HOME

• About the Watershed
• Watershed FAQ
• Concerns & Issues
• Management Plans
• MDNR Boat Launch
• Public Access Sites

• About the CLWA
• Water Quality
• Education &
Communications
• Zoning & Land Use
• Development
• Ad Hoc & Special
Committees
• Calendar
• Membership Form
• Newsletters
• References
• Watershedware

Selected Web Links
Photographs

Last Revised:
6-26-2013

© Copyright
2004-2013
by the Crystal Lake
& Watershed
Association and
ATI Consulting

All Rights Reserved.

Site Meter

Crystal Lake and Watershed Association

 

Crystal Lake &
Watershed Association
P.O. Box 89, Beulah, MI 49617
Phone: (231) 882-4001
FAX: (231) 882-7810
Email Us
Follow us on Facebook

About The Crystal Lake Watershed


Details about the Crystal Lake Watershed –
History, Maps, Facts, and Photos

(See also:
Watershed FAQ)

The Crystal Lake Watershed is located in
Benzie County in Northwest Lower Michigan, USA.


Then and Now
• History of the Watershed
• The "Tragedy" of Crystal
Lake - 1873
• Original Survey Map -
"Cap Lake" - 1838
• G.L.O. Plat Maps of Benzie
County - 1838-9
• Crystal Lake, 1860
• Crystal Lake, 1873
• Benzie County, 1895
• The Manitou Passage, 1911
• Explore Our Watershed
(DOQ 1998)
• Explore Our Watershed
(Google Maps, 2012)
Where and What
• Earth as Viewed from the Sun
• Crystal Lake on the Earth
• Crystal Lake Flyover
• Satellite View of Crystal Lake
• Crystal Lake in the USA
• Crystal Lake in the Great Lakes
• Crystal Lake in NW Michigan
• Where is Benzie County, MI?
• Benzie County Townships
• Benzie County Inland Lakes
• Benzie County Watersheds
• Crystal Lake Watershed Boundary
• Crystal Lake Watershed - Details
• Interesting Watershed Facts
This and That
• Paleontology and Geology
of Michigan
• Aerial Photos
• More Photos
• Hydrology of Crystal Lake
and Lake MIchigan
• Sleeping Bear Dunes Map
• Digital Elevation Model of
Crystal Lake Watershed
• Landforms of Northern
Lower Michigan
• Lake Michigan Ice (including
Crystal Lake Watershed)
• Great Kayak Circle Route
(Proposed)

History of the Crystal Lake Watershed

Watershed Perspectives and Facts (2 pages, PDF document, 232 kB)

CHRONOLOGY

The chronology of the Crystal Lake Watershed extends from the present day (Holocene epoch) back to the extensive glaciations of several million years ago (Pleistocene epoch). Many advances and retreats of the glaciers across Michigan formed and reformed the Great Lakes over geologic time (Quaternary period). Levels of the large glacial lakes rose and fell by several hundreds of feet. Crystal Lake was a bay of Lake Michigan until about 2,000 years ago when it was finally became separated as the prevailing westerly winds created sand dunes to complete the embayment.

The Chronology of the Crystal Lake Watershed - Present to Past (Listing of 262 significant studies, reports, and events.) [PDF document, 96 kB, see here for details.]

HISTORY

The Crystal Lake Watershed has always captivated the imagination of all who walk about it. Beginning with the early explorations of Frs. Marquette and Charlevoix, the land survey of the Burt brothers, Alvin and Austin, the geological surveys of Douglass Houghton and Henry Schoolcraft, the environmental studies of Henry Chandler Cowles, William James Beal, Warren Gooklin Waterman, Irving D. Scott, and James Lewis Calver, and the prose of Walter B. Case and Bruce Catton, it has continued to the present day. The Crystal Lake Watershed contains many diverse, but hydrologically intertwined ecologies and unique environmental niches, including active sand dunes, forested heights, wetlands, tributaries, and a large deep inland lake connected to Lake Michigan. Crystal Lake, with its immense body of pristine water of exceptional clarity, mixed sandy and rocky nearshore perimeter, sandy shoreline, deep marl bottom, and high-ridged vistas, captivates all who view it.


