Lake Bellaire, Michigan, USA

Also known as:  Grass Lake

Michigan has a bounty of beautiful lakes, and those found in Antrim County are no exception. Lake Bellaire is situated to the east of Lake Michigan; this 1,793-acre all-sports lake provides plenty of opportunity for swimming, boating, kayaking, waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing, and fishing. Surrounding the lake area is a variety of accommodations for the casual weekend traveler as well as the hardy outdoorsy vacationer. Luxurious resorts are located not far – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Bellaire! Article topics include:

Looking for Lake Bellaire cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Bellaire! Article topics include:

Looking for Lake Bellaire cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Lake Bellaire

Lake Locations: USA - Midwest - Michigan - Northwest -

Michigan has a bounty of beautiful lakes, and those found in Antrim County are no exception. Lake Bellaire is situated to the east of Lake Michigan; this 1,793-acre all-sports lake provides plenty of opportunity for swimming, boating, kayaking, waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing, and fishing. Surrounding the lake area is a variety of accommodations for the casual weekend traveler as well as the hardy outdoorsy vacationer. Luxurious resorts are located not far from quaint bed and breakfasts, rustic inns, modern condo villages, and well-equipped campgrounds. With so many choices, including lakeside cabins for rent, private vacation homes, and large chain hotels, travelers will enjoy the challenge of choosing just the right vacation rental for their holiday stay.

Lake Bellaire, which was known as Grass Lake until the 1950s, is a natural freshwater lake in the northwestern section of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Its irregular shape contributes to its lengthy shoreline, which is roughly 11.5 miles in total; the lake is shaped rather like an elongated “S” design, with the lower half of the lake widening significantly. Water flows generally north to south in the lake. Several streams feed Lake Bellaire, as do Cedar River and Intermediate Lake. Its primary outlet is from the southeast corner of the lake into the Grass River, which eventually flows into Clam Lake. Clam Lake is a ribbon lake that runs southeast to northwest and works as a conduit to transfer water from Lake Bellaire to the much larger Torch Lake.

Lake Bellaire is one of 14 lakes and rivers in the Elk River Watershed Chain of Lakes, which is a very important natural resource for the area of Lower Michigan. The two other lakes in this section of the chain are Clam Lake, which starts to the southeast of Lake Bellaire, and Torch Lake, which is a very long and large lake that sits farther west of Lake Bellaire and is considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. These three lakes make up a 500-square-mile watershed. A chain of lakes indicates that several adjacent lakes are connected via streams and rivers in such a way that boaters can often travel throughout the entire chain by watercraft. Many travelers choose lakes that are part of a chain as their favorite vacation destination for just such a reason: Beautiful scenery, pristine waters, scattered views of local wildlife, and other relaxing experiences are bound to make a boat trip through a chain of lakes one to remember.

The town of Bellaire is located to the northeast of the lake, and it’s the county seat of Antrim County. The Intermediate River outlet meets Cedar River in the town of Bellaire. It’s in this town that the Bellaire Dam was built in 1902. Its original purpose was for power generation, but in the 1950s the dam was decommissioned and currently does not serve as a power source. Its main use today is for water level control; in recent years the official water level has been set at 610 feet. This influences Lake Bellaire’s water level because the dam is just upriver from where the lake’s inlet begins, and the water from Intermediate and Cedar Rivers is the major source of the water input into the lake. The Bellaire Dam is the only structure standing in the way of the Elk River Chain of Lakes being navigable by small watercraft from one end of the chain to the other.

Lake Bellaire, with an average depth of 43 feet and a maximum depth of 95 feet,, has been called “Fisherman’s Paradise” for its excellent fishing waters. Brown trout, lake trout, muskie, splake, perch, northern pike, crappie, walleye, rock bass, and smallmouth bass are all on the hook in this lake, and observers will likely see fishing enthusiasts trying their luck from the shore and by boat. Visitors are often surprised at just how clear the lake’s waters are, and often the sandy bottom can be seen. Two public boat launches are available on Lake Bellaire for those with watercraft.

