Michigan has some of the most beautiful lakes in the world, and while most people reserve their love of the lake to the warm months of summer, Michiganders know that frozen lakes make for some breath-taking images. We’ve curated a collection of frozen Michigan lakes from some of the best Michigan landscape photographers on Instagram.
Water temperatures can fluctuate quickly as waves and wind can change water patterns on the lakes. But when the cold of winter arrives, ice forms. The extent of that ice varies from winter to winter, but every year features unique ice structures. Exploring frozen lakes in Michigan is one of the best winter things to do in Michigan!
Frozen Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan covers over 22,000 square miles and is over 300 miles long from north to south. In the winter, the ice piles up along the shoreline making for unique formations and dangerous conditions.
Many people enjoy exploring Lake Michigan beaches in the wintertime to capture photos of the ice formations along the frozen lake!
Frozen Michigan Lakes: Huron
From its northern border in the Straits of Mackinac to the mouth of the St Clare River, Lake Huron enjoys a bounty of breath-taking ice formations that bring winter enthusiasts out to photograph it for those of us less enthralled with ice and cold.
Frozen Lakes in Michigan: Lake Superior
With its northern location, Lake Superior experiences a longer and colder winter than the rest of the state, providing some amazing ice formations on its frozen shores.
Frozen Michigan Lakes: Lake St. Clair
Due to its location, Lake Erie generally sees less ice than the other Great Lakes, but Lake St. Clair on the north end of the Detroit River experiences a freeze most years.
Frozen Lakes in Michigan: Inland Lakes
Michiganders love their inland lakes almost as much as the Great Lakes! Frozen inland lakes make great locations for ice skating, ice fishing, and hockey!
Best Places to View Frozen Michigan Lakes
As temperatures fluctuate from year to year, it can be difficult to determine where the best frozen lakes in Michigan are. In general, though, you can expect to find frozen lakes in the Upper Peninsula from late November through March.
The Lower Peninsula generally freezes over in most locations by January and unless we have an unseasonably warm spring, much of the Lower Peninsula stays frozen into early March.
No matter when or where you explore Michigan’s frozen lakes, be sure to exercise cold weather and ice safety and follow any posted signs prohibiting ice exploration.
More Winter Things to Do in Michigan
Beyond exploring frozen Michigan lakes, there are so many great things to do in Michigan in winter, including romantic winter getaways in Michigan and family-friendly Michigan winter destinations to visit!