The "Tragedy" of Crystal Lake - 1873

The essence of the "Tragedy" is contained in a famous and oft repeated "Epilogue":

The sun has set, and o'er the quiet lake
His light still lingers, reluctant to depart.
The darkening hills draw close, and over all
Peace reigns, but discontent still fills my heart.

But as I stand alone upon the shore
Peace also comes to me - I seem to hear
A voice amongst the murmur of the waves
Saying. "Be still and know that God is near."

And so, O lovely lake, you gave to me
A message straight from God. And I still take
That message with me as I wander far.
And hope once more to see you, Crystal Lake.

-- Walter F. Case, February 4, 1895 - March 6, 1923

Walter F. Case, was the son of William L. Case, his son, Leonard L. Case, was a lumberman (Timber Products Manufacturing Co. in Beulah) and a stringer correspondent for the Benzie Co. Advisor (“The Crystal Gazer’). W. L. Case was the man who so masterfully told the authentic story of the lowering of Crystal Lake. For many years, it was his desire to establish, for all times, the level of Crystal Lake as it was in 1873.

“In 1873 an ambitious but ill advised project was put through in an effort to connect Crystal Lake and Lake Michigan with a navigable channel. The original level of Crystal Lake was, at that time, much higher than its present level. The project was a complete failure in respect to its accomplishing its proposed purpose. The result was the lowering of the lake and exposing a wide stretch of beach around the entire lake and making possible the development of Crystal Lake as a resort and residential area as well as the site of the village of Beulah. This monument, erected by the people of Benzie County, stands at the original level of Crystal Lake. 1978.” (Case, William L., The Tragedy of Crystal Lake / By a Survivor, J.W. Saunders, Beulah, MI, 1922, 17pp.)

(*) This inscription appears on three permanent markers at the original level of Crystal Lake as located by the County Surveyor, Soil Conservation Department staff, and members of the Benzie Area Historical Society and unveiled in ceremonies on August 27, 1978. They are placed at three locations: (1) in the public beach park in downtown Beulah on the southeast shore of Crystal Lake, (2) at the corner of Crystal Drive and Warren Road, on the northeast shore of Crystal Lake, and (3) in Bellows Park on the southwest shore of Crystal Lake.

Marker in downtown Beulah:

Click on image for a larger view

Credit to Dr. David G. Penney
History & Images of Benzie County


The "Tragedy" of Crystal Lake most probably occurred sometime between Saturday, August 23rd and Wednesday, August 27th of 1873, with lowering of the lake continuing on into October of 1873, according to recent review of historical accounts by Dr. Stacy L. Daniels, Chair of the Education & Communications Committee. He has authored a comparison of the "Tragedy" with a similar event that occurred at a lake in Vermont back in 1810:

The "Runaway" and the "Tragedy": A Tale of Two Lakes, Having Disappeared, Being a Short Discourse on Certain Events Involving Two Inland Bodies of Water of Separate Geological Extents, but Sharing Certain Commonalities Leading to Profound Changes Thereby Affecting their Respective Destinies.

Abstract:

Many similar enterprises have been conceived and executed in modern times, both for the purpose of reclaiming land covered by water and for sanitary reasons. They (the unforeseen effects of draining and lowering lakes) are sometimes attended with wholly unexpected evils, as, for example in the case of Barton Pond (Runaway Pond), in Vermont, ..." George P. Marsh (1801-1882), American Environmentalist (& native Vermonter), /Man and Nature or Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action/, 1865.

Two monumental events of “disappearing lakes” occurred under very similar extenuating circumstances in early American history. Both involved significant lowerings of the levels of two deep cold-water inland lakes. One occurred in the East - Long Pond near the present-day village of Glover, Vermont, in 1810; the other in the upper Midwest - Crystal Lake near Beulah/Benzonia in Benzie County, Michigan, in 1873. Both events were precipitated by the interventions of men who dared to improve upon Nature's original designs by altering existing natural conditions with well-intentioned, but poorly conceived projects, which led to unforeseen consequences. Long Pond was drained in its entirety, and became known as "Runaway Pond". Crystal Lake lost a significant portion of its volume in an event duly noted as the "Tragedy of Crystal Lake". The *“Runaway”* and the *“Tragedy”*, and the impacts on their respective watersheds are discussed herein.


