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Artrial Roadmap Hubbard Lake Harrisville Harbor Scenic Byway
Harrisville Harbor jewel of the Sunrise Side

Harrisville Harbor, a harbor of refuge, is located on
Lake Huron between Tawas Bay and Thunder Bay.
Photos by Steve Baksis
By Cheryl Peterson
Tucked away at the edge of the small community of Harrisville, the Harrisville Harbor shines as brightly as Venus in the early summer sky.

The Harrisville Harbor has a long and rich history in the community. It has been a destination for schooners transporting lumber and goods from the early 1800s, when the lumbering industry was at its peak, to modern-day pleasure boaters and fishermen.

Established as a harbor of refuge in 1961, it is situated on Lake Huron between Tawas

Bay and Thunder Bay. With 46 slips dedicated to seasonal boaters and 47 slips available for transient boaters, Harrisville Harbor is rich with amenities not always available at larger and busier locations on the Great Lakes.

"We have is a quant, quiet, serene harbor with a facility that offers all of the amenities a boater could want," said Harrisville Harbormaster Steve Baksis. "I really feel there is nothing comparable around the Great Lakes."

In addition to wide, well lit docks, fuel service, a pump-out station and full time dock hands, the harbor has a state of the art building complete with a large lounge area where boaters will find complimentary morning coffee, Wi-Fi access and two computers, a television and private restrooms and showers. There is also a shuttle service into Harrisville, complimentary bicycles, a dog run, a pavilion and park on the grounds and a designated area for bonfires on the shore of the harbor.

"We pride ourselves in service," Baksis said of himself and the dock hands that cater to boaters' needs. "The people that stay here are on vacation and we cater to them like they've never been catered to before." He explained harbor dock hands are proficient at boat handling and practice nautical ettiquette. They dock and tie up boats, run errands, provide a multitude of information about the harbor, the community and area attractions, and when they aren't doing all of those duties, they are cleaning or doing maintenance work.

Baksis, who was the assistant harbormaster last year, has been sailing for 35 years. He discovered Harrisville Harbor 20 years ago and fell in love with it and the community. "I am so excited about this place and its location," Baksis said. "My goal is to promote this harbor and the community as a vacation destination. I think this facility has a New Englandesque appeal."
To help pique the interest of boaters, Baksis has reduced the seasonal dockage rates and has kept fuel prices low. "I can promise that our fuel prices will be the most competitively priced on the lakes," he said.

Baksis is also planning several activities at the harbor for the season - a boater's swap meet in early June, a harbor fish fry in later June and a pirate party at the end of July. All events are open to seasonal and transient boaters.

Harrisville is a community of 500 residents complete with several restaurants, taverns, motels, bed and breakfasts, and retail stores which welcome boaters. The Harrisville State Park is located just south of town and Sturgeon Point Lighthouse is roughly five miles north of Harrisville - both are destinations for travelers along US-23.

Harrisville is home to several popular events which draw visitors from all corners of the state - the two-day Antique and Collectibles Show which is held on the second weekend in July in the upper harbor parking area; the Sunrise Side Wine & Food Festival, which is the third Saturday in July, also in the upper harbor parking area; and the two-day Labor Day Weekend Art and Craft Show/Harmony Weekend.

Harrisville Harbor can accommodate the varied types of boats that sail the Great Lakes.

Sunrises on Lake Huron are spectacular.
Harrisville also celebrates the Fourth of July in style with a variety of activities throughout the community during the Saturday closest to July 4 (this year it is July 7) - all of which are open to residents and visitors alike. The final event of the day is an hour long fireworks display over the harbor after dark.

Boaters have the best seats in the house for this colorful display. While fireworks shoot skyward, their vibrant colors are reflected in the calm waters of the harbor. With its park, pavilion and open air setting the upper harbor is a favorite viewing site. Families make an evening of viewing the fireworks by bringing blankets, chairs, picnics, grills and other

amenities to enjoy the hours prior to this popular, well attended event.

"We provide the whole package," Baksis said. "Harrisville Harbor is a great facility with wonderful amenities and the community is where our guests get off their boat because there are things to see and do."

For more information, contact the Harrisville Harbor at (989) 724-5712 or see

Built in 2006, the harbor building is a state-of-the-art facility with a variety of amenities for boaters.


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Cheryl L. Peterson, Publisher & Editor : 
John D. Boufford, Production Manager : 
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