Grand Traverse Bay

Traverse bay.jpg (131295 bytes)
Click to Expand


lake_michigan.jpg (89522 bytes)Located on the 45th parallel, Grand Traverse Bay is located off Lake Michigan in Northern Michigan. The sailing season is from late May until early October. 

The bay is 32 miles (51 km) long and 10 miles (16 km) wide and is divided into two arms by the Old Mission Peninsula. Traverse City is situated at the south end of the bay where the Boardman River empties into the west arm. Cherry orchards line the bay region, giving rise to Traverse City's claim to be the Cherry Capital of the World.

Grand Traverse Bay is ideal for day sailors. Prevalent winds are from the north and typically range from 10-15 in the afternoons during summer. This leaves the early part of the day for the fishermen and the afternoons for sailors. Water depths range from over 300 feet in the West Bay to over 600 ft in East Bay. Almost all the shoreline is soft sand. Power Island is the only obstruction in the bay and is popular with boaters on the weekends who anchor, hike and picnic there.  

Known for its cold, clear, shimmering blue water and golden sand beaches, the Grand Traverse Bay region is a popular vacation destination. Visitors are always welcome to come spend their money but we don't encourage them to linger -- traffic is bad enough already. Click on the links below for more information on the Grand Traverse area.

Lake Michigan     Northern Michigan     Old Mission Peninsula 
    Traverse City     Boardman River 

The following pictures give you a good idea of what it is like sailing on gtb. We only have 8 jillion pictures, so it was hard selecting a representative few. 

Click any picture to see a larger view.