Gun Lake Travel Guide

Gun Lake in southwest Michigan offers all of the fun and enjoyment of a lake side vacation without the crowds of the more well-known Lake Michigan area. Enjoy a relaxing environment while you fish the day away on the lake, take a stroll through Yankee Springs Recreation Area, or take a small drive to enjoy other nearby activities. However you spend your time, you won’t be sorry that you came to Gun Lake for a family getaway.

What to Do in Gun Lake

gun lake fishing


Locals and tourists alike enjoy Gun Lake for its many great fishing spots, such as Robbin’s Bay in the northwest corner of the lake. There are several fish species available in Gun Lake, such as Bluegill, Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Muskie, Northern Pike, Rock Bass, Smallmouth Bass and Walleye.

Yankee Springs Recreation Area

Yankee Springs Recreation Area is one of the more popular destinations near Gun Lake vacation rentals. Here you can participate in all sorts of outdoor recreational activities suitable for all ages. Among the various activities available are mountain biking trails, horseback riding trails, ATV trails, beaches along nine lakes (including Gun Lake), piers for fishing, swimming areas, great opportunities to observe and even hunt local wildlife, hiking trails, picnic areas, shooting/archery ranges and playgrounds. You can rent a boat or jet ski to take out on the water or, during the winter months, you can go snowmobiling or cross-country skiing along the prepared paths and trails.

Gun Lake Casino

Expected to open at the end of the 2010 summer months, Gun Lake Casino will be a big attraction to hit the Gun Lake area. Located between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo on U.S. Highway 131 (exit 61), this tribal casino will have 36 gaming tables and 1,200 slot machines, a 300 seat café, a food court, lounges and bars. The goal in its design is to bring a sense of luxury, warmth and contemporary style to the community.

gun lake golf

Golf Courses

There are several golf courses within 20 miles of Gun Lake vacation rentals, such as Hidden Valley Country Club and Orchard Hills Golf Club in Shelbyville, Yankee Springs Golf Course in Wayland or Mullenhurst Golf Course in Delton.

Amusement Parks and Zoos Nearby

Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, Michigan is just 30 miles away from Gun Lake vacation rentals. You’ll also find the Full Blast – Fast Flood water park in Battle Creek. Splash Family Water Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan is only 30 miles north of Gun Lake. Additionally, Deer Forest Fun and Amusement Park is 50 miles away in Coloma, Michigan.

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What to See in Gun Lake

gun lake outdoors

Spots at Yankee Springs Recreation Area

The unique “kettle formation” of Devil’s Soup Bowl is within Yankee Springs Recreational Area on Gun Lake. Follow the trails to check out this natural phenomenon formed by glacial runoff. Other glacially formed sites on the Yankee Springs trails include Graves Hill Overlook and The Pines.

Bowens Mill

This working museum was originally built in 1864 as a grist and cider mill. Currently, Bowens Mill, located in Middleville (on the eastern side of Gun Lake) is a popular place for weddings because of the beautiful scenic views. The mill also still sells fresh corn meal and apple cider, both still prepared on site.

Gilmore Classic Car Museum

Approximately a 30 minute drive from Gun Lake vacation rentals is the Gilmore Classic Car Museum in Hickory Corner, Michigan. This isn’t just any side-of-the-road car museum, but a collection spanning 100 years of beautiful classic cars from the Model T to the 70s and accessories found in the rustic setting of a renovated historic barn. Among the regular exhibits are an 1899 Locomobile, a classic Duesenberg and the hard to find 1948 Tucker.

Historic Charlton Park

Just 15 miles East on MI-179 you’ll find Historic Charlton Park and Village Museum in Hastings, Michigan. This park houses a recreated village to convey the day-to-day lifestyle of settlers of the late 1800’s to early 1900’s in Michigan’s Barry County. The 25 historical buildings, including residences, businesses and community buildings, were transported to Charlton Park from various areas in Barry County to create a full scale village experience. In addition to the village, there is a recreational area in the park, as well as a church often used for weddings and a beautiful walnut grove to stroll through.

