Sail Michigan | Cass Lake in Oakland County Michigan


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Cass Lake

Oakland County
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Lake Type: River-fed / Lake Chain
Area: 1278 acres
Lake Orient.: Northeast - Southwest
Max. Depth: 123 ft

Cass Lake is the largest and deepest lake in Oakland county and is bordered by Waterford Township, West Bloomfield, Orchard Lake Village and Keego Harbour. The lake is home to the Pontiac Yacht Club which has one of the largest fleets of Lightnings in the world and focuses on sailing education and competition.


The main access launch for the lake is located in Dodge State Park No. 4, at the end of Parkway Rd, off of Cass Elizabeth Rd. (see following Google map). This launch consists of 4 cement ramps divided by two short piers. The ramps and set-up area appear to be devoid of overhead obstructions (but always double check) and the ramps are bordered by a stretch of open shoreline. Although the shoreline my serve as a beachable surface in a pinch, it is not configured to be routinely used that way. The Cass Lake Marina (commercial marina) is immediately adjacent to the ramps (see photo). This proximity diminishes some maneuverability at the ramps and also may enhance onshore wave action from boats leaving and returning ot the marina. There is a vault toilet present at the ramp and  a reasonable amount of parking.


The ramps discharge into Gerundegut Bay, which is a narrow area at the north end of the lake. There may be some limited sailing maneuverability in this area, depending on wind direction, until you get to more open water. Although the DNR has these ramps listed as type 1 ramps, sailors looking to launch centerboard boats greater than 21' may want to visit the ramps first and evaluate them for themselves. 


The lake is popular and in close proximity to several population centers which means that boat traffic will be high during peak periods. The presence of the PYC provides a strong and organized sailing presence on the lake and it has been reported that it is possible to sail approximately 3/4 of a mile on most points of sail. Additional sailing comments and ratings for this lake are desired..

In the winter, this lake and launch location is a popular one for local DN Iceboat fleets. Although national Iceboating (Ice Yachting) regattas have been held here in the past, the lake's size may be limiting to today's faster (or larger) ice boats. More specific advice for Iceyachting on this lake can be found on the IDNIYRA website. More information on Iceboating in general can be found on our Michigan Iceboating page.

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