Manitou Island Ferry Service on Lake Michigan Canceled for 2020
Calm your jets (pun intended...get it?), it's not just because of COVID-19.
For the first time in a century, ferry service between Leland, Michigan, and the Manitou Islands will not be offered.
North Manitou Island is located about 12 miles northwest of Leland. It's eight miles long with over twenty miles of shoreline and has no population. The smaller island, South Manitou, resides just southwest of it.
The islands are surrounded by more than 50 shipwrecks; some of them are protected diving spots. The islands' unpaved roads serve as beautiful trails for visitors.
The cancelation of ferry service is being blamed on quite a few things, one of them being COVID-19, of course. The high water levels and slashed funding of the National Park Service are also taking some of the blame.
The ferry service has been a family-run business since 1917 when the Grosvenors started running mail to and from the islands. One of the docks on the south island has broken free from its pilings, and sand has filled the lake near the ferry dock, making it tough for the boat to come and go.
According to their Facebook post, the Army Corps of Engineers is starting a dredging project at the dock in mid-July, which won't be complete until August.
The islands are not closed; however, if you want to visit, you'll have to find your own transportation.
You mad? Take action - you can write your National Park Service officials and Leelanau County’s congressional delegation in Washington, D.C., and tell them how you feel.