Michigan boating news: WiFi options, check-out time change, harbor hosts & more

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Boating Michigan

Because you've stayed in a harbor in the past or you signed up for boating-related information, we've put together some information to ready you for Michigan's boating season!

Chart a course for your next boating adventure

screenshot of webpage featuring harbors guide

Whether you want easy access to the digital harbors guide, safety tips, registration information, details on how to make reservations or maps, the DNR's Boating the Great Lakes page has it all. 

There is plenty of availability at Michigan harbors. Some harbors accept reservations through the DNR Central Reservation System, and others can be reserved by calling the harbor directly.

Harbor check-out time has changed

To provide better customer service for our boaters, the DNR has changed the check-out time at harbors from 1 p.m. to 11 a.m. This helps space out boat traffic, reduces backlogs at the service dock, provides more opportunities for staff to assist boaters in and out of their slips and allows more time for facility cleaning. 

BoatUS making “work from harbor” easy with expanded WiFi

Boat US logo

As "work from home" has also evolved to "work from anywhere," Michigan’s harbors have become a very appealing option for Great Lakes boaters.

Thanks to a contribution from BoatUS, WiFi service is being added at Cedar River, De Tour, East Tawas, Lexington, Mackinac Island, Presque Isle, Straits and Port Austin state harbors. Installation will be done throughout the summer, so call ahead to confirm availability. 

WiFi is already available at Snail Shell Harbor inside Fayette Historic State Park, Copper Harbor and Milliken State Harbor in Detroit. 

2021 harbor host opportunities

We still have volunteer harbor host availability at DeTour, Presque Isle, Straits and Tawas state harbors. Harbor host duties center around hospitality and service for boaters, and vary by location. In exchange for your service, harbor slip fees are waived. Find more details, available locations and duties.

This summer, get caught wearing your life jacket!

conservation officers on boat against backdrop of Detroit

Michigan DNR conservation officers and McDonald's are working together to encourage all boaters, particularly youth boaters, to wear their life jackets while on the water.

Now through Labor Day, if a conservation officer witnesses a youth appropriately wearing their life jacket, the youngster will have the opportunity to receive a coupon valid for one free McDonald's ice-cream cone or apple slices. Coupons are valid at participating McDonald’s locations in Michigan.

Be sure to always make safety a priority.  View boating safety tips.

Did you know? Check closures before you go

Closures and detours take place from time to time in DNR boating and other recreational facilities due to site improvement projects, repairs and weather-related events. Stay in the know at Michigan.gov/DNRclosures.

Mackinac Bridge to close Sept. 6 for bridge walk

If you're traveling or towing your boat across the Mackinac Bridge over Labor Day weekend, please note that the Mackinac Bridge Authority will close the bridge to vehicle traffic for the 2021 annual bridge walk Monday, Sept. 6, from 6:30 a.m. to noon.

park here