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Pushing her kayak out into the water of Silver Lake, she glides through the early morning mist rising off the surface of the water. With steady, strong strokes she heads toward one of the six islands that dot the northwest Michigan lake. Over eight acres of islands and almost ten miles of irregular shoreline and peninsulas ensure plenty of places for her to explore. She'll share the morning lake with the fishermen. By the time the children wake up and the speed boats start to cruise across Silver Lake, she'll be ready to bask on the lake's sandy shores resting sore muscles and letting the tension melt away in the sun.
As with most of the lakes in Grand Traverse County, Silver Lake was formed by glaciers. The 600-acre lake has an average depth of 23.4 feet and a maximum depth of 96 feet. On the south end of Silver Lake, Beitner Creek is the primary outlet. It joins the Boardman River which goes on to flow into the Grand Traverse Bay at Traverse City. In 1987 the Grand Traverse County Drain Commission added a high water overflow dam at the outlet of Silver Lake.
The Silver Lake Improvement Association was established in 1965 by a group of property owners. Intended to protect and preserve the water quality of the lake, the Association also provides a resource for owners of the many vacation rentals that ring the lake. In addition to the lakeside rentals, there are private residences and real estate available for sale on Silver Lake. The Silver Lake Improvement Association hosts an annual boat regatta and a fishing contest.
There is public boat access to Silver Lake near the town of Grawn. Along with canoeing, kayaking, boating, sailing and water skiing, fishing is popular on the lake. Silver Lake has abundant populations of perch, bass, sunfish, bluegill, walleye and pike to challenge anglers. Nestled in the western part of Grand Traverse County, the lake is surrounded by pine and hardwood forest and is ringed with sandy beaches perfect for swimming.
Grand Traverse County was established in 1840. Originally called Omeena County, it was named Grand Traverse County on April 7, 1851. Located along Grand Traverse Bay off of Lake Michigan, the county includes Traverse City. Called the "Cherry Capital of the World" for the cherry orchards that grew along the bay, Traverse City was originally established as a port city. The city is near the Manitou Pass, historically a busy and hazardous pass between the Manitou Islands and the mainland. Today Traverse City has restaurants, quaint shops, and any amenities visitors to Silver Lake might want. Snow skiing is nearby for winter enthusiasts, and local vineyards with wine tasting are available for wine connoisseurs.
Blue water, sandy beaches and more than enough room to boat, water ski and fish combine to make Silver Lake a fantastic Northwest Michigan destination. Add its proximity to Lake Michigan and Traverse City and a trip to Silver Lake is sure to hold something to please the entire family.
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