Lakes and Rivers

From calm, tranquil waters to lively, large lakes - Jackson's got it all!

The Water's Fine

Michigan is famous for its picturesque landscape that provides days of outdoor fun! Jackson, Michigan is no exception; it’s an ideal spot to experience everything that is purely Michigan. Jackson County is home to 125 lakes big and small. From calm, tranquil waters to lively, large lakes - Jackson's got it all!Spend a weekend paddling a kayak, reeling in a big fish, relaxing on the beach, or swimming in the lake. 

Canoeing & Kayaking 

Paddles are pretty popular in Jackson, and that’s to be expected with all this water around.You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy your time kayaking or canoeing in Jackson. We have plenty of great spots for everyone to get on the water. Quiet World Sports can be found on the shore of the pristine Vandercook Lake, where you can rent a kayak for a day of touring, get a lesson from one of their experts, or join a group tour. A seasoned pro? Set off on your own at any of our launch sites that can be found by downloading our Waterways Guide.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding 

Don’t miss the opportunity to paddle board our quiet waters. Clark Lake is just one of many lakes that’s perfect for stand up paddle boarding. Don’t have room to bring your own board?  Not to worry, Beach Bar Gear Garage has you covered. Rent a paddle board for an hour, the weekend, or an entire vacation. Once you are ready for a break, paddle over to the Beach Bar for a tasty selection of homemade soups, sandwiches and more.

Beaches & Parks

Public beaches line our shores, making it easy to enjoy the water. We have many parks to choose from and each is different from the next. For an all-day excursion, Grass Lake County Park is a must. Just looking for a quick swim? Lime Lake County Park should be your go-to. Our lakeside parks are great for the whole family, with so much to do you’ll find the day flew by.

Fishing

The lakes are swimming with activity, from the wide-open waters of Center Lake to the friendly partnership of Vandercook and Brown Lakes. Head up to Waterloo State Recreation Area and explore 11 lively lakes on over 20,000 acres of land. Since 2012, the Sparks Park Urban Fishery within the Sparks Park  has been stocked with bluegill and largemouth bass, providing shore and pier fishing perfect for the casual fisherman. If you really want to put your ice fishing skills to the test, enter the Midwest Open Ice Fishing Tournament, where the winner takes home over $20,000.

Boat Launches & More

Discover where to launch your boat in the lakes and rivers in Jackson with our free Waterways Guide. Download the guide below for boat launch locations, great swimming areas, the best places for canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding, where to fish, rental information, fun things to do around our lakes, and much more!

Photos provided by Dale Fisher and Paul Gerow

Waterways Form

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