Introducing ...
magazine 2014-15!

Click here to view the 2013 online digital magazine and videos

We are thrilled to show you the cover of the 2014-15 issue of Emmet County's annual promotional magazine, Imagine!

The image pictured here was taken by Harbor House Publishers photographer Philip Hutchinson, along the famed Inland Waterway, a 30+ mile of chain of inland lakes and rivers that begins in Emmet County and flows northeasterly out to Lake Huron. It's one of Emmet County's most beautiful natural assets and is the perfect reflection of life Up North!

Imagine will be available in mid-May 2014. It includes features on the people, places, organizations and communities that make Emmet County a one-of-a-kind place to live, work and play. Up here, quality of life is everything.

This year's magazine, published by Harbor House Publishers in Boyne City, also includes a number of enhancements, including numerous videos that further showcase the unparalleled natural beauty and the residents who are invested in making Northwest Michigan a place like no other. An expanded section on the features of Emmet County is also a new addition to this sixth annual edition.

To have a complimentary copy of Imagine magazine mailed to you when it's available, contact its writer/editor Beth Anne Eckerle with your mailing address:, or (231) 348-1704.


Blue ice: A sure sign of Spring in Northwest Michigan!

Blue ice is piling up along the shorelines in the northern part of the County. The tans and browns of spring's exposed landscape against the blue backdrop of the ice really provides a photogenic background during this time of transition up North! This photo was taken at the Straits of Mackinac, down the bluff from McGulpin Point Lighthouse and Historic Site.

Why does the ice turn blue?
Here's an explanation, courtesy of the Mackinaw Area Chamber of Commerce: Snow is white because full spectrum, or white, light is scattered and reflected at the boundary between ice and air. The white color of bubbles at the top of a dark beer work the same way - small pockets of air reflect and scatter visible light. Ice only appears blue when it is sufficiently consolidated that bubbles do not interfere with the passage of light. Without the scattering effect of air bubbles, light can penetrate ice undisturbed. In ice, the absorption of light at the red end of the spectrum is six times greater than at the blue end. Thus the deeper light energy travels, the more photons from the red end of the spectrum it loses along the way. Two meters into the glacier, most of the reds are dead. A lack of reflected red wavelengths produces the color blue in the human eye.

See more photos on the County's Facebook page

'A Straits Perspective' topic of April 30, 2014, Essence of Emmet free history program

Phil Porter, Director of Mackinac State Historic Parks, is one of two speakers during the April 30 event.

The Essence of Emmet historical collaborative will host another of its twice-yearly historical programs on a topic of local intrigue, on April 30, 2014, at the Fairgrounds in Petoskey.

“A Straits Perspective: Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, shipwrecks and a new museum” is the topic for this free program that is open to the public at the Community Building at the Fairgrounds. Time is 6 to 8 p.m. No reservations are required and refreshments will be served during an intermission.

Presenting will be Phil Porter, Director of Mackinac State Historic Parks that include Mackinac Island State Park, Michilimackinac State park and Mill Creek State Park, plus a number of historic sites and museums within these parks. Porter will speak first about the history of Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, including construction of a new building at the site, the Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Museum.

The museum will tell the story of the ships and sailors whose time on the Straits ended tragically. Featuring a variety of original objects and artifacts, including some recovered from the steamers Eber Ward and Cedarville, the museum will be housed in the reconstructed warehouse, originally built in 1890 and torn down around 1940. The museum is expected to open in July 2014.

Following a break with refreshments from the era of the presentation, Porter will continue the program with a look at shipwrecks in the Straits, using specific examples such as the Cedarville to illustrate the themes of the new shipwreck museum.

For further details and to learn more about the Essence of Emmet collaborative, click here.



Introducing, the Essence of Emmet history awards!

Regional history group announces new awards recognizing area achievers in historical preservation, promotion

Throughout Northwest Michigan, individuals, volunteers and organizations are protecting and preserving this region’s rich history in ways not often recognized by the public. But without these caretakers of our past, many stories that have defined this area of Michigan would be lost to the passage of time and memory.

To recognize these extraordinary efforts in protecting, preserving and sharing our history, the Essence of Emmet – a local collaborative of organizations and individuals sharing an interest in our history – has announced it will begin an awards program.

To be eligible for the awards, the recipient(s) must be individuals and organizations dedicated to the preservation, presentation and promotion of the history and culture of Emmet County. (Individuals serving on the Essence of Emmet group are not eligible.)  Work or programs must have taken place in the last 18 months within Emmet County, though the nominated party does not need to be a resident of Emmet County.

“The Essence of Emmet group has been discovering a really vast network of people, organizations and groups in our communities who are doing fascinating, important work preserving the stories from the past,” said Phil Porter, Director of Mackinac State Historic Parks and an Essence of Emmet member.  “We felt this would be a terrific way to support and encourage these efforts and shine a light on the people doing this really great work.”

To read more about the award, how to nominate someone and to download the nomination form, click here!

2014 Photo Contest: Capture the beauty of Emmet County WATERS

Water in action at Petoskey's breakwater!

Take part in Emmet County's new photo contest!

If there is one attribute that defines Emmet County – both geographically and in the hearts and minds of its residents and visitors – it’s the abundance of water in Northwest Michigan. In the tip of Michigan’s mitten, the Great Lakes are a constant presence, and our inland lakes, rivers and wetlands are magnificent natural resources that are the source of recreation, pride and protection.

To celebrate our unique water resources, Emmet County is holding its second-annual photo contest, Emmet County WATERS. This follows on the heels of the successful 2013 Emmet County Skies photo contest, which drew photographic entries for more than 50 area photographers. The winner of the Skies photo contest was MaryJo Maguire of Harbor Springs, with her unequaled shot of clouds and sunlight amassing over Little Traverse Bay (click here to see her winning photograph!).

The Emmet County Waters contest will operate the same as the Skies challenge: Through November 30, 2014, please send your Waters photos via email to

Please include location where photo was taken with your submission. Residents and visitors are welcomed to participate, but the photos MUST be taken within the boundaries of Emmet County. The contest does include Lake Michigan and the Straits of Mackinac including and to the west of the Mackinac Bridge.

Photos will be judged by expert photographers, including Shawn Stockman-Malone, whose extraordinary images of the Northern Lights in the Upper Peninsula have circulated the globe and have been published in dozens of digital and print media outlets. Malone has been a guest speaker at the Headlands International Dark Sky Park as well.

What’s in it for the winner? The winning Waters photo will be framed and matted for the winner to keep; it will also be printed on photo board and displayed in the Emmet County Building downtown Petoskey. In addition, the winner will receive a free overnight at the Guest House at the Headlands International Dark Sky Park.

Image size should not exceed 10MB for emailing. Amateur photographers only, please. Participants agree that Emmet County may use the submitted photographs in county promotional materials at any time.

If you have questions about the Emmet County Waters photo contest, call Beth Anne Eckerle, County Communications Director, at (231) 348-1704 or email




Download the Emmet County App!

Take Emmet County with you on your smart device, cell phone or tablet by downloading our NEW app! 

  • Details about the county's parks and recreation opportunities, including McGulpin Point Lighthouse and the Headlands (with trail map);
  • Program schedule for the monthly events at the Headlands International Dark Sky Park;
  • Locator map of all the public parks within Emmet County (including city, village, township and other parks);
  • Locator map of all the historic sites in Emmet County and details;
  • Trail maps for the Little Traverse Wheelway, Headlands and Petoskey and Harbor Springs snowmobile routes;
  • Pellston Regional Airport information;
  • Links to the County's social media sites.

Download the free app and check it out! It's available now in the Google Play and iOS app stores.