Cross Village
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Awesome Mitten’s ULTIMATE Guide to Cross Village MI

Planning a visit to explore any area of Michigan opens the door to outdoor adventure and natural beauty. Cross Village MI is, perhaps, one of the best destinations to get away from it all.

This small town on Lake Michigan is the northernmost point on the Tunnel of Trees M-119 Scenic Byway and has a population of about 100 people (or less) that call it home throughout the year.

Despite its size, many visitors come to enjoy the quiet, remote feel of this community in the northwestern portion of Emmet County. If you plan to visit Cross Village Michigan, here’s a preview of what you can expect.

Cross Village
Cross Village | photo via Chrystal Vaughn

All About Cross Village Michigan

Cross Village is an unincorporated community located within Cross Village Township. The township is a bit bigger, with just about 280 people calling it home. It has two churches, two restaurants, a museum, a post office, and a general store.

The area was a bit more prominent when it was founded in the early 1800s but lost much of that importance with the founding of L’Arbre Croche, which is now known as Harbor Springs.

In the 1830s and prior, the community served as a valuable lumber producer, and with its location on the waterfront, it also had a strong fishing history.

Cross Village Then

Cross Village was initially founded after French Jesuit Father Jacques Marquette visited the area in 1675 and placed a large white cross at the bluff that overlooked the lake itself. At the time, the area was home to the Ottawa people.

Over time, the area became governed by various religious leaders. Bishop Frederic Baraga of the Catholic Church was one and became the first bishop to serve the Upper Michigan area.

In 1855, four new townships were created by the state — one of them being Cross Village Township, which was known as La Croix.

Cross Village Now

When you visit Cross Village today, you will see a replica of the cross positioned by Father Marquette along the edge of the bluff. If you come during the spring months, look up at this area from the waterfront below. A small garden will likely be in bloom, creating a beautiful sight.

Cross-Cross Village
Cross Village | photo via the.worldthroughmylenz

Things to Do in Cross Village MI

Quite the remote area with few homes, Cross Village has become a wonderful off-the-beaten-path destination. Even though it’s a small area to explore, there are several things to do here.

Also, there are numerous cottages and small cabins located throughout the area. As such, the area becomes a tourism destination during the warmer months of the year.

Drive the Tunnel of Trees

Start with a drive through the Tunnel of Trees, which is a beautiful drive along the lake’s winding shoreline. It spans about 20 miles and runs along M-119, leading visitors from Harbor Springs to Cross Village. Visiting during the fall is spectacular because of the breathtaking colors of the falling leaves.

Stop at The Village Mart

Visit the only grocery store in the village — The Village Mart – Cross Village General Store. A family-owned and operated location, it is the only place in the city to buy groceries or just about anything else you need.

During the summer, it becomes a farmer’s market with a constant selection of fresh produce from area farms.

Tunnel Of Trees - Michigan
Tunnel of Trees | photo via @aerojad

Go Boating on Lake Michigan

Cross Village has a boat launch along Lake Michigan. For those who are looking for an easy and modern way to get into the lake, this is a desirable choice.

Also, it’s a good place to enter the water to reach Waugoshance Point, which is particularly well known for its bass fishing. There is a walking trail in this area too.

Explore the L’Arbre Croche Museum

The L’Arbre Croche Museum is the only such destination in the city. It began in 1995 when Father Albert Langheim managed it, and you’ll find it in the Fr. Al Parish Hall at Holy Cross Church.

The museum tells the story of the region itself, offering a look at the Ottawa people who live here and how the land has developed into the small town it is today.

There are numerous exhibits throughout, including some dedicated to the founders of the village, Native Americans, the lumber industry, and much more.

Go Fishing at Wycamp Lake

Wycamp Lake, also known as Spirit Lake, is located to the north of Cross Village — partially in Cross Village Township. It’s about 700 acres and shallow with a maximum depth of 7 feet. Much of the surrounding area is forested with some wetland areas that attract a wide range of animals to the region.

About 200 acres of the area are owned by a private landowner, and another 400 acres of surrounding land is a private hunting preserve. The rest is owned by the state, so it is available for public hiking, fishing, and exploration.

