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Michigan Geography

Divided into two separate land areas, and bordered by four of the five Great Lakes, Michigan has the longest shoreline in the continental U.S. - nearly 3,300 miles.

Michigan's Upper Peninsula is hilly and rugged in the west, especially in the heavily-forested Porcupine Mountains. Further east in the Huron Mountains the state's highest point, Mt. Arvon, stands at 1,979 ft. Moving to the east, the Upper Peninsula's land is much flatter, with some inland swamps.

Michigan's Lower Peninsula is rather flat, especially along the eastern and southeastern shorelines. Gentle, rolling hills are found central and south, while further north, to the east and southeast of Traverse City, the landscape becomes quite hilly.

Michigan's has numerous islands, including Bois Blanc, Drummond, Grand, Isle Royale, Mackinac, Sugar; the Manitou Islands and the Beaver Island archipelago.

Mackinac Island is positioned on the eastern edge of the Straits of Mackinac. Forested Isle Royale, located in the far-northwestern corner of Lake Superior, is the only (island) National Park in the United States.

The surrounding Great Lakes are Michigan's most striking landforms. In addition, the state is covered by over 11,000 fresh water lakes (mostly small).

Lake St. Clair is a vital commercial waterway, as it connects to Lake Erie through the Detroit River, and to Lake Huron through the St. Clair River.

Other rivers of note include the Ford, Escanaba and Menominee in the Upper Peninsula, and the Au Sable, Grand, Kalamazoo, Manistee, and Muskegan in the Lower Peninsula.

A close look at Michigan's topography on this topographic map!

Michigan Photographs

Miner's Castle overlook on Lake Superior, Munising, Upper Peninsula, Michigan, USA

Overlooking Lake Superior...
by Walter Bibikow
Buy This at Allposters.com

Michigan Cities, Counties & Area Codes

City County Area Code
Harrisville Alcona 989
Munising Alger 906
Allegan Allegan 269
Alpena Alpena 989
Mancelona Antrim 231
Standish Arenac 989
Lanse Baraga 906
Hastings Barry 269
Bay City Bay 989
Beulah Benzie 231
Niles Berrien 269
Coldwater Branch 517
Battle Creek Calhoun 269
Dowagiac Cass 269
Charlevoix Charlevoix 231
Cheboygan Cheboygan 231
Sault Sainte Marie Chippewa 906
Harrison Clare 989
Saint Johns Clinton 989
Grayling Crawford 989
Escanaba Delta 906
Iron Mountain Dickinson 906
Lansing Eaton 517
Petoskey Emmet 231
Flint Genesee 810
Gladwin Gladwin 989
Ironwood Gogebic 906
Traverse City Grand Traverse 231
Alma Gratiot 989
Hillsdale Hillsdale 517
Houghton Houghton 906
Bad Axe Huron 989
Lansing Ingham 517
Ionia Ionia 616
Oscoda Iosco 989
Iron River Iron 906
Mount Pleasant Isabella 989
Jackson Jackson 517
Kalamazoo Kalamazoo 269
Kalkaska Kalkaska 231
Grand Rapids Kent 616
Mohawk Keweenaw 906
Baldwin Lake 231
Lapeer Lapeer 810
Suttons Bay Leelanau 231
Adrian Lenawee 517
Howell Livingston 517
Newberry Luce 906
Saint Ignace Mackinac 906
Sterling Heights Macomb 586
Warren Macomb 586
Manistee Manistee 231
Marquette Marquette 906
Ludington Mason 231
Big Rapids Mecosta 231
Menominee Menominee 906
Midland Midland 989
Lake City Missaukee 231
Monroe Monroe 734
Greenville Montcalm 231
Lewiston Montmorency 989
Muskegon Muskegon 231
Newaygo Newaygo 231
Rochester Oakland 248
Hart Oceana 231
West Branch Ogemaw 989
Ontonagon Ontonagon 906
Reed City Osceola 231
Mio Oscoda 989
Gaylord Otsego 989
Holland Ottawa 616
Rogers City Presque Isle 989
Roscommon Roscommon 989
Saginaw Saginaw 989
Port Huron Saint Clair 810
Sturgis Saint Joseph 269
Croswell Sanilac 810
Manistique Schoolcraft 906
Owosso Shiawassee 989
Caro Tuscola 989
South Haven Van Buren 269
Ypsilanti Washtenaw 734
Ann Arbor Washtenaw 734
Detroit Wayne 313
Cadillac Wexford 231

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on July 10, 2020.