For many people visiting Michigan, their immediate thought may be to visit beautiful Mackinac Island or take in the cultural cornerstones of Ann Arbor. However, while those touristy areas are full of long lines and expensive fares, there’s another hidden gemstone waiting nearby. If you’re interested in a destination with more peace and quiet, don’t miss the natural charms of Gun Lake, Michigan.
Gun Lake, Michigan, is a lake located between Barry County and Allegan County, Michigan. Surrounding the lake are numerous summer homes and cottages perfect for vacationers seeking a relaxing getaway. The lake is especially known for its fishing, where those interested can find walleye, smallmouth, and largemouth bass, as well as various other types of fish.Gun Lake is an idyllic setting for a second home, perfect for people who want to enjoy the beauty of nature while being close enough to city life. But it’s so enchanting that most residents of Gun Lake end up choosing to live there year-round.
The first settlers of Gun Lake, Michigan, were Native Americans, and Gun Lake was used as a summer camp for the Ottawa, Pottawatomi, and Chippewa Natives. The area was known for its surplus of wild game and plentiful forestry, which provided the settlers with food like berries and wood for structures.There are several theories on the naming of Gun Lake. According to local lore, there was a battle between the Ottawas and Pottawatomis, who used guns that had been traded with colonial settlers. When the dust had settled, the chief of the Pottawomis gathered the guns and threw them into the lake.Although it’s a great story, local natives argue that a story is all there is to this legend of Gun Lake. Instead, there’s a far more likely hypothesis. Since the Native American languages in this region ended many words with a “gun” sound, non-Native settlers often mispronounced these words. This mispronunciation was most likely adopted as the lake's name and eventually transformed from a Native American name to Gun Lake, Michigan, by the settlers.
What makes Gun Lake famous is that it’s the best worst-kept secret in Michigan. Gun Lake used to be an oasis known by only a few hundred people, but because it offers such a great balance between natural life and city life, this little piece of paradise has now become well-known among Michiganders. However, unlike other hotspots, the area is still far from crowded.From activities such as boating, tubing, and hunting in Yankee Spring Recreational Area to shopping and dining all around, there aren’t many areas where a person can be one with nature while also being so close to amenities like casinos and restaurants.And as we mentioned earlier, Gun Lake is home to many different types of fish. Most notably, people come during the walleye fishing season (September - November) to try their hand at catching this “melt in your mouth” fish.
Although the islands around Gun Lake are private, visitors to the beautiful lake can still access it through Gun Lake County Park. This day park has over 450 feet of beach, a playground, a boat launch, public restrooms, and even grills for anyone spending the day at the lake.
You can absolutely swim in Gun Lake. Although some areas may be busy during the boating season, swimming in the lake is always possible near the docks. Or, another great place to swim is near Sherman Township Park, which offers shallow areas with sandy bottoms. This region of Gun Lake is roped off to make room for the swimming area. Near the dock, there’s also a raft to help anyone needing assistance.
Gun Lake, Michigan, is an ideal location for both long-term residents and vacationers, thanks to the abundance of activities. Let’s explore some of the fun things you can do when you visit this Michigan gem.
During the summer, fishing at Gun Lake is unparalleled. Numerous types of fish live in the clean waters of Gun Lake, and those who visit are bound to reel something in. From bluegills to black crappie, green sunfish to the black bullhead, and even the delicious walleye mentioned earlier, Gun Lake is like heaven for any fishing fan.For anglers seeking hotspots, there are many resources to help you in your quest to get the best catch. If you’re looking for a place to cast lines with your feet on solid ground, consider visiting Yankee Springs Recreation. Not only is it home to 5,200 acres of beautiful land nestled within nature, but it’s also a great angling area for both beginner and seasoned fishers.If you’d prefer to get out on the water, you can rent kayaks, pontoons, or even boats to aid you in your fishing excursions. For more information on the best fishing hotspots on Gun Lake, consider using a local favorite app for anglers. Whether you want to practice your catch and release or find a delicious dinner to cook, Gun Lake is the perfect escape for the fisher in you.
Boating activities at Gun Lake don't stop at fishing. Visitors can take full advantage of water-based recreation while boating. The lake area is wide enough that residents can water ski, tube, sail, swim, kayak, or jet ski comfortably on Gun Lake without the fear of running into other boaters.Other fun options include canoeing, kayaking, or renting a pontoon to get around the lake. For pontoons, you can get a full-day rental that lasts from morning until sunset. For kayaks and canoes, you can rent from a range of available times, from a couple of hours to a full week.If you’re visiting during summer, you can even take part in fun events that occur on the lake, such as the Gun Lake Boat Parade or the highlight of summer: Gun Lake Live. From country to pop, reggae, and alternative, anyone can have fun during this lake-wide concert series at Bay Pointe.One thing that makes Gun Lake, Michigan so extraordinary is that although the lake offers many activities, there is no shortage of fun outside the waterfront. The population of Gun Lake is around 3,500 residents year-round, but people travel from all over to enjoy its many amenities. From the Gun Lake Casino to the Yankee Springs State Recreation Area, even water-averse people can find something fun to explore.
