Visitor Info

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling

Seated directly in between the Straits of Mackinac and Thunder Bay  Shipwreck Preserves, Cheboygan is naturally the perfect headquarters for pristine freshwater scuba and snorkeling,  for those advanced and beginners alike.

Cheboygan’s unique location on the Great Lakes and the Straits of Mackinac have made the city a center for scuba enthusiasts from all over the country, with many of its nearby shipwrecks recurring characters in the pages of the maritime history of the Great Lakes.

And this a truly great place to learn and get certified in scuba diving. With wonderful inland lakes throughout the region, you and your family can learn scuba diving right where you’re staying or living for the summer, right off the dock or at the beach!

So come to Cheboygan and discover the magic of underwater wonders like you’ve never seen.

View Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Preserve in a larger map

Historical Shipwrecks

The Leviathan & Genessee Chief

In just a 10 minute boat trip from downtown Cheboygan you can head east to Duncan Bay and snorkel or scuba the Leviathan and the Genessee Chief. Sunken in 1891, the wooden ships are submerged amongst the ruins of the piers of the legendary lumber town, Duncan City. As the wrecks are in very shallow water, even Kayakers and Canoers can enjoy the view from the surface.

The St. Andrew

En route from Chicago to Buffalo on the night of June 26, 1878 the 143 foot, corn stocked three-masted schooner St. Andrew collided with the schooner Peshtigo only 11 miles from Mackinac Point and quickly sank.  Now, 60 feet underwater, the St. Andrew shipwreck is a favorite for novice and expert divers as one cannot help but feel the history that surrounds this magnificent shipwreck. (See video below for a look at the St. Andrew)

The William H. Barnum

Not far from the shores of Point Nipigon, the 220 foot wooden steamer William H. Barnum’s corn delivery was interrupted when colliding with floating ice on April 3, 1894. The crew was fortunate enough to escape with their lives with the timely aid of the nearby vessel, the Crusader. In poor working condition, her steam engine exploded, destroying the engine room and was quickly pulled into the icy depths of the Straits with no hope of being salvaged. Built in 1873, the Barnum is a unique remnant of the American Industrial Age. With her hull still intact and resting at depth around 75 feet, this is an awesome site for the intermediate to advanced diver.

The Cedarville

Built in 1927, the Cedarville is the third largest freighter lost on the Great Lakes (after the Edmund Fitzgerald and the Carl D. Bradley). This 600 foot freighter sank in a tragic accident on May 7, 1965 in Lake Huron, not far from the Mackinaw Bridge. An ocean-going Norwegian freighter collided midships with the Cedarville in foggy weather. Ten men died when she rolled and sank in 37 degree water. Intermediate to advanced divers make the pilgrimage to the Straits to see this massive shipwreck every year. When diving the Cedarville, one can’t help but be humbled by the realization that even our more modern vessels are at times no match for the Great Lakes and human error.

Useful Links

Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Preserve & Northern Michigan Dive Center

Member Spotlight Video: Northern Michigan Dive Center