The Inland Water Route Historical Museum

The Inland Water Route is a series of lakes and rivers that with a short portage connects Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. The water route was a pivotal part of the development of Northern Michigan as Native Americans used the route to avoid rough water on the big lakes. One of encampments along the waterway date back more than 3,000 years.

The history of the water route is preserved at the Inland Water Route Historical Museum in Alanson. This small, Northern Michigan museum is a treasure. Alanson is located on the Crooked River, one of the moving tributaries that connects the lakes.

The museum displays photos and artifacts on each community along the entire water route: Conway, Oden, Ponshewaing, Alanson, Indian River, Topinabee, and Cheboygan. The museum also includes displays on logging, railroad use, and lodging which were pivotal to the development of Northern Michigan.

The Inland Waterway includes Crooked Lake, Pickeral Lake, Burt Lake, and Mullett Lake and are connected by Crooked River, Indian River, and Cheboygan River. Communities developed along the rivers and lakes and became both resort and year 'round towns. The museum has an extensive collection of photos and artifacts focusing on the importance of the waterway in Northern Michigan's history.

The museum, is located on River Street, one block from the swing bridge over the Crooked River. Hours are 10 am-2 pm Wednesday and Thursdays-Sundays from Memorial Day-Labor Day and weekends 11 am-1 pm the remainder of the year.

For more information on the Inland Waterway, visit:

Cruise the Inland Waterway

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More Northern Michigan Arts & History...

For more activities & attractions, check out these additional links for Things to Do in Northern Michigan:

Harbor Springs, Michigan -- Harbor Springs is the place to try new things! Rent a bike or a kayak, go snow tubing, attend a concert or an art fair, or play a round of golf with friends.
Petoskey -- There's so much to do in Petoskey from the Bear River Valley Recreation Area, to Petoskey State Park, to biking, golfing, hiking, and more.
Charlevoix, Michigan -- Visiting Charlevoix in Northern Michigan is a fun-filled vacation with great beaches, boating, skiing, fishing and year 'round family fun.
Things to Do in Boyne City, Michigan -- Nothing is quite like Boyne City in Northern Michigan with camping, boating, skiing, year 'round outdoor activities, and of course, the morel mushroom!
Lots of Activities in Mackinaw City, Michigan -- Explore Mackinaw City in Northern Michigan for history, the International Dark Sky Park, and outdoor activities.
Mackinac Island -- Take a step back in time and find lots of things to do when you visit Mackinac Island by horseback or bike--no cars allowed!
Northern Michigan Activities & Things to Do -- Northern Michigan offers many fun things to do for the entire family whatever the season, whatever the reason!

Last Updated: 09-13-2022 03:01 PM ID: 652