In 2000 we began our search for a quiet place where we could get away from it all. That quest ended in Cross Village, a tiny hamlet tucked in the northwest corner of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, where we purchased a parcel of land on the beautiful shore of Lake Michigan. We were simply enamored by the Village, the views of the Lake, the sunsets and the four lighthouses visible on the horizon.
Our cottage was built in 2001 by Town & Country Cedar Homes and has been featured in Timber Homes Illustrated magazine. It has three-levels with 6 bedrooms and 4-1/2 baths - comfortably sleeping 14.
Cross Village is a small, quiet town located on Lake Michigan at the southern end of Sturgeon Bay. The picturesque towns of Harbor Springs and Petoskey are 25-30 minutes south, and offer terrific dining, shopping and recreational activities. About 30 minutes to the north is Mackinaw City and the Mackinac Bridge. Ferries are available there to take you to Mackinac Island, where you can bicycle or take horse-drawn carriage tours to see the sights.
The pace here is slower - it's a great place to relax and watch the sailboats and freighters go by. The panoramic views of Lake Michigan include four lighthouses and Waugoschance Point. Beaver Island is visible in the distance. Directly to the north of Cross Village is Wilderness State Park, which has many nice walking trails and campsites.
Cross Village has a gas station/general store, the historic Legs Inn Restaurant (www.legsinn.com) and Crows Nest Restaurant (www.crowsnest-harborsprings.com).
The cottage is on a wooded lot on a low bluff on the shoreline, about 15 steps to the beach level. Between the cottage and Lake Michigan there is a 'lagoon' - a small wetland fed by several Artesian springs. The lagoon varies in size depending on rainfall, snow-melt and lake level, but it is easy to walk around to get to the beach. Even when Lake Michigan is frozen solid, the Artesian springs keep the lagoon unfrozen, supplying fresh water to the variety of wildlife in the area.
The cottage has a two-level deck furnished with seating (but no dining table) and a gas grill. A protected wildlife habitat for the piping plover is found near the boat launch and public beach. Several pairs of bald eagles nest at Wilderness and often fly along the shore looking for fish. The views from the deck are fabulous, and the sunsets are simply spectacular.
Our beach is sand/small pebbles, and the water is shallow (waist-deep) for quite a ways before a drop-off. There are some rocks and boulders in the water, but the sandy public beach and boat launch are a short 5-minute walk along the shore, or 10-minute walk up the street into the park entrance.
Joggers and shore-walkers are common, but Cross Village beaches are never too crowded. There are miles of sandy shoreline to enjoy, and Lake Michigan is always a majestic sight.
Cross Village is, of course, a terrific summer destination, but it is also perfect for fall color tours and winter ski vacations.