Saugatuck Chain Ferry
The ferry in the resort town of Saugatuck, Michigan is claimed to be the only remaining chain driven ferry in the US. It has been in use since 1838. Three pullies keep it in line as it is being pulled across the Kalamazoo River. This is an unusual operation to watch. 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 is hand propelled! The operator turns a crank on the inside and this pulls the ferry along the chain. The ferry goes from the immediate downtown, and after a short distance of about 250' takes you to Oval beach. The ferry beats making the long drive around the lake and then having to look for a spot at the crowded parking lot. Open Memorial Day to Labor Day (give or take) Mon-Fri 11am – 8 pm and Sat – Sun, holidays 9am – 9pm.