Gun Lake Casino is the ultimate destination for fun. Located between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, visitors to Gun Lake Casino can take full advantage of the 2,500+ slot machines, over 47 table games, and modern sportsbooks. Once you get your fill of slots and table games, like blackjack, you can visit Gun Lake Casino’s own private poker room.After you’ve made your winnings, you’ll probably be pretty hungry. Luckily, Gun Lake has many different options to pick from when it comes to food.
Shkodé Chophouse is named after the Pottawatomi word for fire, and at this restaurant, “fire” is the best way to describe the food. Open only for dinner, this fine dining experience is everything you want when visiting a chophouse for date night.From flame-grilled steak and fresh seafood to pork ribs and lobster tail, the staff at Shkodé Chophouse creates the perfect balance between savory and sensational in every meal. Not only is the food delicious, but you can pair your meal with a specially crafted cocktail or choose from an extensive selection of wines.
CBK, also known as Craft Bar Kitchen, is specifically designed for the brew lover in you. Whether you come for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, CBK always serves up meals that can take you from famished to can’t-eat-another-bite full.Not only is CBK a 2022 Open Table Diners’ Choice favorite for its food, but you can also choose from over 100 different brews in the keg cave or enjoy a specially crafted cocktail from one of CBK’s mixologists.
If you enjoyed some family fun at Gun Lake, and no one can decide what they want to eat, why not present them with all the options? From American classics to Asian, Mexican, or Italian foods, everyone can find something delicious at Harvest Buffett.Open for lunch, the Buffett offers different pricing for adults and children aged 5-12. Not only can you fill your stomach, but you also don’t have to worry about emptying your wallet to feed the family. As a bonus, an all-you-can-eat crab leg buffet is available on Sundays in March!
Not only are there tons of places to eat and play games, but Gun Lake Casino also has events, like live music every week at both CBK and 131 Sportsbar and Lounge.
For those who enjoy getting close to nature without getting wet, the Allegan State Game Area is the perfect place to explore the outdoors. Located about 40 minutes away from Gun Lake by car, Allegan State Game Area features 50,000 acres of forest.Residents and visitors come from all over to hike, bike, camp, hunt, or even horseback ride across the dense thicket of woods. This area is also home to the Silver Creek Campgrounds, which come equipped with picnic tables, fire pits, and water stations. Perfect for anyone needing a bit of a break from the hum and holler of the outside world.As a natural area for animals to thrive, the Allegan State Game Area is an ideal spot for hunters too. Beginning in August and ending in late March, it’s not uncommon to see hunters tracking deer, Canadian geese, or wild turkeys.
If you want to explore the great outdoors while ensuring your children are having fun, the Yankee Springs State Recreation Area is the perfect place to go. Not only can you enjoy water activities like fishing and swimming, the area is also home to many community activities, like volunteering opportunities to take care of the local land.With its rugged terrain, Yankee Springs State Recreation Area visitors and residents can enjoy over 30 miles of rugged terrain for hiking, riding mountain bikes, or practicing horseback riding. Additionally, explorer programs offer insight into the area's wildlife and forestry.
Whether you should move to Gun Lake is a question entirely up to you and your family. Gun Lake is a place where people get away from the hustle and bustle of their former chaotic lives and get closer to nature without giving up the amenities of modern living.Residents enjoy peace and quiet while still connected to the outside world. As Gun Lake is situated between Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, city life is never too far away, and visiting a bustling city is accessible by only a short drive. Additionally, the Gun Lake community is family-focused, with schools in the Delton Kellog School District, Wayland Union Schools, and Martin Public Schools.The question comes down to, what do you want for yourself and your family? If you want to make the most out of life, get closer to all that nature has to offer, and become a part of a community that cares, you may want to consider giving MCM Communities a call.
MCM Communities is here to help you make the big decisions in life without compromising on the things you need. In our manufactured home communities, we offer affordable, well-built, and maintained homes that provide excellent access to the outdoors as well as the community.We don’t just meet your needs. Instead, we exceed your expectations and redefine what it means to live in a manufactured home community.For more information on Gun Lake and buying a home, contact us today!