Higgins Lake in Michigan

by  guest-paddler

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

Higgins Lake is a good-size inland lake just north of Houghton Lake, in Roscommon County, Michigan. We launched from the South Higgins Lake State Park, which is located off M-18. The entry fee for the park for a day pass was $4. The weather was in the mid-70's, partly sunny; the water was dreamlike; we started off paddling about 50 yards offshore in aquamarine water only about 3 or 4 feet deep. There were the requisite personal watercraft, a few sailboats, and some powerboats and pontoons, which seemed to be willing to share the waters with us.

We had fun paddling through some playful swells when the wind kicked up. As I said before, the water was Caribbean-like in its stunning shades of aqua, turquoise and sapphire where it got deep. My little Perception "Sparky" and my husband's Loon 100 performed wonderfully in the boat wakes, choppy swells, and calmer navy-blue waters. It was like being on a big blue playground. I am told that the lake gets extremely deep and there is an underwater river that ends up in Saginaw Bay; however we experienced no difficulty or challenging circumstances, staying a few hundred yards offshore--the entire experience was just fun. We are beginner paddlers and this was an enjoyable way to get some practice on open water. There are picnic tables, grills and primitive rest rooms back at the park. There is little in the way of accommodations or restaurants in Higgins Lake; to locate these types of services you would have to travel to nearby Roscommon, or to Houghton Lake, which is very busy with boaters, campers, cottages, etc. I can't wait to go back!


Boat launch, picnic areas, grills; camping available.


Day pass is $4 for car/truck. To park in some lots you must have a boat trailer. Plenty of parking. Advise that you unload yaks near boat launch, where there is no parking posted, park vehicle in designated lots if you don't have a boat trailer.


I-75 north, to Roscommon exit #239. Turn left off exit 239, follow signs to South Higgins Lake State Park

Trip Details

  • Trip Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water

Trip Location