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Russ Ravary
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Chain of Lakes Livingston County MI

Livingston and Washtenaw Counties have a "chain of lakes" which include Portage, Little Portage, Baseline, Gallagher, Whitewood, Strawberry, Zukey, and Ore Lakes.  I would call the Portage Chain of lakes it "Pontoon heaven".

Depending on who you talk to the chain of lakes is called Portage chain of lakes, or Pinckney Chain of lakes, Or Huron River chain of lakes.   

Baseline Lake, Chain of Lakes MI

Many residents enjoy leisurely touring the lakes and river canals, which can take up to two hours from one end of the Chain to the other. Combine that four hour round trip ride with some stopping, or cooling off in the water, or rafting/talking with friends on sandbars, and you can enjoy a relaxing day on the water.

That's what makes the chain of lakes great!  Unlike single lakes where all you can do is go round-and-round the same lake all day, every day.

The 4th of July fireworks celebration on Portage Lakeis a great place to go especially if you have a boat.  It is a featured attraction during every summer. Don't go near the crowd near the marina and go straight across the lake and anchor near the opposite shoreline to view the fireworks.

Tamarack Lake, Hamburg Chain of Lakes, MI

The Portage Chain is patrolled by Livingston County, Washtenaw County and the Michigan DNR.  They try to keep unsafe boating practices and drunk boating to a minimum so everybody can enjoy the lakes safely.


The Portage Chain is nine lakes that are connected by Huron River canals.
Big Portage Lake is the largest lake in the Chain
Little Portage Lake, one of the smallest lakes in the Chain, is accessible thru a canal that goes under Dexter-Pinckney Road.
● From Portage Lake, boats can go under either of two bridges to the Huron River and go north to Baseline Lake. Following the Huron River canals, you can go up stream to Gallagher Lake, Strawberry Lake, Tamarack Lake, Whitewood Lake, and Zukey Lake. Smaller boats can continue up the river to Ore Lake.  Just be careful of shallow water and your prop.  If you have an over loaded boat that sits low in the water.... you probably not going to make it.

Ore Lake, Portage Chain of Lakes MI

There is a DNR public access site on Big Portage Lake (open 8 am to 10 pm & permit required) that has approximately 30 boat trailers parking spots, so get there early because the amount of boats entering from the public launch is limited.


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Chain of lakes Real estate

You can find any type of real estate you want on the Chain of lakes.  Do you want a small 800 square foot ranch home with no basement?  Do you want a 3000 square foot colonial with a walkout basement and all the amenities?  Do you want a home with privacy and a little acreage?  The Chain of Lakes has many different styles and age of homes.  Yes there are homes with acreage on a few of the lakes.... be prepared to pay for it.  But it is available.

Like many Livingston County lakes some of the homes are old 1920's 1930's and later cottages that may be run down.  Many of those old cottages have been updated with new vinyl siding, new windows, new baths, and new kitchens.  Some have been torn down to make way for new ranches and colonials.  Some of these new ones have been built on small lots.  Other Chain of lake homes are on 80 or 100 foot lots.

So sooner or later a lakefront home that suits your tastes will come up for sale on the Chain of Lakes!

Michigan home buyer bonus

 Huron River and the Chain of lakes

  The Huron River supplies drinking water to approximately 150,000 people,  and is the State's only designated Scenic River in southeast Michigan.  The Chain of Lakes is part of the Huron River watershed.  The Wyandot Indians originally called the Huron River the "Cos-scut e-nong sebee," meaning the plans, land or country.

View Larger Map

French explorers who came into the area in 1680 indirectly renamed the river the "Huron River" after seeing the Wyandot Indians with their "bristly hair." The explorers were reminded of the stiff hairs found on the wild boar, or "hure," found in France. Hence, the name "Huron."

Search Portage chain of lakes.

When searching for lakefront homes on the chain of lakes use our atlas search.  It is the grouping of lakes between Brighton recreation area and Waterloo Recreation area west of 23 and south of 96.  Use the plus sign to zoom in on the lake you want.  Click on the lake below to search using a map area to get just the lake or area you want.More Indepth information on each individual lake on the Chain of Lakes in Washtenaw and Livingston County MI 


Location of the Chain of Lakes

Most of the lakes are in Livingston County Mi except for Little Portage Lake which is in Washtenaw County.  The chain of lakes is south of M-36 except for Ore Lake. The lakes are east of Dexter-Pinckney Rd and west of Strawberry Lake Rd.  They are just a short ride west of M-23 highway making going to Ann Arbor, Detroit, or Lansing easy.

Fishing on Pinckney chain of lakes

Here are all the types of fish on the chain of lakes.

  • Largemouth, smallmouth, and rock bass
  • Yellow Perch
  • Bull Head
  • Black Crappie
  • Walleye
  • Pumpkin Sunfish
  • Bowfin
  • Bluegill
  • Northern Pike
  • Longnose Gar
  • Some common carp
  • Northern Pike

Save us to your computer favorites so you can find the website easily! 

If you are selling your lakefront home  and it doesn't have it's own page on this site then it isn't getting the maximum lakefront exposure.  With over 200 pages of Oakland and Livingston County Lakes this is Metro Detroit's biggest and best lake website getting thousands of visitors each month.

Almost every lake on this site shows up on the first page of google when you search the lake name.  So if you want to get your home in front of people who are looking to buy a lake home give me a call on my cell phone.  Let's get your lake home SOLD!!!

I lived in a subdivision in Livonia for 22 years.  I enjoyed living in Livonia for so many years.  I had a good life.  I enjoyed working in my garden.  On weekends we went out with friends.  We went out to dinner.  We went to local festivals.  We went up north to friend's places on lakes.  We did not live on a lake.  We went to other places than our home to have fun.

That is one of the main differences of lake living.  Lake homes are the fun places to go to.  Your lake home is the place your friends, your family will like to come to.  If you are like so many lake home owners you may not want to go anywhere else.  The years of going to festival like Arts, Beats, and Eats because you have nothing else to do may be gone. 

Your lake home is the go to fun place.  I have heard so many lake home owners say that they sometimes pass up graduations, wedding, and family gatherings because they do not want to miss out on a beautiful day at the lake.  I went to Jimmy Buffet for years.  One summer we were sitting out tailgating in 90+ degree heat.  All I could think of is being on the lake.  The next year we did not go back to Jimmy Buffet's concert.  I would rather be at the lake.

So it is your choice.  Do you want your next lake home to be fun place or would you rather live in a subdivision and have to go out of your home to have fun.  What would you rather do?  I myself moved to a lake home.

Russ Ravary Michigan Realtor

 Russ Ravary - Metro Detroit real estate agent

Keller Williams Realty

 (248) 310-6239

30500 Northwestern Hwy #300                           2730 Union Lake Rd

      Farmington Hills, MI 48334                            Commerce, MI 48382




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Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 06/30/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 06/30/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of RealComp MLS (last updated Thu 06/30/2022 10:01:56 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Russ Ravary may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved.
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