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Where to Shop and Eat in Gun Lake

gun lake restaurantsThere are several small communities near Gun Lake vacation rentals that offer cafes, small restaurants and other dining facilities on and near the lake. Check out Bib on 126th Avenue (off Patterson Road on the western side of Gun Lake). The wait staff is rude to you on purpose – it’s part of the atmosphere and quirkiness of this pizza and steakhouse restaurant.

Sam’s Other Joint on Briggs Road at the north end of the lake, one of a number of western Michigan chain restaurants, offers Sam’s famous ribs and barbecue sauce as well as live music and an eclectic atmosphere. For a home-cooked comfort-food type of meal, visit Sandy’s Country Kitchen on Gun Lake Road.

For shopping activities, check out the Sea Shanty women’s clothing store on MI-179 just west of Briggs Road or get some of your boating supplies at Jensen Marine on South Patterson Road, just south of the MI-179 intersection. Weick’s Food Town is a small town supermarket on 124th Avenue (just west of Patterson Road), providing a great place for you to grab some groceries and cook some meals in your Gun Lake vacation rental, and save on dining expenses.

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When to Visit Gun Lake

Those looking to experience Gun Lake casino should plan a visit in the fall of 2010 or later, after the casino officially opens.

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What to Bring to Gun Lake

Pack the appropriate clothing for weather conditions during the season that you visit. Southwest Michigan, where Gun Lake rests, has four distinct seasons that follow the general pattern of cool/cold temperatures in the fall and winter and warm/hot temperatures in the spring/summer. Peak temperatures in the 80’s usually occur in July and the coldest month is typically January, with temperatures in the 30’s.

Like any lake side spring or summer vacation, you’ll want to bring all of your water gear with you when you visit Gun Lake, such as fishing gear, jet skis, water skis and, of course, swim suits. If you visit in the winter, be sure to bring your snow shoes and skis. You should also bring a jacket and possibly pants for evening activities in the spring and fall months.

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What to Know About Gun Lake

There are a few restrictions at Gun Lake that you should be aware of as you enjoy your vacation. There are no camping or open fires allowed in the public areas of Gun Lake. Dogs must be on a leash and you must clean up after them. High speed boating and water skiing are prohibited on Gun Lake between the hours of 6:30 PM and 10:00 AM and there is no diving off of the boat docks. Additionally, there is a small island near the northern shore of Gun Lake that is privately owned and, therefore, off limits for public use.

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Getting to Gun Lake

By Car

Gun Lake is located between Fountain and Freesoil, Michigan. Generally you’ll be heading northward from the Chicago area if you’re driving to Gun Lake vacation rentals. From Chicago take Interstate 90 East to exit 21 where you will take Interstate 94 East toward Detroit. Continue on Interstate 94 as it curves around the southeast corner of Lake Michigan for approximately 105 to 110 miles. Take exit 74 and head North on U.S. Highway 131 and then exit 61 and take a right onto MI-179 East. Turn right on South Patterson Road and follow it to Marsh Road to curve around the western and southern sides of Gun Lake. A right on Briggs Road South will take you down the Eastern side of the lake.

By Plane

The closest airport to Gun Lake is the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan – just 19 miles north on South Patterson Road. You could easily take a taxi or rent a car to reach Gun Lake vacation rentals from this airport.

Additional airports in the area include Capital Regional International Airport in Lansing, a 1.5 hour drive to Gun Lake on MI-43 West to MI-179 West, the W.K. Kellogg Airport 24 miles southeast in Battle Creek (MI-37 North to MI-179 East) and the Kalamazoo Battle Creek International Airport 45 miles south of Gun Lake (take U.S. Highway 131 North to MI-179 East to reach Gun Lake).

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Why Gun Lake vacation rentals?

Staying in a resort or hotel just isn’t the same as having an entire house, cabin or cottage to yourself while vacationing on Gun Lake. Most Gun Lake vacation rentals have great amenities like fully-equipped kitchens, on-site washer and dryer and private parking. Additional amenities may include hot tubs, lake side property, private decks overlooking the lake and pet friendly space.

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