The "Runaway" and the "Tragedy": A Tale of Two Lakes - (22 page, 3.7 mB PDF document, see here for details.)

The story of "Runaway Pond" is documented at this Web site.


Survey Maps of Cap Lake (Composite of the 1838-9 Surveys)
(Source: Bentley Historical Library, The University of Michigan)

The southern two-thirds of present Benzie County were surveyed by the two Burt brothers, Alvin and Austin in 1838-9 to establish township and section lines (2). In addition the topography of the land, the forest growths, types of soil, streams, lakes, swamps, the species of growing timber, water power potential and other physical features of the area being surveyed were carefully noted and recorded. The surveyors did not find a great deal to be enthusiastic about. The quality of the soil is second or third rate and sometimes very poor and hardly worth resurveying, but almost without exception, the waters in lakes and streams were clear and the bottoms sandy or gravelly. Most of the lakes in the county were unnamed at the time of the survey. Platte Lake had its name before that time and Crystal Lake had been called Cap Lake, other records call it Carp Lake (*).

(*) Note: The origin of “Cap”, a derivative of Whitecap, a wave with a broken and foaming crest, begins around the time of the original survey (1838-9) and appears on a number of maps up through the Civil War period.

Click on image for a much larger view


G.L.O. Plat Maps of Benzie County, 1838-9
(Source: Michigan Geographic Data Library, MDNR)

Once at this General Land Office Plat Maps for Benzie County site, click on a region to bring up a PDF version of the plat map for that region. Note – "General Land Office (GLO) plat maps are derived from original surveyor notes of the State of Michigan. The survey was conducted in the early to mid 1800's. All documents pertaining to the original survey of Michigan can be found in the State Archives of Michigan."


Crystal Lake, 1860

Click on image for a larger view.


Crystal Lake, 1873

“Map Showing Sources and Courses of the Platte and Betsie Rivers, Benzie County, Together with Some of the Obstructions and Proposed Improvements for the Benzie County River Improvement Company, Benzonia, MI, 1873." [Centerfold: The “Hubbell Map”]

Click on image for a larger view.


Benzie County, 1895
(Source:1895 U.S. Atlas.)

By 1895, many of the locations in Benzie County were already named.

Click on image for a larger view
and the full Web page.


The Manitou Passage, 1911
(Source: Manistee County Historical Museum.)

The passage between the Manitou Islands and the western shoreline of Lake Michigan north of Point Betsie and Crystal Lake was well-known in the age of the large sailing schooners.

Click on image for a larger view
and the full Web page.


Explore Our Watershed - DOQ
(Source: Digital ortho-quadrangles from Michigan Department of Natural Resources)

Click here or on the image below for a larger view and further information on the 1998 digital ortho-quadrangles of Benzie County.


Click on image for a more detailed view.


Explore Our Watershed - Google Maps

You can virtually "walkabout" (or "flyabout") our Watershed and see the "big" picture or focus on individual features like hills, sand dunes, roads, cottages, docks, etc.

Click here or on the image above to see aerial photo of Crystal Lake area. Once there you do many things, some of which are:

  • zoom and out to see more or less of the area
  • move around by dragging the image
  • switch between satelltie photo view, a road map view, or Google Earth view


The Earth as Viewed from the Sun
(Source: The Earth Viewer, Copyright © 1989 by Jef Poskanzer.

Click here and in the window that comes up, enter Lat: 44"40" North and Long: 86°9' West to get a view of the Earth from the sun directly over Crystal Lake.


Crystal Lake on the Earth
(
Source: Visible Earth, A catalog of NASA images and animations of our home planet)

Click here to see how easily the Great Lakes and Crystal Lake can be seen from space.


