Great Loop Segment: Drummond Island to Chicago
Lake Michigan is a 22,404 square mile fresh water lake nestled between Michigan and Wisconsin. At 317 miles long and 118 miles wide, you can probably imagine that wind will be your biggest concern. Weather can change rapidly on the lake so keep an eye on your weather sources to assist you in planning your travels accordingly. Don’t underestimate large weather systems or the effect they will have on the water. It can be just as rough water here as anywhere else on the Loop.
The Wisconsin side of the lake will provide a little more protection from weather, as systems move from west to east and the Wisconsin coast is mostly made up of rocky cliffs, with plenty of places you can wait out the storm. If you’re coming down the Michigan side of the lake, the wind and storms will have had the complete width of the lake to build up a head of steam, with nothing to break them up, before they reach you. While the lake is affected by lunar tides twice a day, they do not create any kind of substantial difference in water depth. The lake is plenty deep, averaging about 279 feet.
You can expect your next biggest concern to be other boaters - on both sides of the lake. Memorial Day to Labor Day is prime boating time here and many of the ports along the lake will be busy with tourists and/or commercial traffic. The weekends are usually busier, so traveling on week days may be preferable.
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