Entries by leelanau.com

The Grand Traverse Lighthouse

The Grand Traverse Lighthouse is located inside of the Leelanau State Park on the Lake Michigan shoreline at the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula. The lighthouse was occupied by the U.S. Coast Guard from 1941 until it was closed in 1972. It has since been restored to resemble the keeper’s house of the 1920’s and […]

South Manitou Island

South Manitou Island is an uninhabited island just off the coast of west Leelanau County. In the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries the island was a popular harbor and fueling station. In the 1800s the island was inhabited by farmers – their buildings, equipment, schoolhouse, and cemetery still remain on the island today. The island […]


Fishtown is a historic 100 year old fishing village located in Leland. In the 1930s fishing reached its peak and quickly declined due to overfishing. Although Fishtown may not still be home to as large a fishing community as previously, it is home to many charter fishermen, Carlson’s fishery, the only ferries to the Manitou […]

Cathead Bay

An alluring stretch of beach right in the middle of Cathead Bay is backed by dunes that gradually give way to forest. A few different paths wind through the woods to reach the beach, leading a walker through the secession of forest to dune. The open dunes, along with the numerous blowouts, are a fine […]

Glen Lake

According to the Leelanau Conservancy “Glen Lake, framed by a dramatic rise of Sleeping Bear to the west, and surrounded by high-forested moraines to the east and south, presents one of the most recognizable landscapes in Michigan. The waters of Glen Lake are so pure that with increasing depth, on a clear day the water […]

Fouch, Michigan

Fouch was originally established by an African-American, by the name of Smith, who settled on the south end of Lake Leelanau sometime before the Civil War. Smith built a dock, known as Smith’s landing where settlers who lived on Lake Leelanau could dock and then walk into Traverse City to buy supplies. Hardly anything is […]

North Unity, Michigan

North Unity was a small settlement on Good Harbor Bay. It was first settled in the 1855 by Bohemian immigrants who came up the shore of Lake Michigan from Chicago to scout for a suitable place to start a settlement. The new settlers lived the first few years in a barracks that was 150 feet […]

Gill's Pier, Michigan

Gill’s Pier was founded as a lumber town. Today all that remains are the pylons from the old pier, the nearby St. Wenceslaus Church, and the Gill’s Pier Road. The Gill’s Pier Vineyard and Winery was named in honor of the town of Gill’s Pier. The town grew up around the William Gill and Son […]

Port Oneida, Michigan

In 1852 Carsten Burfiend of Hanover, Germany moved from North Manitou Island to the mainland, just west of Pyramid Point. Burfiend continued his work as a fisherman on the mainland and ferried settlers from the Manitou Islands to the mainland on his fishing boat. In 1862 Thomas Kelderhouse’s dock was completed on Carsten Burfiend’s land. […]