Crystal Lake Flyover (WISC-T2000: Wisconsin Snow Cloud Campaign, 28 Feb 2000)

Sources:



Click on the thumbnail for a larger view of mosaic image

Mosaic shows:
1. Crystal Lake, just east of Lake Michigan (00-064; 20,10,2)
2. Ice forming in Green Bay on Lake Michigan (00-069; 20,10,2)
3. Snow on the Catskill Mountains in New York (00-068; 20,10,2)
4. Snow above the Green River valley in southern Utah (00-062; 20,10,2)
5. Mostly frozen Castle Rock and Petenwell Lakes (00-066; 20,10,2).


Satellite View of Crystal Lake
(Source: Crystal Lake — Life or Death, NASA Photograph)

Crystal Lake and surrounding area from 60,000 ft. altitude. Infrared processing renders soil and trees as shades of red.

Click on image for a much larger view


Crystal Lake in the United States
( 44 39' 33" N, 086 09' 23" W )
(Source: USGS National Mapping Information)

Crystal Lake is located in the Lower Peninsula (the "Mitten") of Michigan.


Click on image for a more details.


Crystal Lake in the Great Lakes
(Source: "The Great Lakes - An Environmental Atlas and Resource Book", Government of Canada and U.S. EPA, National Program office, Chicago, IL, Third Edition, 1995.)

Crystal Lake, large as it is, is but a small part of the immense Great Lakes water system (located west of Traverse City).


Click on image for a more details.


Crystal Lake in Northwest Lower Michigan
(Source: GIS Map for CLWF by NWMCOG)

Michigan's lower peninsula is surrounded by water on all sides except its southern border. The northern part of the lower peninsula of Michigan is one of the most water-oriented environments in North America.

Crystal Lake is located in northwest lower Michigan (along the edge of the little finger).

Click on image for a much larger view


Where is Benzie County Michigan?
(Source: Benzie County Chamber, MichiganMapsOnline.com)


Click on image for a more detailed view.


Benzie County Townships

See this site Michigan Township Maps for many interactive maps. Once you have the map open, you can zoom in to specific areas, change the map at which you are looking, and print the map image.

The Seven Commissioner Districts
and 12 Townships / 1 City in Benzie County

Click on image for a much larger view


Benzie County Inland Lakes
(Source: Michigan Department of Natural Resources.)

Maps are available for the seventeen inland lakes in Benzie County, such as:


Crystal Lake (Copyright by R.L. McNamee, 1935)
(PDF document,
see here for details.)

Click on image for a larger view.


Benzie County Watersheds

The map below shows the watersheds for northwestern lower Michigan. The black outline shows the Benzie County border. (Source: GIS Map for CLWF by NWMCOG)

Click on image for a much larger view

Benzie County, in northwest Lower Michigan, is the smallest of 83 counties in land area (321 square miles); but 24th in total water area (538 square miles); and 18th in inland lakes water area (26 square miles).

Note that the Crystal Lake Watershed is nestled between two riverine watersheds — the Platte River Watershed to the north and the Betsie River Watershed to the south.


Betsie-Platte Watershed
(Source:
Betsie-Platte Watershed — Watershed Central Wiki)

Looking at the combined Betsie-Platte Watershed – it's an eight digit hydrologic unit code (HUC) watershed located in the northwest corner of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula with an area of 812 square miles. It is one of 33 major subwatersheds of the Lake Michigan basin. Its Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) is 04060104."

Betsie-Platte Land Uses
Betsie, Platte Land Uses

Click on image for a much larger view

Betsie River / Crystal Lake Watershed
(Source: Northwest Michigan Council of Governments)

The Crystal Lake Watershed, HUC 04060104-0305, is part of the Betsie River Watershed.

The combined Betsie River / Crystal Lake Watershed encompasses parts of three counties (Benzie, Manistee, and Grand Traverse), seventeen townships, and six Hydrologic Unit Codes [HUC 04060104-0301, -0302, -0304, -0305, -0306, -0307]. The Crystal Lake Watershed [HUC 04060104-305] is actually a sub-watershed of the Betsie River Watershed, and in itself includes seventeen sub-sub-watersheds.


Crystal Lake Watershed Boundary & Longest Reach
(Source: Bill Arnold, Meridian Geographics, for the CLWF.)

