Crooked Lake

Crooked Lake is the ideal location in Northern Michigan for year-round relaxation. 

It is approximately 9 miles from the Crooked River Locks to Burt Lake and roughly 4 miles from Burt Lake to Mullett Lake along the Inland Water Route.  Crooked Lake is just the beginning of the fabulous Inland Water Route.

Quick facts:

  • Shoreline- 16.3 miles
  • Max depth – 50 ft
  • Surface area – 2,351 acres

The historic community of Conway was originally named Crooked Lake. The oldest cottage in Conway was located just north of Iduna Creek. For more information about Conway, click here.

Crooked River Lock

Opened in 1968, the Crooked River Lock is a lock, dam, and weir built by the Army Corp of Engineers. The lock allows easy passage between Crooked River and Crooked Lake while helping to regulate the water levels of Crooked Lake and Pickerel Lake.

The “locks” are under a schedule, managed by Emmet County. Their schedule can be found here. (It is worth noting that the Alanson Swing Bridge on the Crooked River also follows the schedule below).

  •  April 25 – May 15,  from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  •  May 16 – June 26,  from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  •  June 27 – August 7,  from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  •  August 8 – September 5,  from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  •  September 6 – October 2,  from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  •  October 8 – 9 (weekend only),  from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  •  October 15 – 16 (weekend only),  from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  •  October 22 – 23 (weekend only),  from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There are fees for using the locks that can be purchased for a daily trip or season pass. Information can be found at the link above.

Crooked River Locks

The communities around Crooked Lake are; Alanson, Ponshewaing, Oden, Conway, and Petoskey.

Crooked Lake – lots to do!

Little Traverse Beach Park

Just past the light in Conway heading north, the Little Traverse Beach Park offers a small parking area and a lovely, sandy beach perfect for swimming, paddle boarding, and kayaking.

Littlefield Township Park

In Oden is the Littlefield Township Park also known as the Walter Dow Roadside Park. It is a nice spot to pull off the highway and observe the beauty of Crooked Lake. The park offers a swimming area and has been known to be used as a windsurfing launch site.

Iduna Creek

Iduna Creek is an outflow creek from Round Lake (near Little Traverse Bay and the Petoskey State Park). It flows easterly into the southeast point of Crooked Lake at the southern point of Conway just north of Graham Road. Round Lake and Iduna Creek are the beginnings of the Inland Water Route which leads all the way to Lake Huron.

Hike-able Preserves Near Crooked Lake

Oden Island Nature Preserve

Oden Island Nature Preserve is a 50-acre area with one mile of frontage along Crooked Lake. There are foot trails along the east side of the island. Get to the preserve from Pickerel Lake Road to Channel Road to Oden Island Road. Take Leeward Drive to the end and park.

Learn more about Oden Island in a past post.

Oden Island Nature Preserve is an unmatched area with large, old-growth trees and wetlands. There are two beaches along the trail to sit and enjoy the natural beauty of the preserve area.

Fochtman Nature Preserve – 243 acres and 1/4 mile of frontage along Round Lake. There are two parking areas: 1. along US-31 just south of Graham Road to the northwest 2. take M-119 to Hiawatha Trail, the parking lot is on the left with an overlook platform.

Sally & Art Hailand, Jr/ Helstrom Family Nature Preserves – 90 acres off of West Conway Road just west of the US-31 Conway light. The preserve is to the north side of the road. There is a 1.5-mile trail through the preserve with ponds that drain to Crooked Lake. The paved North Western State Trail is at the northeastern boundary of the Sally & Art Hailand, Jr Preserve.

Lossing-Harrington Nature Preserve/Kreag Family/ Ponshewaing/ Inland Waterway Nature Preserve Complex – 57 acres with one short trail with access near the Crooked River Locks off of Lake Street in Alanson. There is a beautiful, wooded trail behind the gate marking the trailhead.

An interactive map of the preserves can be found here.

Ryde Marine

Serving the Inland Waterway since 1922, Ryde Marine is a family-owned marina operating on Crooked Lake in Ponshewaing.

Ryde Marine offers boat rentals, slips, parts, and sales.

Windjammer Marina

Serving the Inland Waterway since 1910, the Windjammer Marina stands along the US-31 highway just north of the Oden State Fish Hatchery.

The Windjammer Marina is the oldest marina on the Inland Waterway. They offer boat rentals, full boat service, and a store.

Real Estate

2021 Residential Real Estate Market on Crooked Lake:

  • Highest list price $1,325,000
  • Highest sale price $1,324,000
  • Average list price $706,063
  • Average sale price $700,599

The average time spent on the market was 68 days.

For information on active listings contact us or search here.

Information provided by the Northern Michigan MLS (12/31/2021), interpreted by Coldwell Banker Fairbairn Realty.

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