Higgins Lake History

By Ken • October 18th, 2011

Higgins Lake Is One Of Michigan’s Other Great Lakes

Located in Roscommon County Higgins Lake is noted for it’s deep rich blue waters and one of Michigan’s premier waterfront real estate values for ownership. Higgins Lake has approximately 9,900 acres of surface area and has about 21 miles of sandy shoreline. In size Higgins Lake is Michigan’s 10th largest lake.

The lake receives over half of it’s water from submerged springs with the deepest spring in the north basin at a depth of approximately 130 feet deep! Some of the incoming water, 6% may come from inlet streams and runoff from rain. The lake supports very little weed and organism growth because the lake water is scientifically called oligotrophic meaning very low levels of nutrients to support algae and plant life. However it has high levels of oxygen which is why the lake is cold, supports cold water fish such as trout and has very clear water. The water is so clear there have been reading of being able to see a sicchi disk at over 20 feet below the surface before it disappears.

The lakes main outlet is the cut river and a dam is located at the mouth of the river to regulate the court ordered legal level,  the lake has a summer and winter controlled legal level at the dam. The Cut river flows from Higgins Lake and flows into Houghton Lake, Michigan’s largest inland lake.

The local property owners around Higgins Lake along with governmental agencies are very proactive about protecting the lake water resource. Gerrish Township and Lyon Township have worked in concert with the Higgins Lake Foundation the Higgins Lake Property Owners Association (HLPOA) and the Higgins Lake Civic Association. Over the past 20 years studies have been completed studying the water quality which has resulted in preventative measures being implemented. One of the biggest potential pollutions the lake can experience is storm water runoff from yards, septic tanks to close to the waterfront and road ends that lead to the lake. Because of Higgins Lakes great amount of public access roads (over 70) which gives ready public access to the recreational features, it is also one of the main contributing points of potential degradation of the water quality.

The tax base of the communities around and near Higgins Lake owe their good life to the large amounts of money that the lake supplies from the revenues that the lake produces each year. It is imparative the residents and visitors alike protect the lake from missuse of the wonderful natural resource entrusted to us. As an illustration the tax base of Gerrish Township alone, it provides approximatley 1/4th of the total tax base for the counties entire 11 townships!

Higgins Lake is a water wonderland for vacation and summer residency. The lake has been noted for fetching $2,000 to $3,000 per week for rentals and not long ago land values topped out at $8,000 per front foot. Waterfront property will always be a source for unparalleled pleasure and investment. Waterfront property will probably always be the best investment value of real estate purchases since there is very little available to buy compared to offshore real estate which by comparison has many times more parcels available.

The lake is named after Sylvestor Higgins who was Michigan’s first chief of the topographical department of the Michigan Geological Survey. Years ago National Geographic named Higgins Lake the sixth most beautiful lake in the world. I personally live just a mile from this gorgeous lake and probably will till I leave this earth. If you have any questions about Higgins Lake I can be your source for the answers.


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