Tucked away into a slight depression, this lake is protected from light winds — making it a perfect place to capture reflections. It's close enough to Traverse City so that it's convenient, but far enough from the city lights to get great, dark skies. During the right months you're also able to capture a breathtaking view of the Milky Way.
Wide-angle lens (24mm)
How to get there
N44° 44' 53.5272"W85° 47' 47.1048"
This Milky Way view from the Cedar Lake dock was taken looking directly south from the dock on the trail at Cedar Run Creek Natural Area. To get there, you'll need a car and then you'll walk a short distance.
By car, take Cedar Run Road west out of Traverse City for 9.3 miles. Turn left onto Cedar Lake Road. Look for the small brown boat launch sign (on the right side of the road but pointing left). Drive 0.8 miles south until you arrive at the marked trail head at the big right-angle curve in the road.
The walking trail starts just beyond the wide gate blocking vehicle traffic. Hike in a few yards and then take a left on the trail. The trail splits about 1/10 of a miles in, but rejoins itself so you can take either fork. Just beyond an old trail information sign and amidst tall ferns, take another left on the trail to descend to the dock. The very bottom is washed out and root covered; watch your footing.
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Best times to go
Current weather conditions and times around twilight