Lake St. Clair
Published: Friday, April 17, 2015
By: Kim Darrah
When traveling around the country to other waterfront destinations and mentioning to a fellow boater I
live on Lake St. Clair, most say they had never heard of it. An all sports lake, Lake St. Clair surprisingly is
still a hidden paradise for boaters with a dinghy, yacht, or anything in between.
From the center of Lake St. Clair you are within a 30 minute boat ride in any direction to:
■ 1000’s of boat wells
■ Dockage at over two dozen restaurants
■ See ocean freighters up close
■ Fish a #1 ranked lake in the world
■ Attend one of many free waterfront events
■ Visit a casino or attend a ball game
…. and all the while never worrying with the dozens of fuel and marine service locations scattered
everywhere … just in case! If you’re just traveling through there are many accommodating locations to stay
the night, but there is really so much to do you may want to plan a trip to make it your final destination for a full
vacation. Lake St. Clair communities, both United States and Canadian, provide activities throughout the
boating season to encourage our weekly exploration of the roughly 26 X 24 mile lake. Transient marinas
are close to many activities such as huge festivals & family carnivals, classic car & antique boat shows,
offshore powerboat races, free concerts & art fairs, biking trails, and over a dozen fireworks shows.
Also, most marinas are within walking distance to several restaurants, or have on-site eateries with
waterfront Tiki Bars and entertainment. Where to stay if coming to Lake St. Clair? Home base can be anywhere for a week or weekend visit since most activities will be a short boat ride away such as …. Start with Sunday morning in the cute hamlet of New Baltimore on Anchor Bay. Pick up some fresh fruit and veggies at their Sund ay Farmer’s Market and stroll through several boutique shops only a block from the new free city docks; then congratulate yourself on a fine day of shopping at the Bloody Mary bar and brunch at Fin’s Eatery.
Then, if your family enjoys water sports, take a short ride to the north end of Lake St. Clair into
Bouvier Bay which offers protected areas for swimming and tubing in pristine blue water which was just
in Lake Huron the day before! Anchor here with hundreds of other boaters, drop a line in and catch a
few bass, then proceed to dinner at one of four restaurants right on this bay. If you want to hang with
thousands! of boaters, take a ride over to Muscamoot Bay near the South Channel, just north of Gull
Island or take a dip in front of Strawberry Island centrally located, another hot spot.
In more of a party mood? Stop by the almost 70 year old Brown’s Bar on the Middle Channel on
Harsen’s Island for a burger and a beer on ice. To fully appreciate the truly scenic ride through the St.
Clair Flats, the largest freshwater delta in the world, you may then want to head up the Middle Channel
to the North Channel and get one of the fresh fruit specialty cocktails at the Algonac Harbour Club’s
outside Tiki Bar (also the original home of Chris Craft Boats) … then proceed down the North Channel to
Decker’s Landing and sit on the long outside deck and watch the busiest waterway around Lake St. Clair.
Exit the North Channel back into Lake St. Clair to end your day in St. Clair Shores and walk to one
of several fine restaurants and pubs on the water, or many more a short walk inland.
If traveling with the family and want a full day of activities, an excellent choice would be the
Lake St. Clair Metropark in Harrison Township, Michigan. Many amenities are here including a beach,
pool and splash pad, playgrounds, putt putt, bike trails, on shore fishing, shuttle to restaurants, and
more. Just want to relax? Lake St. Clair, and the adjoining St. Clair River feeding the lake, both offer
transient dockage at many wonderful U.S. and Canadian marinas offering several activities such as pools,
beaches, boardwalks, water parks, playgrounds, and shopping in various small and large communities
accommodating any size boat, yacht, and sailboat…. And did I mention the area is rated #1 for fishing?
So bring your poles for Bass, Muskie, Walleye, Pike, Perch, Salmon, Sturgeon, or book a charter
While exploring the many destinations, keep in mind that Lake St. Clair is over 20’ deep in areas,
however, it is mainly a shallow lake with the majority of depths between 5’-12’...which is where you’ll
find most of the local’s pleasure boating, fishing, and swimming. Although 2015 water levels are
predicted by NOAA to be much higher again, it is always recommended to review your Lake St. Clair
charts in advance and follow the few marked channels when present.
The shoreline of Lake St. Clair and its surrounding waterways offers so many activities and
places to tie up. You can reference the free online 2015 Lake St. Clair Guide Magazine transient marina
listings and calendars of events to help find the right amenities for your trip to fit your activity level
(www.lakestclairguide.com). I can never decide if Lake St. Clair is a big lake with a small lake feel…. Or is
it a small lake with a big lake feel?
tags: Lake St. Clair