Little Traverse Bay

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Coordinates: 45°24′N 85°00′W / 45.4°N 85°W / 45.4; -85

Little Traverse Bay at sunset, viewed from Petoskey
View from Bay View.

Little Traverse Bay is a small bay, 170 feet (55 m) deep, off Lake Michigan in the northern area of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. The cities of Harbor Springs and Petoskey are on this bay. The Little Traverse Light marks the entrance to the smaller harbor within the bay, at Harbor Springs.[1]

The Little Traverse Bay region was developed by Illinois land developers and resort founders, such as lawyers Henry Stryker, III and Henry Brigham McClure, and the Capps family of Jacksonville, Illinois and woolen mills fame. The Stryker, Capps, and McClure families were interconnected with the Jacob Bunn industrial dynasty of Chicago and Springfield, Illinois. The bay has also been used for refuge of great lakes freighters.[2][3]


The bay has significant publicly accessible parkland on the waterfront, including the Petoskey waterfront, the Harbor Springs waterfront, and Petoskey State Park.[1]

Little Traverse Bay is commonly used during the summer for boating, sailing and swimming by the numerous vacation communities on the bay, including Bay View, Wequetonsing, Bay Harbor, and Harbor Point. Many of these communities also provide sailing and swimming lessons.

The bay is also home to the annual Ugotta Regatta hosted by the Little Traverse Yacht Club in Harbor Springs, and involving many of the same boats as the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac and Port Huron to Mackinac Boat Race, each held on one of the two weekends before.[4]