Looking for perfect Northern Michigan scenic spots in Charlevoix and Chain of Lakes? Pull out your camera and make your way to downtown Charlevoix, hike in the Jordan River Valley, and cruise the Chain of Lakes. We’ve got some suggestions so that you don’t miss those awe-inspiring summertime shots.

Earl Young Hobbit Houses
Scattered in the neighborhoods around Charlevoix are 30-some curious stone cottages built between 1918 and the mid-1970s by self-taught architect Earl Young. The buildings, which feature native fieldstone walls and irregular, sloping cedar-shake roofs, are affectionately referred to as the “Hobbit houses” for their quirky, earthy charm. Visit the Chamber of Commerce downtown for a self-guided walking tour map.

Deadman’s Hill
A breathtaking overlook in the Jordan River Valley set some 435 feet above the river offering panoramic views of the entire region. Beautiful any time of year, but particularly striking during fall color season. Located at the end of Deadman’s Hill Road, on the left as you head north on US 131, about six miles north of Alba.

Chain of Lakes
Photo opportunities abound on this 75-mile-long waterway consisting of 14 inland lakes and connecting rivers. The crown jewel of the chain is 19-mile-long Torch Lake—Michigan’s longest and second-largest inland lake. Canoeing the whole chain is possible with some portaging on the upper half; or boat the bottom half to see Torch Lake, Elk Lake and Lake Skegemog without ever leaving the water. (Have you ever heard the wild legend about Lake Skegemog … better check this out!)

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Photo(s) by Jordan Oster