Monday, June 8, 2015

Kayaking Cass Lake

Stopping for a photo while my wife paddled on
At 2 square miles, Cass Lake is the largest lake in Oakland County. During the summer months, it is a popular spot for power boats, jet skis, and wave runners. Before the wakes from these recreational boats dominate the surface, mornings on Cass Lake are great time to take a kayak or canoe out for a peaceful trip around the lake.

A flag pole on the lake
On a morning in mid-May, my wife and I kayaked the southern shore of the lake. We launched from Marshbank Park in West Bloomfield. Marshbank Park has a fishing pier and a canoe/kayak launch, but no access for power boats. Power boat owners must launch their boats from Dodge #4 State Park on the other side of the lake.

Some of the larger houses in the distance
The lake has several giant houses with pristine yards and docks big enough for a small marina, but we also saw many smaller homes along the shores and the small canals that connect with the lake.

A mix of large and more modest homes
At first, the water was not too rough, but we left late in the morning and had to paddle back through several big wakes as the recreational boaters started to fill the waters. We stayed near the shore and were able to stay safely out of the way of water skiers and kids on wave runners.

The water is quite shallow and clear along much of the shoreline
As we approached Marshbank Park again, we noticed two small canals leading into the marshland near the park. We traveled up one of them until its end and noticed turtles sunning themselves on logs. Unfortunately, they move a lot quicker when jumping into the water than I would expect, so I never did get a good photo of them.

Paddling through the marsh
I did see and startle a deer that was near the water. The deer did not disappear as quickly as the turtles, so I was able to barely catch a photo of it with my camera.

The deer's rear is visible on the left
We thought about heading into the second canal but changed our minds since a large swan was guarding the entrance.

A menacing swan stands guard
Overall, the two-hour trip was fun (and a good workout), but I would recommend going early in the morning before the lake is crowded with boaters for a more relaxing and safer trip.

Lily pads


  1. Best of luck in your writing and kayaking. I was a former writer for Examiner.Com as Detroit Kayak Examiner -

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    John Fogle