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Grand Traverse County

10 Miles SE of Traverse City Michigan

Arbutus Lake is in the Forest Lakes area of Grand Traverse County. It's a 394 acre lake made up of

5 lakes chained together by narrow channels.


while Lakes 2, 3, and 4 are ALL SPORTS from 11:00am to 7:30pm.

Lake 4 has a public boat launch next door to the State Forest Campground and a large shallow cove named Turtle Cove.  Nearly half of this cove is a proposed nature preserve. Lake 3 has a YMCA camp that hosts hundreds of campers each summer

June through August.

Summer residents on the lake include a pair of Common Loons and a Bald Eagle's nest.

Fishing is one of the top activities with

many species to be found.

Arbutus Lake boating grapic-01.png


We have one of the cleanest lakes in the area and closely following the ordinances and best practices will help preserve the clear, fresh, up-north water we all enjoy in our shared backyard.

  • The Forest Lakes Overlay Ordinance - $$$ large fines for tree or vegetation removal - Protects the Trees and Shoreline. Please read and follow the ordinance. 


  • No Dredging is allowed without a permit

  • Do not bring in sand for a beach

  • No sea walls or impervious patios are allowed on the shoreline

  • Do not remove lily pads or other native aquatic vegetation

  • Manage runoff into the lake by avoiding fertilizer and keeping a wide and deep-rooted native vegetation strip at the shoreline. 

  • Keep septic systems in good working condition


An invasive species is one that is not native to the area and has no natural predators to keep them from spreading rapidly and outcompeting native plants and animals. Learn what you can do to stop the spread of invasives in our lake.


  • Wash and dry your watercraft and drain all water before entering the lake

  • Leave untouched the native vegetation along the shoreline in the 50' buffer

  • Learn to identify and eradicate invasive species from your property

  • Report unchecked invasive species on the State of Michigan watch list - report here

  • Sign a permission slip to have your shoreline treated for Eurasian Watermilfoil through our lake association

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