The footprint of Crystal Lake fits into a larger footprint of the Crystal Lake Watershed. The longest reach (42,800 feet) is the longest horizontal distance on Crystal Lake. See Crystal Lake Watershed Boundary & Longest Reach (PDF document, 3.4 mB, see here for details.)


Crystal Lake Watershed - Details
(Source: GIS (Geoscience Information System) Map for CLWF by NWMCOG)

The Crystal Lake Watershed encompasses parts of six townships, is comprised of 17 subwatersheds, and flows into the Betsie River and Lake Michigan Watersheds. The Villages of Beulah and Benzonia are near the East End; the City of Frankfort and the Village of Elberta are near the West End.

The Crystal Lake Watershed is unique — the surface of the Lake is ~ 35% of the total Watershed (land + water).

More details about Crystal Lake Watershed are provided in the
Interesting Watershed Facts section below.

Click on image for a much larger view


Interesting Watershed Facts
(Source: Compiled by the Crystal Lake & Watershed Association.)

The Crystal Lake Watershed is a very contained watershed with a small land to water ratio. Our Interesting Watershed Facts table below provides facts about the size and shape of Crystal Lake in relation to the Crystal Lake Watershed.

Related: The
Betsie Valley Trail is a "rail-trail" that stretches 22 miles from Frankfort-Elberta, along Crystal Lake, through Beulah and Benzonia, and on to Thompsonville, Michigan.

Location Benzie County, Michigan.

See the
top of this page for maps of Crystal Lake and nearby area.

Watershed • Watershed Area (Land + Water): 43.97 square miles
(28,145 acres)
• Land Area: 28.58 square miles
(18,291 acres)
• Perimeter: 44.650 miles
• Includes two communities and parts of six townships.
• Includes 17 subwatersheds. See: Crystal Lake Watershed and Subwatersheds (PDF document, 51 kB, see here for details)
• While most of the total area (28,145 A) of the Watershed (land + water) is west of Beulah, most of the land-only area (18,291 A) within the Watershed is east of Beulah (58.41 % vs. 37.88%, respectively). Essentially all of the water-only area (9,854 A) is west of Beulah.

Crystal Lake • Lake Area: 15.40 square miles
(9,854 acres)
•   9th largest lake in Michigan (based on area)
• Ratio of (Land + Water) to Water 2.856
• Ratio of Land to Water 1.856
• Lake as percent of (Land + Water) 35
•   Perimeter:   20.838 miles
•   Unique perimeter due to historic drawdown
• Dimensions:

- Length (longest reach):

- Width (range):


- Width ("average"):
 

8.11 miles (42,800 feet)

1.41 - 2.46 miles
(~ 7,500 - 13,000 feet)


1.90 miles (~ 10,000 feet)
•   Depth (Avg=volume/area):   70.70 feet
•   Depth (max):   165 feet
•   Volume:   741,366 acre-feet, or 242,000,000,000 gallons or
916,000,000,000 liters
  > If all the water in Crystal Lake was spread evenly over all of Benzie County (assuming it was flat and the water didn’t soak into the ground), it would cover the land to a depth of 3’-8”, or just about head-high for a five-year-old!
  > It would take a faucet flowing at 10 gallons per minute for 51 years to create the volume of water contained in 1 inch at the surface of Crystal Lake!
      > Lake Michigan contains 4,918 cubic km (km3) of water. (1 km3 =
1,000,000,000,000 liters) Therefore there are the equivalent of 5,370 Crystal Lakes in Lake Michigan.
      > Crystal Lake contains enough water to fill ~370,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
      > Crystal Lake would fill the broad expanse of the harbor at Sidney Australia twice over.
    •   Elevation   600.25 feet (May 1 - Oct 31);
599.75 feet (Nov. 1 - Apr 30)
(above sea level)
    •   Position on the planet:

Center of Crystal Lake: 44.659167 N Latitude; -86.156389 W Longitude

As the crow flies, Crystal Lake is about halfway between “here” and “there”:


> It is halfway between the Equator and the North Pole (and about 1/4 away around the world from the Prime Meridian).

