Saugatuck-Douglas, MI

Saugatuck Chain Ferry

       
 

Originally used to transport horses across the Kalamazoo River, this Victorian ferry is now a top tourist attraction. Built in 1838, it is the only hand-cranked chain ferry left in the country. It takes about 200 cranks and about five minutes for the U.S. Coast Guard-inspected vessel to float the 100 yards across the river to the opposite shore, one mile from Saugatuck's famous Oval beach and 500 yards from the Historic Museum and the steep steps leading up to the Mt. Baldhead look-out.? This ferry in the resort town of Saugatuck, Michigan carries passengers and bicycles. Three pullies keep it in line as it is being pulled across the Kalamazoo River. When it is ready to cross the Kalamazoo River, the operator takes a can of compressed air and blows a very loud whistle (airhorn) alerting all boat traffic to stop. It has the right of way! The operator turns a crank on the inside and this pulls the ferry along the chain which lies on the bottom of the river. Open Memorial Day to Labor Day. Cost is $1.

528 Water Street
Saugatuck, 49453
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