The Ferry to
So you've decided to visit the island and instead of flying with Island Airways or Fresh Air Aviation, you're going to ride the ferry. The Emerald Isle the the Beaver Island Boat Company's newest ship and makes the long trip across Lake Michigan so much more comfortable than it used to be. On days with several boat trips the Beaver Island Boat Company also runs the Beaver Islander, a smaller ship.
The ferry dock is located next the the bridge in Charlevoix on the Round Lake side. While you are waiting to board the ferry, you can watch the pleasure boats in Round Lake or visit many of the local gift shops on Bridge Street.
The Emerald Isle loads from the stern and is large enough to carry even semi-trailers. Passengers enter via the stern and go "upstairs". There is an elevator available for handicapped individuals.
Once loaded, the ferry signals the bridge to open and while waiting the passengers get a birds eye view of some of the unique, lovely homes that encircle Round Lake.
The draw-bridge opens and the Emerald Isle makes her way down the channel which is actually the Pine River and out into Lake Michigan for the two hour and fifteen minute trip to Beaver Island.
At the end of the Pine River, standing as a sentinel guarding the town is the Charlevoix light keeping it's lonely vigil at the end of the pier.
Then you're out in the blue waters of Lake Michigan sailing towards Beaver Island. You may pass huge freighters, small fishing boats, and touring tall ships. After a couple hours you see the bell buoy and know you are almost there as the ferry begins its slow turn towards the harbor. In the distance you can see the tiny town area grow larger and larger as you draw near to Paradise Bay.
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NOTE: To help you figure out where you are on the island, I've added a map at the beginning of each section with the area discussed highlighted. Hopefully this will help you visualize the island a little better.
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