Inland waterway, Michigan


mapThe Inland Waterway is Michigan's longest chain of rivers and lakes allowing boaters to navigate from the mouth of the Cheboygan River 40 plus miles to Crooked Lake. The route is comprised of: Crooked Lake, Crooked River, Burt Lake, Indian River, Mullet Lake, and the Cheboygan River.

By leaving Lake Huron at the Cheboygan River and following the inland waterway to Crooked Lake, Indians and fur traders had only a short portage to Little Traverse Bay thereby avoiding the treacherous Straits of Mackinac.

The route used by Indians and fur traders, also included Round Lake (near Lake Michigan), and a small stream from Round Lake to Crooked Lake called Iduna Creek. This extension of naturally protected inland waters and eliminated the dangerous journey around Waugoshance Point on lake Michigan. This made it possible to get from Petoskey to Cheboygan without navigating the northern Great Lakes.

As many as 50 encampments used by various tribes have been documented along the entire Inland Waterway.