As one of the most scenic regions in Michigan, the Leelanau Peninsula attracts visitors from all over the world. With its picturesque beaches, wineries, and breathtaking sunsets, it’s easy to forget that there is a dark side to this beautiful coastline – one that’s littered with shipwrecks. In fact, some of the most intriguing shipwrecks in the Great Lakes are located off the coasts of the Leelanau Peninsula. Let’s take a closer look at some of these fascinating maritime artifacts.
The Three Brothers
Located off the shore of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the Three Brothers is a schooner that met its untimely end in 1911. The ship was caught in a storm and dashed against the rocky shoreline, where it remains to this day. Visitors can catch a glimpse of the wreck while hiking along the Empire Bluff Trail.
Francis H. Houghton
The Francis H. Houghton is a schooner that sank in 1887 after it ran aground on South Manitou Island. Despite the crew’s efforts to save the ship, the vessel was eventually abandoned, and today it’s one of the most popular dive sites in the Great Lakes. Divers can explore the wreckage, which sits at a depth of about 100 feet.
Walter L. Frost
The Walter L. Frost was a steamer that sunk in 1903 after running into the Manitou Passage. Although no lives were lost in the accident, the ship remains submerged and is visible to snorkelers and divers. In fact, the Walter L. Frost is considered one of the best wreck diving sites in the Great Lakes.
The Francisco Morazan was a freighter that ran aground on the coast of South Manitou Island in 1960. The ship was stranded for several weeks before it finally broke apart and sunk into Lake Michigan. Today, visitors to South Manitou Island can explore the wreckage and learn about the ship’s tragic fate.
The Leelanau Peninsula is not only a picturesque vacation destination but also a hub for maritime history and shipwrecks. Visitors can learn about the region’s seafaring past and explore some of the most intriguing shipwrecks in the Great Lakes. Whether you’re a diver, a snorkeler, or just an enthusiast, the shipwrecks off the coast of the Leelanau Peninsula offer a glimpse into a bygone era and an unforgettable experience.