One  VERY WINDY day, my friend Jane and I drove north into the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore, to Trails End, to kayak on the quiet and secluded Bass Lake. You do need a park pass to access this area, and it forced my dear friend, to purchase her Lifetime Senior Pass, which now gives her free access to any National Park in country. I can look forward to mine in a couple of years, which is the only good DSC04809_thumb1thing I can say about aging.

Upon arriving at our destination, we found a twenty yard hike with the kayaks to the lake from the parking lot.

Already nestled in was a family  lined up along a charming little dock. The adults were seated in the shade of a tree, reading, while the boy and girl tried their luck at fishing. Another woman came right behind us with her kayak to explore this little lake, DSC04855_thumbtoo.

This was not an unfamiliar place to me. I have come with my own boys on an outing in Nursery School years ago; one of the parents was a park ranger. We saw beaver, and stumps of little trees that the beavers had cut down. The DSC04843_thumbranger also brought skins of other small animals that could be DSC04848found around the lake habitat. My other visits were with school children over the years while teaching. On this trip, I told my friend that I was surprised the beavers just cut the little trees, her reply “Beavers aren’t stupid”, a smaller tree would be easier to move to the water. But of course!  

                                                                                                                                                        But coming to Bass Lake this time, was a DSC04831_thumb1visit just for me.  The day was sunny, with a bright blue sky dotted with puffs of white. The little lake surrounded by aspen, white pine and cedar remained calm and protected from the winds off Lake Michigan, just a 1/4 mile away to the west.

So we we shoved off and slowly made our way around the perimeter of the lake, noting the flowers and looking for access to other lakes, which we found were now blocked by fallen debris.

Jane, reminded me that this lake was the wedding location of a couple we know, Doug and Cindy.    

What a perfect spot.

There is only one cottage on the entire lake, the rest is wild. We did find in DSC04859_thumb2the shallows that zebra mussels had made their way into the lake, and there seemed to be quite a bit of small fish activity under the surface possibly invasive as well. Had we more time that day, we would have portaged over to Otter Lake which is bigger, but that will be for another trip back home.  This little lake was the perfect recipe for relaxation.  There are  also wooded trails and access to backcountry camping from this site, a little something for every interest. 


Perhaps the next visit I will bring a little lunch and a book and just float in Bass Lake’s quiet beauty.

About the author

I retired 9 years ago from teaching and then remarried. Of course that wasn't enough of a life change, so I moved to Wisconsin where my husband Jon resided. This blog reflects thoughts about my Wisconsin and Michigan, hobbies, and family history. As of 2016 we have returned to NW Lower Michigan near family and friends.

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