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Beaches, Trails, Parks, Attractions & More in Charlevoix, Michigan

Charlevoix is a laidback, lakeshore community with scenic parks on Lake Michigan and Round Lake. The town is a favorite destination for boaters and golfers, and when winter arrives snowmobilers, skiers, and snowboarders flock to the area.

Charlevoix Parks

One of the most popular parks at Charlevoix is Lake Michigan Beach, which features a large sandy beach for swimming and sunbathing. The park has a small playground and picnic shelter with restrooms a short distance from the beach. The park is accessible from a paved path along the Pine River Channel and from a parking lot on Grant Street.

East Park recently experienced a significant makeover and is a large community park with beautiful views of Round Lake. The ampitheatre, located on the south end of the park, hosts concerts throughout the summer. There are several picnic tables located along the paved walking path that winds along the park. East Park's public marina on Round Lake has 69 slips and provides easy acess to Lake Michigan via the Pine River Channel.

On the northeast side of Charlevoix, Depot Beach offers a sandy beach for swimming on Lake Charlevoix. Lifeguards are on duty at the park during the summer. There is a variety of playground equipment and restrooms located near the beach. The park also hosts the Railroad Depot Museum. The old train depot first welcomed trains to the area in 1892 and is now maintained by the Charlevoix Historical Society.

Another nice beach is located at Ferry Park Beach. The park is on the southeast side of Charlevoix, near the historic homes of the Summer Home Association on Ferry Avenue. Ferry Beach Park has full-sized and kid-sized basketball courts, a volleyball court, playground equipment, and a couple of picnic shelters. During the summer, a concession area is open to the public.

For those who love winter sports, you'll want to visit Mt. McSauba Recreation Area, which is north of downtown Charlevoix on McSauba Road. Recognized as one of the best small ski areas in the United States by Ski Magazine, the park has runs for skiing and snowboarding, free lighted 2K groomed cross-country trails, 80 acres of ungroomed trails, and a free, lighted sledding hill. There is also an ice skating rink and areas to snowshoe. The park opens in late December and is operated by the City of Charlevoix.

On Waller Road, Shanahan Field Recreation Area, behind Stroud Township Hall, has soccer fields, tennis courts, a baseball field, and sledding hill. The park also has a picnic shelter for family gatherings with a nearby playground.

See the maps page for the Charlevoix area park maps.

Charlevoix Area Trails

Charlevoix has paved paths along the Pine River Channel and at East Park on Round Lake. The route is a favorite for scenic walks during the summer when the channel is used by beautiful boats for accessing Lake Michigan.

A sidewalk route along US-31 can take visitors from the downtown area north and then east to the start of the Litte Traverse Wheelway, a paved trail for biking, hiking, and jogging. The trail is primarily used from May through November. The route goes east from Charlevoix along Lake Michigan to Petoskey and then continues on to Harbor Springs.

A walking route starting from downtown can take you north to Mt. McSauba Recreation Area and Shanahan Field Recreation Area. The route uses the city's sidewalks and a wide-road shoulder along Waller Road and Mt. McSauba Road. See the See the Northern Charlevoix map for the detailed walking route.

Snowmobile trails from the south side of Charlevoix lead to East Jordan and can be used to reach other towns in Northwest Michigan. See the See the Charlevoix - East Jordan Snowmobile Trail map for the detailed trail.


Round Lake, Lake Charlevoix and Lake Michigan provide plentiful fishing opportunities near Charlevoix. Salmon, steelhead, lake trout, brown trout, smallmouth bass, and walleye are some of the fish that can be caught in the area.

The channel between Round Lake and Lake Michigan is a popular spot for fishing from shore. There are also local charter fishing services that can that can take you on fishing expeditions on Lake Michigan and Lake Charlevoix.

A valid fishing license is required to fish on Michigan lakes and waterways, and you can get a Michigan fishing license online at the Michigan DNR E-License web site and at bait shops and sporting goods stores.

More About Charlevoix

In addition to outdoor recreation, Charlevoix is known for its eclectic, upscale shopping district. You'll find many unique shops, art galleries, clothing stores, and tasty restaurants on or near US-31, close to East Park and the marina. For lodging, Charlevoix has several local hotels and bed & breakfasts, including the historic Inn at Grey Gables, which dates back to 1887.

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