THIS SATURDAY! Triple Fright Night in Emmet County on Oct. 25 includes Headlands Challenge, haunted lighthouse!


WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014
WHERE: Northern Emmet parks

Experience the 6th Annual Headlands Challenge & Triple Fright Night, with free events planned at the International Dark Sky Park at the Headlands, McGulpin Point Lighthouse and Mackinaw's Heritage Village!

Three Northern Emmet County parks will offer their annual Triple Fright Night festivities, free for families and visitors, just before Halloween on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014! The events are scheduled around the 6th Annual Headlands Challenge event, when Emmet County dares visitors to walk the 1-mile dimly-lighted path from the Headlands entrance to the Dark Sky Viewing Area at the Lake Michigan shoreline.

The Headlands Challenge takes place from 8 to 10 p.m. Refreshments, storytelling and community-building are the event highlights. Experience the dark and stay for the show -- the stars above! Telescopes will be provided.

McGulpin Point Lighthouse will be decorated for Halloween with the “Battle of the Bones!” Come out and listen to the spooky sounds of Bone Jet, Scream Rock Duo and Sharp Dressed Skeleton (Halloween decorations, not live bands). The lighthouse will be open 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Oct. 25. The lighthouse is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily now through Nov. 2 (admission is by donation). 

Heritage Village hours on Triple Fright Night will be 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 25. Costumed docents will greet trick-or-treaters who will walk from building to building in this historic park, which covers the period from 1880-1917. Refreshments will be served at Heritage Village.

Rain or shine, no reservations needed

Click here for complete TRIPLE FRIGHT NIGHT details!


New playground is completed at Camp Petosega!

Emmet County has installed a new playground at Camp Petosega over the last couple of months, after receiving grant funding for the play center from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Local Revenue Sharing Board!

We are excited to share this new playground with the public! As a reminder, Camp Petosega is open free to the public for day-use, so head out to check out this new sprawling playground in the weeks ahead. Also of note is that this play structure is handicapped-accessible, so all kids are invited and welcomed to come out and have a blast!

(Once the snow flies, several of Camp Petosega's cabins remain open year 'round, too, for wintertime fun. For complete details:

We hope you enjoy this new play experience at Camp Petosega!
For a photo gallery of the play structure, visit the Emmet County or Camp Petosega Facebook pages.

McGulpin Point Lighthouse remains open through October!


Fall at McGulpin Point Lighthouse is a special experience! While you're out on your color tours of Emmet County, make a stop at McGulpin Point Lighthouse and Historic Site before it closes for the season in early November.

Currently and through October's end, the lighthouse will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is by donation. The view of the Mackinac Bridge and the changing foliage throughout the Straits is visible from atop the tower at McGulpin Point, and a trail to the water presents another beautiful fall experience for our visitors.

The lighthouse is located at 500 Headlands Road, Mackinaw City. The number to the lighthouse is (231) 436-5860, or email for more details. To read about the lighthouse history, click here.

To read about Triple Fright Night activities in northern Emmet County on Oct. 25, 2014, including at McGulpin Point, click here!

Emmet County Ambulance service progressing with arrival of new rig


Progress is being made in Emmet County’s efforts to provide ambulance services in Northwest Michigan, with the arrival of one of several new ambulances Oct. 9 in Petoskey.

Under the direction of ambulance consultant Tim Ladd, the County Board of Commissioners and its Ambulance Advisory Committee have been in talks for many months about how to best provide consistent ambulance service in this region.

It was agreed up on by the Board in September that the county would take over ambulance operations effective Jan. 1, 2015. Between then and now, newly designed ambulances will be making their way to Emmet County from ambulance manufacturers Braun and Osage, with Stryker stretchers.

“The transition to a county run EMS is going extremely well and right on track to meeting our goal of having service operational on Jan 1, 2015,” said Larry Cassidy, Commissioner District 2 and Ambulance Advisory Committee member. “It is taking a complete team effort by the AAC, county staff, Tim Ladd, all the vendors providing equipment or services, and the continuing support of the Board of Commissioners to make this happen smoothly.”

New IT Director Matt Hellens will join Emmet County staff in November


Emmet County will have a new IT Director beginning in early November 2014. Matthew Hellens has accepted the position after spending the last 8 years handling IT needs for next-door Cheboygan County.

“We’re really looking forward to bringing Matt aboard at Emmet County to continue our commitment of providing the highest level of IT resources to the residents and visitors utilizing Emmet County services, “ said Marty Krupa, Emmet County Administrator. “This is a key position within our county, from day-to-day operations used by the public to special projects and partnerships within our community that rely on Emmet County to be a leader.”

Hellens, 39, is a Petoskey resident who has a 13-year career in Information Technology with an additional three years of Web and software development. He counts as points of professional pride the ability to understand the importance of well-informed technology purchases that can serve multiple purposes within an organization.

“I’ve spent the last 15-plus years educating myself and keeping up-to-date on how technology can benefit the functions of an organization. I’m looking forward to bringing these skills and my experiences to Emmet County,” Hellens noted.

In his IT role in Emmet County, Hellens will handle oversight of all the county’s information technology needs, from Web site functions to phone systems, building security at county facilities to online services used by the public. In addition, Emmet County IT staff often assists local municipalities with IT needs and they work with the CCE/9-1-1 Central Dispatch center on tech needs as well. While at Cheboygan, Hellens worked with IT staff from organizations within the CCE system, including Emmet County, to design an IP framework that allowed for a standardization of IP communications throughout the CCE/911 service area.

“During my career, I have found that developing an excellent communication workflow between IT, Administration, the Board, and all other departments is critical in forming proper long term goals.,” said Hellens. “Technology can be an investment with great rewards, but if the organization is not all on the same page it can become a great expense instead.

“My department has always maintained the day to day network and technology needs efficiently.  However, my true specialty is in understanding an organization at the 10,000 foot level, knowing how the cogs all work together and cultivating ways to improve the processes and systems using the ever changing technology we have available to us.  I have an excellent track record of meeting ROI goals for all my projects, always finding ways to make purchases have secondary benefits that extend beyond the original scope.”

A Lake Superior State University graduate, Hellens and his wife Heidi Pixley live in Petoskey. His daughter, Ainsley, attends Petoskey Middle School. Hellens replaces IT Director Gary Appold, who has been promoted to Human Resources Director/Assistant County Administrator.

Deadline is Nov. 30, 2014, for the Emmet County WATERS photo contest

Do you have a really cool water image, like this one showing a beautiful reflection in the Inland Waterway? We want to see it!

Fall submission deadline is fast approaching ...!

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 Emmet County Waters contest will operate the same as the Skies challenge: Through November 30, 2014, please send your Waters photos via email to We've got a couple great prizes lined up for the winner!



Imagine magazine 2014


We are thrilled to distribute the 2014-15 issue of Emmet County's annual promotional magazine, Imagine

Emmet County's annual magazine, Imagine, features 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.

This year's cover image was captured 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!

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


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.