This Mysterious Lake near Rogers City, Michigan Drains and Astonishingly Re-fills
One of the strangest lakes in Michigan is truly a unique place, as News 9 & 10 in Traverse City puts it, "where science, geology, time and gravity have come together" to create something unexpected, which was caused by the collapse of a cavern about 900 feet below the surface.
Because of the collapse, water from the sinkhole on the bottom of the lake will rise up, filling to nearly 30 foot deep waters, before draining right back down the sinkhole as the water travels to Lake Huron. On normal years, Springtime would be the return of the water rising, then around November, the water would go back down the swallow hole.
Caves.org explains just how this all takes place and offers travel tips for hikers who are going to experience this lake for themselves.
Rain and spring thaw adds to the volume of water in the lake. As water flows through the underground drainage system beneath Mystery Valley toward Lake Huron, the lake drains back down through the sinkhole (now acting as a swallow hole) and disappears. Sometimes the water is sucked down so fast that a whirlpool develops over the top of the hole. If the valley is dry, feel free to continue west along the trail to view this intriguing swallow hole. The visible pile of busted rock lies around the rim of yet another swallow hole.
There was a time where for five years the water never actually drained, however, currently there is no water in the lake. This is the first time the lake has been dry since 2015. Most believe it has to do with the levels of Lake Huron dropping, meaning the water for Mystery Valley was sucked away into Huron. Pretty wild.