Beaver Island, Michigan

America's Emerald Isle - www.beaverislandassociation.org

 

Beaver Island is full of history and mystery and, is home to some of the most pristine natural wilderness anywhere in Michigan. Less developed than some other islands, the Beaver Island archipelago is remote and rustic without being primitive. It's trails, scenic drives, gorgeous bays and abundant wildlife make it a cherished destination for nature lovers and those seeking a quiet getaway with a slower pace. Beaver Island is the largest island in Lake Michigan and part of the Beaver Island archipelago.

The most remote inhabited island in the Great Lakes, with a year-round population of 450 - a large percentage, of Irish descent. The residents' isolation, independence and respect for nature and traditions of the Island have made time slow down. Because Beaver Island offers a serene, relaxed life-style, many visitors have become regular vacationers, property owners and permanent residents. We welcome you to discover Beaver Island and decide where it may fit into your life.

Once home to a unique American religious monarchy, the island is now a popular tourist and vacation destination. Beaver is 13 miles (21 km) long, 3 to 6 miles (5 to 10 km) wide, and forms part of Charlevoix County, Michigan. It is mostly flat and sandy, with large forested tracts. The more densely settled portion, comprising only 6 percent of Beaver's total land area, lies within St. James Township on the northern end. This portion had a 2010 census population of 365 inhabitants. (St. James Township also includes Garden Island, High Island, Hog Island, and several smaller islands in Lake Michigan, all uninhabited on a permanent basis.)

Peaine Township, taking up the remaining 94 percent of the island, contains sizable parcels of state-owned land and is mostly undeveloped.  There are two lighthouses on Beaver Island. Beaver Island Harbor Light (St. James Light), built in 1870, on the north side of the island is still an aid to navigation. Beaver Island Head Lighthouse on the southern end of the island, built in 1858, was deactivated in 1961. In 2000, Beaver Island was twinned with Arranmore Island, County Donegal, Ireland.