Lake Charlevoix is the third largest lake in the state with a surface area of over 17,200 acres (70 km²) and 56 miles (90 km) of shoreline. The maximum depth in the main basin is 122 feet (37 m) and in the south arm, 58 feet (18 m).
The lake’s largest tributaries are the Jordan River, feeding into the south arm at East Jordan, and the Boyne River, flowing into the main basin from the east at Boyne City. Other significant tributaries include Horton, Stover, Porter, and Loeb Creeks.
The lake’s watershed covers 335 square miles (870 km2) in Charlevoix and Antrim Counties, and a small portion of the northwest corner of Otsego County. The lake occupies portions of Charlevoix Township, Marion Township, Hayes Township, Eveline Township, Michigan, Bay Township, and Evangeline Township.