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Finding a secluded spot on an inland lake of East or West Grand Traverse Bays is about time of day and location. Sure if you head to a sand bar mid-afternoon on a holiday weekend or to the mouth of the Boardman River on West Bay early in the morning, you may be joining the crowds…well, northern Michigan’s version of crowds which really aren’t so bad.An early morning kayak or paddle board excursion from West Bay’s West End beach headed north through the moored sailboats at the yacht club past Elmwood Township Marina yields a peaceful experience most often with no additional human contact. A trip along the southern East Bay shoreline past the State Park Beach headed west and north along Old Mission Peninsula offers protected waters and the friendly raise of a coffee mug to say “good morning” as a beach-goer appreciates the sunrise with you. On occasion, a splash and stifled giggles will break the quiet as someone falls off their board in an early paddle board yoga class near the State Park in East Bay. Kudos for trying –it isn’t easy to hold triangle pose on a paddle board.Most week days you will find calm waters and only a few boaters or paddlers on many inland lakes- Spider, Arbutus, Cedar, Bass, and Long Lakes are a few of my favorites. This is a perfect time to enjoy diving loons and mergansers, jumping fish, and if you are lucky, a muskrat or river otter! You may just stumble across a stream or small lake in the woods on a VASA trail hike as well. With new Grand Traverse Land Conservancy parks throughout the area, there is more public shoreline access than ever before. So find your quiet, or not so quiet, time and place and enjoy the waters around the Traverse City area!