Old Mission

A peninsula above Traverse City, Old Mission is a sweet little place. Driving up the main road, you see farms and lots and lots of orchards. And at the tip, sits a lighthouse.


I went to the top of Old Mission in October of 2010 and discovered I could walk to an island in Lake Michigan. The water was icy cold but only ankle deep.


Photo credit: Paolo Carone

What used to be underwater was now at the surface. Rocks and boulders littered the watery landscape.




Photo credit: Paolo Carone

I went back there 7 years later with my mother to show her. This is what that island looks like in August 2017. The water is about waist high now.


I asked when low tide was but was told Lake Michigan doesn’t have tides. Apparently, there was a low water level last decade and a high this decade, particularly this year in 2017.

When I went in October of 2010, the water level was around 577 feet. It is now at 580 feet. And it seems like we just missed it. Lake Michigan is seeing record high water levels in 2017.

So, keep an eye on the water levels in Lake Michigan, and when it is near 577 feet, go to Old Mission and walk to an island. It was a magical, surreal experience that I remember even 7 years later.



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