The next few weeks will present the best opportunities for touring Emmet County and Northwest Michigan to take in the changing landscape. Fall is one of the most beautiful times to be Up North! Email for a road map and other area information! This image was taken in the Mackinaw City area, in the northernmost section of Emmet County.

Fall Color Update for Northwest Michigan & Emmet County

With the cool cloudless nights and warm, sunny days, fall color in Northwest Michigan is shaping up to be pretty spectacular this year! (Especially after a lot of rain in recent weeks). We'll keep you up-to-date on how the autumnal beauty is progressing on this Web site and also on the County Facebook pages for Emmet County, McGulpin Point and Camp Petosega.

As of Sept. 25-26, pockets of vibrant color are starting to appear in the northern tier of the county, as these images from Terry Pepper with the Mackinaw City-based Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association show.  In the southern end of the county, slow change is starting to tinge the leaf tips. Peak color usually arrives here around the second week of October.

If you'd like a free County road map to help you plan your fall color tours, or any other information about Emmet County and Northwest Michigan, call (231) 348-1704 or email We'll get it in the mail to you right away!


Color-tour tip: The direct shoreline areas of Emmet County, such as M-119/Tunnel of Trees, are usually the last to change color completely each fall, due to the proximity of Lake Michigan. Inland areas of the county change earlier than those along the shore.

WEDNESDAY EVENING: '158 Years of Perseverance:' Tribe's reaffirmation subject of Sept. 24 Essence of Emmet program

President Bill Clinton signs Public Law 103-324, reaffirming LTBB’s federal status

‘158 years of perseverance: The story of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians’

First annual History Awards will also be given during this program!

The year 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the reaffirmation of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians as a federally recognized Indian tribe. On September 21, 1994, President Bill Clinton signed Public Law 103-324, reaffirming LTBB’s federal status. This journey originally started in 1836, as the tribe signed a major treaty with the United States to secure lands, rights and provisions in their ancestral land of Northern Michigan.For the next 158 years, the LTBB Odawa would fight to have those treaty rights upheld and recognized. LTBB Odawa was the first tribe to have gone through the federal reaffirmation process.

Join Emmet County and the Essence of Emmet collaborative for this historical lecture series program exploring this anniversary. A panel of individuals who were part of the reaffirmation for LTBB, historians and Odawa elders will tell why it was so important for the tribe to pursue its status, the history leading up to 1994 and what Northern Michigan means for the Odawa.

The event will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014 at the Emmet County Fairgrounds Community Building in Petoskey, 1129 Charlevoix Ave./U.S. 31. It is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served.

In addition to the program, the Essence of Emmet collaborative will award its first annual history awards on this evening. After receiving numerous nominees over the last several months, the group will announce recipients who have demonstrated a commitment to preserving, protecting and sharing the history of Emmet County.

To read more about the Sept. 24 program, click here.

First Annual Essence of Emmet History Award winners announced!

A lifetime committed to preserving and sharing Emmet County’s history. A selfless volunteer who has helped bring history to life using modern-day technology and creativity. A fun-loving program that shows those watching how a popular game used to be played in “the olden days.”

These descriptions represent the winners of the First Annual Essence of Emmet History Awards! The Essence of Emmet is a collaborative of a dozen Emmet County historical organizations who work together on projects that preserve, promote and share our one-of-a-kind history in Northwest Michigan.

The winners will be presented with their awards during the next Essence of Emmet program, Sept. 24, 2014, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Emmet County Fairgrounds Community Building in Petoskey (see program description, on this page).

The winners of the 2014 Essence of Emmet History Awards are:

Lifetime Achievement Award: Ken Teysen  (posthumously), Mackinaw City, nominated by Jane Cardinal of Good Hart.

Distinguished Volunteer Award: Sheryl Childs, nominated by Susie Safford, President of the Mackinaw Area Historical Society.

Special Program: Petoskey Mossback Base Ball Team, nominated by Brian Sommerfield.

To read complete details about the awardees and how they'll be recognized, click here.

Congratulations to our winners!

Status of the moving of the sloop 'the Welcome' back to Emmet County

Emmet County staff have been receiving numerous inquiries about the status of the sloop the Welcome and when it will be making its trip to Mackinaw City from Traverse City. At this time, no firm date has been set for this to occur. The move is dependent upon weather conditions and the schedule of the company that is doing the moving of this large vessel.

There are numerous details involved in moving a ship this large. We will keep the public informed of moving plans when a firm date has been set for the Welcome. To read more about the plans for the Welcome, click here.

Enter your Emmet County WATERS photos for our 2014 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 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!


Just a few days left to go ...!

Is there a more beautiful Big Green Gym than in Emmet County? We think not.

Help Emmet County win the 2014 Big Green Gym Challenge!

Join Team Emmet County to bring grant dollars to NW Michigan for trail upkeep

Emmet County has the best Big Green Gym in Michigan, and Emmet County is hoping to prove it to the state of Michigan!  You can help us by taking part in the 2014 statewide Big Green Gym Blues Challenge, sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

This free, eight-week competition encourages participants of all ages to commit to improving their health by exercising in Michigan’s outdoor parks and recreation spaces and joining their local communities to compete in a physical activity competition. All you need to do to participate is register online and log your hours of physical activity from through Sept. 27! Each year, the winner of the Big Green Gym Challenge receives grant funding from the challenge’s sponsors.




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.