> It is halfway between the extreme northwestern edge of the Upper Peninsula and the extreme southeastern edge of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

> On the globe Crystal Lake is opposite a very remote spot in the middle of the Indian Ocean between Australia and Antarctica.
        Note: distances are in statute miles (5,280 feet) not nautical miles (6,072 feet) (One nautical miles is ~one minute of arc of latitude on any meridian.)

Benzie County   •   Benzie County, in northwest lower Michigan, is the smallest of 83 counties in land area (321 sq mi); but 24th in total water area (538 sq mi); and 18th in inland lakes water area (26 sq mi).
    •   In Benzie County, you are never more than 6(?) miles from an inland lake, or more than 25 miles from Lake Michigan.
See this Web site for Benzie County's inland lakes.

Michigan   •   In Michigan, you are never more than six miles from an inland lake or more than 85 miles from a Great Lake.


Paleontology and Geology of Michigan

During the Devonian, shallow tropical seas covered Michigan. Fossils are particularly abundant and include the trilobite, Phacops, many species of brachiopods, cephalopods, snails, crinoids, and Hexagonaria, the coral more commonly known as the Petoskey Stone (Michigan's state rock).

The Devonian in Michigan — 417 to 354 Million Years Ago

(Reference: http://www.paleoportal.org/time_space/period.php?period_id=13)

This map indicates a broad exposure of Devonian rocks along the southern shore of the upper part of Lake Michigan, as well as in the southeastern and southwestern parts of the state. (Credit: The Palentology Portal)


Aerial Photos of Crystal Lake

Crystal Lake is a large "footprint." Crystal Lake is higher than nearby Lake Michigan.

Click here for larger versions.

 

From Pt. Betsie toward Beulah, West to East, taken 9/96. (*)

 

From Beulah toward Pt. Betsie, East to West, taken 6/93. (*)

Betsie Bay & Frankfort, looking northwest, taken 6/93. (*)

Frankfort Harbor,
looking northeast (**)

(Sorry, no large version.)

(Sorry, no large version.)

West end of Crystal Lake,
looking south. (**)

West end of Crystal Lake,
looking east. (**)

   

   

West end of Crystal Lake,
looking south, May '05. (**)

   

* Photographs used with permission of Aerial Graphics, Grand Rapids, MI.
** Photographs used with permission of
Photography Plus, Muskegon, MI.


More Photographs

The Crystal Lake Watershed includes people and their activities. See more photos of the Crystal Lake Watershed and the people involved with CLWA, and the former CLWF and CLA organizations.


Hydrology of Crystal Lake & Lake Michigan
(Source: Dr. John C. Walton, University of Texas, El Paso.)

Crystal Lake is more than twenty feet higher in elevation than nearby Lake Michigan, as seen below:

Hydrology of Crystal Lake & Lake Michigan

Water Table - The level at which the water fills up below the ground surface. If you dig a hole in the ground, at some point you will reach water, this point is on the water table.

Precipitation (P) - The amount of rainfall and snow on the drainage basin.

Evaporation (E) - The amount of water that changes to water vapor and is lost to the atmosphere.

Evapotranspiration (ET) - Sum of water lost to the atmosphere from evaporation and transpiration (water lost through plant leaves).

Clay layers - Water cannot pass easily through clay layers and thus tends to flow around them. Water may build up or perch on the top of clay layers. Sometimes this leads to the formation of a spring.

Flow lines - The direction of ground water flow is shown by the arrows. Ground water may transport pollutants from septic tanks and fertilizers placed on lawns into Crystal Lake. The ground water flows in different directions depending upon location and time of year. Ground water always flows down an energy gradient but can sometimes flow uphill as shown.

Hydrology of the Great Lakes


Click on image for a much larger view.

(Source: "The Great Lakes - An Environmental Atlas and
Resource Book", Government of Canada and U.S. EPA,
National Program office, Chicago, IL, Third Edition, 1995.)


Click here for more on water levels of Lake Michigan.


Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Map
(Source: SBDNL, National Park Service)

The Crystal Lake Watershed is located just south of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

See also:
Scenic (Benzie) Corridor (SBDNL)

Click on image for a much larger view


Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the Crystal Lake Watershed

This model was prepared by Dr. Timothy Fisher, Associate Professor of Geology, The University of Toledo. Data were taken from the USGS National Elevation Dataset.

The false-color digital elevation model illustrates the complex glacial landscape surrounding Crystal Lake, including.

  1. The hill ridges that surround and define the Crystal Lake Watershed.

  2. Spillover from Crystal Lake into the Platte Plains through Round Lake (North).

  3. The present-day Outlet Creek flowing into the Betsie River (South).

  4. The largest present-day tributary to Crystal Lake, Cold Creek and its three branches (East).

  5. A large historical tributary near present-day Beulah (Southeast).

  6. A small historical outlet that drained into glacial lake Algonquin. Crystal Lake was a large bay that was finally closed off by blowing sand creating dunes near the present-day CSA (Southwest).

Click on image for a much larger view.


Landforms of Northern Lower Michigan (including Crystal Lake Watershed)
(Source: Bruce Knapp, Resource Soil Scientist, NRCS, March 5, 2004.)

Landforms of Northern Lower Michigan (including Crystal Lake Watershed)
(JPG image, 217 kB)


Click on image for a much larger view.


Lake Michigan Ice (including Crystal Lake Watershed)
(Source: Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory at Johnson Space Center, 2003, This Web Site.)



Click on image for a much larger view.



Crystal Lake, the Platte Lakes, and Glen Lake covered with ice.

Note the ice floes streaming north from Point Betise across Platte Bay and north from Pyramid Point across Good Harbor Bay.

"A colder than normal North American winter saw the entire surface areas of Lakes Superior, Huron, and Erie frozen over for the first time in years. The cold has delayed the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway and will likely delay the start of the growing season near the Great Lakes shorelines. Although the open surface waters of Lake Michigan did not freeze this season, the southern portion experienced a higher than normal amount of ice. Winds and currents drove broken pieces of ice from the north to the south.

This image taken from the International Space Station shows a number of large pieces of ice collected along and just off the shoreline southwest of Benton Harbor, Mich. Smaller pieces trail northward offshore from Chicago, Ill. Note the ice accumulation along the entire eastern shoreline of Lake Michigan as well as the wind-driven lake-effect snow cover over the western half of the lower Michigan Peninsula.

Astronaut photograph ISS006-E-29393 was provided by the Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory at Johnson Space Center. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA-JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth."

. . . . . . . . . .

For more on Great Lakes Ice Cover (NOAA), see this Web page.


Great Kayak Circle Route (Proposed)
(Source: J. Stamm)

Total length: 19.2 miles. Estimated time to paddle/walk: 10 hours under good conditions.

Adjustable satellite view of the area via Google Maps

Satellite view of the Route

Click on image for a much larger view.

  • Start at the Crystal Lake CSA beach near the Crystal View Coffee Shop (on M-22 north of Frankfort at the southwest corner of Crystal Lake)
  • On Crystal Lake, paddle east to the Crystal Lake Outlet (5.5 miles)
  • Paddle down the Outlet Creek to the Betsie River (1.0 mile) (Unless done at very high water, more likely this would be – carry boat south on the Betsie Valley Trail from Crystal Lake to M-115, go east a very short ways to the outlet, then paddle it to the Betsie River.)
  • Paddle down the Betsie River to Betsie Bay (8.3 miles)
  • Paddle through Betsie Bay and the Frankfort Harbor past the USCG station out to Lake Michigan (1.3 miles)
  • Paddle north from the Frankfort Lighthouse to the CSA beach (2.4 miles)
  • Carry boat overland back to Crystal Lake (0.7 miles)
  • (Repeat as needed!)


HOME

About the Watershed

Watershed FAQ

Concerns & Issues


Management Plan
s

MDNR Boat Launch

Public Access Sites
About the CLWA

• Water Quality

•
Education & Communications

• Zoning & Land Use

• Development

• Ad Hoc & Special Committees

• Calendar
• Membership Form

• Newsletters

• References

• Watershedware

Selected Web Links

Photographs