Lake Bellaire is approximately 4.5 miles at its maximum length and 1.3 miles at its widest. The excellent water quality in this mesotrophic (moderately fertile) lake, as well as the surrounding lakes, is due in no small to the vigilance of the area residents, who treasure inland lakes for the great natural resources they are. The local lake preservation organization, called the Three Lakes Association (TLA), focuses its efforts on Lake Bellaire, Clam Lake, and Torch Lake. The nonprofit association has been helping to protect and improve water quality for these lakes since 1966. This three-lake chain is part of the larger Chain of Lakes in Michigan, which contains 14 lakes total and spans roughly 75 miles in length. The Elk River Chain of Lakes contributes 60 percent of Grand Traverse Bay’s input water and contains nearly 35 percent of all of Michigan’s inland water.

The Grass River Natural Area (GRNA), founded in 1969, is located near Lake Bellaire, and features 1,443 protected acres of diverse natural habitats. More than 400 species of plants, 60 species of reptiles, fish, and amphibians, and 65 species of birds are in residence here, with upland forests, marshes, rivers, swamps, creeks, and fields serving as their chosen homes. A famous attraction in the state, it features more than 7.5 miles of well-maintained trails for guided tours or self-guided exploration. Classes are available for young and old, and the center is open year round for summer hikes or winter skiing. Walks are organized around the flora and fauna–from bluebird viewing to mushroom identification, from wildflower hikes to wildlife watches. The GRNA is an incredible resource for outdoor educational opportunities, and it’s just plain fun.

The village of Bellaire, with a population of about 1,164 residents, is to the north and northeast of the lake, while Forest Home Township contains both the village of Bellaire and Lake Bellaire itself. The village of Bellaire’s economy depends directly on vacationers and travelers, with millions of dollars every year brought in by recreation and tourism. Therefore, every effort is being made to keep the area’s natural resources clean, beautiful, and attractive. Several other enticing lakes surround Lake Bellaire, including Elk Lake, Lake Skegemog, and Thayer Lake, all to the southwest; Lake of the Woods and Green Lake to the southeast; Intermediate Lake to the north; and Birch Lake to the west. The fun and fast pace of Traverse City is only a 45-minute drive away to the southwest, and Mackinac Island is a pleasant two-and-a-half-hour day trip to the northeast. Lewiston is just over an hour away to the east. Lake Bellaire is really a centrally located spot from which to launch a fun-filled Michigan vacation.

Things to Do at Lake Bellaire

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding

Fish Species Found at Lake Bellaire

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Brown Trout
  • Crappie
  • Lake Trout
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Splake Trout
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • Walleye

All About Lake Bellaire

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Lake Bellaire

The Lake Bellaire map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.


More Ways to Book a Lake Bellaire Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Lake Bellaire Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Lake Bellaire Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Lake Bellaire Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lake Bellaire lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Antrim County Drain Commissioner

Surface Area: 1,793 acres

Shoreline Length: 12 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 590 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 588 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 591 feet

Average Depth: 43 feet

Maximum Depth: 95 feet

Water Volume: 75,396 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1902

Water Residence Time: 219 days

Lake Area-Population: 1,164

Drainage Area: 43 sq. miles

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

More Lake Bellaire news from LakeLubbers.com

  • Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
  • The Lake Bellaire forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
  • New Lake Bellaire photos coming soon!
  • You’re invited to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!
  • Share this Lake Bellaire article with your fellow LakeLubbers:

Do you have a vacation rental property at Lake Bellaire? Coming in 2022, LakeLubbers will have an opportunity for you to showcase your listing and put it in front of thousands of lake lovers searching our site for homes, condos or townhomes to rent for their upcoming lake trip this season.

Please get in touch with our advertising team HERE and we’ll provide you more details on this upcoming advertising opportunity.

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Looking for the Lake Bellaire forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

Click here to advertise your Lake Bellaire vacation rental or local business.

The former Lake Bellaire forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Lake Bellaire photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

Spread the word! Share our Lake Bellaire article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Explore local Lake Bellaire vacation rentals and hotel accommodations using our interactive map. Clicking on listings below will allow you to compare nearby properties, best rates and availability for your dates.

Looking for the old Lake Bellaire forum group? Click Here

New Lake Bellaire photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi