We begin our tour of Burt Lake from the mouth of the Crooked River entering Poverty Bay at marker 71. The boat gently bobs over the waves of a cool, windy, fall day. This shallow bay averages 5-7 ft. with heavy weed cover; shelter for a wide variety of game fish. The Crooked and Maple rivers form a large wetland area, a favorite locale for duck hunters in the fall.
To the north of the Crooked River mouth, is the Maple River. The Maple River has shifted over the years and has formed what is known as the Burt Lake sand bar. This is a very shallow and great swim area. On the Fourth of July, the Burt Lake sand bar is a favorite for boaters to anchor.
On the north shore of the bay is the Maple Bay Campground and boat launch. There is a sandy beach and room to anchor your boat. On the east side of Maple Bay, Colonial Point separates the lake from the main body. Colonial Point is a two-mile peninsula at the northwest corner of Burt Lake (also called Indian Point). It’s a rocky point, well known for smallmouth and walleye fishing.
Around the point, Burt Lake’s north shore is about 5 miles away. The little Carp River enters Burt Lake in the middle of the north shore, offering a wildlife sanctuary and an undeveloped shoreline, accessed only by water. The water is shallow and sandy, a great place to enjoy away swimming from the crowds in Maple Bay.
As you head south from the Little Carp is Greenman’s Point. Tie up at the public dock and head over to Hoppie’s for lunch. This rocky point is a Spring favorite for hungry walleye and a good area for smallmouth all season. There is a small access site with a ramp.
Burt Lake is just over 17,000 acres and has plenty of room to cruise. Take a boat to the north end, throw the kids in a tube and play. The lake is also great for water skiing.
At the far southern end, is the Burt Lake State Park with a large, sandy beach area, the largest on the lake with 2,000 ft of shoreline. The park also has a boat launch and plenty of parking, as well as camping.
Just northeast of the state park, the Sturgeon River empties out into Burt Lake. The river pushes out a lot of sand creating a shallow bar. The area is great for spring walleye fishing, and is known as walleye alley between the Sturgeon River and Indian River.
At marker 70, is the Indian River. When temps are warm, the water is the only place to be.
One of the best swimming lakes in Michigan, Burt Lake offers several areas with shallow, sandy shores. Soak up the sun and head over to Indian River. DeVoe Beach offers even more fun to be had with grills, picnic areas, volleyball, and swimming. Tie up and enjoy town and then head back onto Burt Lake for more fun in the sun.