Harbor Springs Farmers Market
Harbor Springs Farmers Market | photo via theraccooncottage

Attractions & Activities Near Cross Village

Cross Village does not offer a lot of things to do outside of camping and waterfront activities. However, there are plenty of things to do in the surrounding area.

Wilderness State Park

Wilderness State Park is located just north of Cross Village and is one of the main reasons people come to stay at the cottages and homes for rent in the village. The park spans 26 miles along the Lake Michigan shore and offers more than 20 miles of trails to explore.

The beach is rocky in some areas but perfectly suited for swimming when it’s warm enough. There are a number of camping destinations throughout the park as well. Plus, the park is a designated dark sky preserve, so the starry sky lights up when the sun goes down.

Preserves & Farmers’ Markets

Other fun outdoor things to do nearby include visiting one of the Little Traverse Conservancy’s preserves.  Several are located throughout Emmet County. The Harbor Springs Farmers Market is an exciting place to go for shopping while listening to live music on Saturdays from May through October.

Noggin Room Pub-Petoskey
Noggin Room Pub | photo via obentodujour

Petoskey Michigan

A visit to the Noggin Room Pub in Petoskey is a great choice for those who want to hear live music. If you want good food and a fun hangout, check out the City Park Grill. You could also stop at the Crossed Tree Arts Center, which offers painting, dance, and much more.

Legs Inn-Cross Village
Legs Inn | photo via mikekostyo

Cross Village Michigan Restaurants

When it comes to dining within Cross Village, there are two fantastic locations to choose from.

Legs Inn

Legs Inn has been a family-owned location for over 90 years. It has even been called one of the most iconic restaurants in Michigan. The restaurant serves house-made Polish cuisine, though its menu includes a variety of American dishes, including Great Lakes whitefish.

While the food is delicious, the look and feel of this space are even more impressive. Open seasonally, Legs Inn features a beautiful wood interior with a historic vibe and cabin-like feel.

The Village Mart

The Village Mart is a smaller dining spot that offers quick bites to eat with a mostly American and Polish menu. It is noted for its hot lunches, soups, and sandwiches, alongside the beer and wine shop onsite.

Legs Inn-Cross Village
Legs Inn | photo via heartsong111

FAQs About Cross Village MI

If you have a few questions about Cross Village, Michigan, you’re not alone. The area is small and doesn’t have a big marketing budget to encourage visitors (and that’s the way many who love visiting this area want it to be).

What township is Cross Village Michigan in?

Cross Village is an unincorporated area located within Cross Village Township in Emmet County.

What is the Waugoshance Lighthouse?

The Waugoshance Lighthouse sits in Carp Lake, which is near Cross Village. The lighthouse is not accessible, and it has become ruined over time, however, it is visible from the waterfront along the shoal area of the northern portion of the lake.

Where can you golf near Cross Village?

Cross Village does not have a golf course itself, but Woodbridge at Chestnut Valley Golf Course is located nearby in Harbor Springs Michigan. You can also check out the Harbor Point Golf Club in Harbor Springs.

Can you charter a boat onto Lake Michigan from Cross Village?

You can find a local charter service near Cross Village. One option is Plumber’s Helper Charter Service in Petoskey.

Are there wineries near Cross Village Michigan?

There are a few notable vineyards near Cross Village. The Walloon Lake Winery in Petoskey is one of the best since it grows and produces its own blends of wines. Pond Hill Farm is another option in Harbor Springs.

What festivals take place near Cross Village?

Blissfest Music Festival is held during the summer each year in Harbor Springs. You can attend the Harbor Springs Ice Fest for something fun to experience during winter.

Explore All That Cross Village Michigan Has to Offer

A visit to Cross Village MI can provide an excellent opportunity to explore a beautiful, remote region of Northern Michigan without having to worry much about tourists. Bring your gear to camp in the area, or rent one of the cottages located near the waterfront.

You can spend your time hiking, fishing, biking, and having some fun in the local communities surrounding the area.

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