June 22, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Ferry service approved for remote Power Island

Traverse City — The Grand Traverse County Parks and Recreation Commission has approved ferry service to Power Island.

The 200-acre island on Grand Traverse Bay in northern Michigan is maintained as a park by Grand Traverse County. It has a dock, swimming beach, hiking trails and four rustic campsites.

A business plan for the island included adding ferry transportation, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported Sunday. The ferry boat is owned by the parks and recreation department. It will take visitors from the Bowers Harbor Boat Launch to Power Island.

“This is really a special place and it’s right smack-dab in the middle of our county,” parks commission president Alisa Kroupa told the newspaper. “We are really lucky to have an island among our county parks and it’s important for everyone to have access to all of our parks.”

Up to six people can use the ferry. The cost is $30 for the first rider of a group and $15 for each additional passenger.

Passenger fees will cover the cost of gas for the ferry boat, Kroupa said.

“This is all still new,” she said. “We’ll do a trial run this year and see what the response is, see if there are changes we need to make.”

Fred Tank, the ferry boat captain, also is the island’s park ranger. He and his wife live on Power Island during the summer months.