Why we love Austin Lake:
This shallow, natural lake in Kalamazoo County’s Portage is nestled between West Lake and Long Lake. At just 2.2 miles long with an average depth of 5 feet and a maximum depth of 11 feet, you’ll enjoy all 1,090 acres of this quaint all-sports lake and its family-friendly fishing waters — filled with Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Muskellunge, Northern Pike, and Yellow Perch.
With great fishing numbers and lots of large fish, Austin Lake is well-loved by anglers both for fishing and ice fishing — a fact that seems only natural, given that the Lake was originally created by ice when the area’s glaciers receded over 10,000 years ago. Despite being shallow, Austin Lake remains a favorite winter fishery due to the inflow of water from neighboring Long Lake and the outflow of water through Portage Creek, both of which keep the water moving to support winter fish populations. In warmer months, Austin Lake is equally known for its exceptional Largemouth Bass fishery. Best of all, all watercraft are allowed and many Austin Lake homes feature sandy beach frontage and private docks.
For the non-fishermen in the family, other waterfront recreation abounds, from canoeing and sailing to jet skiing and water skiing. Nearby Lakeview Park in the City of Portage offers shoreline access and fishing piers, along with a 24-acre park complete with playground, ball fields, and perfect spots for picnicking.
While you’ll love the serenity of Austin Lake, you’ll also love being close to all the action in nearby Kalamazoo — just 10 miles from the waterfront. Here, you can enjoy a variety of breweries and pubs (including Michigan favorites Bell’s Brewery and The Beer Exchange) along with delicious eateries. Another nearby attraction is the Fort Custer Recreation Area between Battle Creek and Kalamazoo — a 3,033-acre recreation area featuring campgrounds and more than 25 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, cross country skiing, and dog sledding.