  • Biking and Trails: The Lake Charlevoix area is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with numerous biking and hiking trails, including the Little Traverse Wheelway, a scenic path that connects several towns along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
  • Winter Sports: In the winter, the area offers skiing and snowboarding at Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands resorts, as well as opportunities for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.

These are just a few of the many attractions and activities you can enjoy around Lake Charlevoix. Whether you're interested in outdoor adventures, exploring history and architecture, or simply relaxing by the lake, the area has something to offer visitors year-round.


Lake Charlevoix experiences a climate typical of the Great Lakes region. The climate is characterized by four distinct seasons with varying temperatures and precipitation. Here's an overview of the climate around Lake Charlevoix:

  • Summer (June to August): Summers in the Lake Charlevoix region are generally mild and pleasant. Average high temperatures during this season range from the mid-70s to low 80s Fahrenheit (around 24-28°C). It's a popular time for outdoor activities like boating, swimming, hiking, and exploring the area's natural beauty. Summer is also the peak tourist season, so you can expect more visitors.
  • Fall (September to November): Fall is a beautiful time to visit Lake Charlevoix due to the vibrant foliage. Temperatures start to cool down, with highs ranging from the upper 50s to mid-60s Fahrenheit (around 15-20°C) in September and gradually dropping as the season progresses. Fall foliage typically peaks in late September to mid-October, making it an excellent time for hiking and leaf-peeping.
  • Winter (December to February): Winters in the Lake Charlevoix area are cold and snowy. Average high temperatures during this season range from the mid-20s to low 30s Fahrenheit (-4 to 1°C), while lows can drop into the teens and single digits (around -10 to -5°C). Snowfall is common, and the area becomes a winter sports destination with skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and ice fishing opportunities.
  • Spring (March to May): Spring is a transitional season, with temperatures gradually warming up. Highs in March and April can range from the mid-30s to mid-40s Fahrenheit (around 2-9°C), while May sees temperatures rising into the 50s and 60s Fahrenheit (around 12-20°C). Spring is a great time for hiking and exploring, as the area starts to thaw, and flowers begin to bloom.
  • Lake Effect Snow: One notable climatic feature of the region, especially during the winter, is "lake-effect snow." As cold air flows over the relatively warmer waters of Lake Charlevoix, it picks up moisture, leading to heavy snowfall in downwind areas. This phenomenon can result in significant snow accumulation and is a characteristic of the Great Lakes region.

Keep in mind that the weather can vary from year to year, so it's a good idea to check local forecasts when planning your visit to Lake Charlevoix. Additionally, the lake itself can have a moderating effect on temperatures, keeping the immediate lakeshore areas slightly milder in both summer and winter compared to inland areas.


Lake Charlevoix is a picturesque freshwater lake located in the northern part of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. It is renowned for its natural beauty, clear waters, and scenic surroundings. Here's an overview of the geography of Lake Charlevoix:

  • Location: Lake Charlevoix is situated in the northwest part of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. It is part of Charlevoix County and is surrounded by several communities, including Charlevoix, East Jordan, and Boyne City. The lake is also relatively close to Lake Michigan, which lies to the west.
  • Size: Lake Charlevoix is one of Michigan's larger inland lakes, covering an area of approximately 17,200 acres (around 27 square miles or 70 square kilometers). Its shoreline stretches for about 56 miles (90 kilometers).
  • Shape: The lake's shape is somewhat unique, with three main arms or basins. These include the North Arm, South Arm, and Main Arm. The South Arm, which is the largest and southernmost portion, is separated from the Main Arm by a narrow channel known as the Ironton Narrows. The North Arm extends to the north and is connected to Lake Michigan via the Round Lake and Pine River Channel.
  • Depth: Lake Charlevoix is a relatively deep lake, with a maximum depth of approximately 122 feet (37 meters). The depth can vary throughout the lake, with some shallower areas near the shoreline.
  • Islands: There are several islands within Lake Charlevoix, adding to its scenic beauty. Some of the notable islands include Fisherman's Island, Norwood Island, and Pine Pointe Island.
  • Surrounding Topography: The lake is surrounded by rolling hills and wooded areas, creating a picturesque setting. The shoreline varies from sandy beaches to rocky outcrops. These natural features make it an ideal destination for outdoor activities and water recreation.
  • Inlets and Outlets: The primary inlet of Lake Charlevoix is the Jordan River, which flows into the North Arm. The primary outlet is the Charlevoix Channel, which connects the South Arm of Lake Charlevoix to Lake Michigan.
  • Natural Beauty: The Lake Charlevoix area is known for its natural beauty, including clear blue waters, lush forests, and abundant wildlife. It offers numerous opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

Lake Charlevoix's unique geography, with its distinct arms and connection to Lake Michigan, contributes to its popularity as a recreational destination and a place of natural wonder in northern Michigan. It has become a haven for residents and tourists alike who seek both relaxation and outdoor adventure in a stunning natural setting.