Great Lakes High Water Impacts Continue Across Michigan

From the Porcupine Mountains to Lime Island and Harrisville to Tawas and Van Buren state parks, record or near-record Great Lakes water levels have produced powerful impacts forcing the closure of numerous facilities.

These impacts include flooding, extensive erosion and destruction or damage to countless shoreline features, ranging from homes to harbors.

Along with the closure of campsites, trails, roads, boating access sites and recreation areas, high water levels have also created numerous hazards for boaters, swimmers and even wildlife.

“Over the past few years, the rising Great Lakes have posed significant challenges to maintaining our recreation facilities across the state,” said Ron Olson, chief of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Parks and Recreation Division. “In turn, these challenges have increased costs to our already strapped infrastructure improvements budget, even before the additional impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.”

Among the noted closures affecting DNR-managed facilities are more than 20 boating access sites, campsites at Harrisville, Leelanau, Muskegon and Young state parks and submerged electrical conduits at Mackinac Island State Harbor.

Lime Island Recreation Area, in the eastern Upper Peninsula, is closed for the season because of submerged docks, as is the Hammond Bay State Harbor on Lake Huron.