I cannot believe I had not ever been to Echo Lake before this summer. I guess it took icebergs in Lake Superior in June to get me into a warm water lake! But Echo Lake is much more than just a warm area to swim.
Set a couple miles off of County Road 550 on the way to Big Bay, this lake is not as easily accessible as other inland lakes in the area. It takes a vehicle that does not mind a few bumps and holes along the dirt road. But once you make it, you will be rewarded with beautiful scenery, fishing, swimming, hiking, and only a few mosquito bites.
My experience at Echo Lake
The road into Echo Lake is a fun trip, followed by a short half mile walk to the shore area. Once you reach the lake, you can take a trail to that splits halfway. One way goes to the peninsula and one way goes up to the overlook. Take both trails!
Swimming out on the peninsula is the best. For some reason the bugs are barely there, even when they are thick on the shore area. There are deep areas for jumping into or you can wade your way in. Fishing is also good out on the peninsula. I have been told that this lake has bass and walleye, but I cannot say for sure as I have not fished it.
The trail to the overlook is a short uphill climb to a pretty awesome view. You can see all the way to Little Presque Isle and Hogback Mountain! It is a great place to sit down and take in the beauty of the Upper Peninsula.
Bottom Line: Sick of the cold water in Lake Superior? Ready for a beautiful and peaceful place to explore? Try Echo Lake. (P.S. It really does echo!)
Other Things to Note: People have told me that they have hiked all the way around the lake- on my bucket list for this summer! I would imagine it is awesome, let me know if you have done it!
Also, bring bug spray during the summer months. They can be a bit nasty on the trail.
How to get there? Take County Road 550 from Marquette approximately 15 miles. This road is not marked, but it is the dirt road on the left across from Eagle’s Nest Road. It is right before the passing lane that goes uphill (you will know what I’m talking about when you see it!). Once you get on the dirt road, you want to stay to the right at all times- there are two Ys in the road if I remember correctly. You should come to a parking area and a red gate, along with a sign that announces that are you know in the Echo Lake Nature Preserve. Park here and walk in!
Website: The Nature Conservancy offers a little bit more on this area: