Ever visited The Channels?

I’m referring to the Les Cheneaux (French for “the channels”) Islands on the far east end of Mackinac County. It is here you will find the oldest, continuously-played golf course in the United States. There are 32 or 36 (depending who you ask) islands in this conglomerate and even though many Michiganders beneath the Mac bridge aren’t too familiar with the islands, they’ve been attracting visitors since the 1800s.

Sitting thirty miles northeast of Mackinac Island in Lake Huron, Les Cheneaux was once thought of as undesirable, with throwaway acreage and land that was not enticing…those early folks couldn’t have been more wrong. Finally people took notice of the luring forestry and timber, soon becoming a “strategic international northern outpost and center of early exploration”. Even so, permanent settlers didn’t set up homesteads until the 1880s – coming from Canada, Chicago, and across the water from Mackinac Island.

As for golf, Les Cheneaux Island has the country’s oldest, continuously-played golf course. The Les Cheneaux Golf Club began operating in 1898 and is only accessible by water. The original 1880s crudeness is now

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1) Haven Island was nicknamed “Bootlegger’s Island”, being used as a hideout for gangs were running illegal booze up from Detroit to Mackinac Island.
2) Dollar Island standout is the ‘floating house’ out in the middle of the Snows Channel. It looks like a castle, using every bit of land it possibly can, creating the illusion of floating. Built in 1901, it looks like something that belongs in Disneyland.

Lots of history, lots of scenic beauty,…..and even though it’s a very popular resort area, there are still plenty of places where you can find solitude and a peaceful visit.

Les Cheneaux Islands


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