Michigan auctioning off thousands of acres across the state, includes lakefront and UP land

Prospective Michigan land barons, the best time of the year is nearing as the state is preparing to auction off some of its vacant land it no longer has a use for.

There are some goodies among the 188 properties that will be up for sale in August and early September, including lakefront and riverfront parcels. Other options for sale encompass more than a hundred acres of land. 

While the bulk of the properties for sale are in the Upper Peninsula, there are options across the state that residents can peruse and bid on.

Some of the more bucolic options include a 36-acre lot on Garkinhouse Lake in Chippewa County, a timber production zone on the Sturgeon River in Dickinson County, 30 acres of forest in Marquette County. 

It won't be cheap to buy some of the prettier parcels, with the larger lots costing tens of thousands of dollars. Many of the plots of land are surrounded by private landowners and don't have road access. The state of Michigan may also retain mineral rights on some of the land plots. 

In some cases, the land may require trekking through brush or boating up a river to access.

Here are some of the highlights:

Arenac County - 40 acres

This plot of land offers 40 acres at a cost of $72,795 and is located in Arenac County. Much of the western half of the property was logged. It also has a vacant residential property that's available.

The parcel is closed to Twining, a village on the state's east side. However, drivers may also be inclined to visit Tawas Point, less than half an hour away.


Chippewa County - 36.8 acres

Zoned for forest recreation with a vacant residential property, this Chippewa County-based plot costs $55,000. 

It also has frontage on the east side of Garkinghouse Lake and features quite a bit of marshland. 

The inland lake is nuzzled between two rural roads on the UP's east end near I-75. Those not interested in driving all the way could use the Chippewa County International Airport to access the plot. 

wjbk_Chippewa parcel_070122

Chippewa County - 0.5 acres

A much smaller plot of land in Chippewa County, but no less beautiful, this half-acre parcel is near Sugar Island with frontage on the northern bay of Preacher Lake. 

Another gem of the UP, drivers would have easy access to the town of Paradise and M-123, which is goes along Whitefish Bay on the peninsula's northern end.


Dickinson County - 40 acres

For $45,000, bidders could get land just northeast of Vulcan, Michigan which features property on and around the Sturgeon River. 

The river does isolate part of the land, making it only accessible by floating on the stream. The road N3015 also goes through the property.

The plot's location puts any residents on the Michigan-Wisconsin border.


Iosco County - 25 acres

The land in Iosco County is a bit pricier, but that's the cost of owning land with the Au Sable River as the only access point to the property. That means it can't be accessed by road. 

While the soil gets wet, it does meet requirements to build on it. However, the township would likely need to approve any permit. 


How to bid

Diving into the DNR's 2022 summer surplus land auction will require prospective bidders to be waiting for the process to open for each county between August and September. Here is the auction schedule for land, depending on the county its located in. 

  • Washtenaw County - Tuesday, Aug. 2
  • Huron County - Thursday, Aug. 4
  • Arenac and Iosco Counties - Friday, Aug. 5
  • Macomb, St. Clair, and Sanilac Counties - Thursday, Aug. 11
  • Saint Joseph County - Tuesday, Aug. 16
  • Berrien and Van Buren Counties - Thursday, Aug. 18
  • Lake County - Tuesday, Aug. 23
  • Chippewa, Luce, and Mackinac Counties - Friday, Aug. 26
  • Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Marquette, Menominee, and Ontonagon Counties - Tuesday, Aug. 30
  • Antrim and Charlevoix Counties - Wednesday, Aug. 31
  • Roscommon County - Thursday, Sept. 1
  • Alcona and Alpena Counties - Tuesday, Sept. 6
  • Emmet County - Wednesday, Sept. 7
  • Mason, Newaygo, and Oceana Counties - Thursday, Sept. 8
  • Grand Traverse County - Friday, Sept. 9

Those that want to bid on the property have to register before the auction date listed above. Absentee bids can be made online up to 30 days before the auction. When the scheduled day begins, an "interactive" portion of the bidding begins. The high bid will be visible to anyone interested. 

Bidders can continue to place bids on the property until 7 p.m., when bidding closes. 

A winning bidder will then be determined. 

To register, people will need to setup an account at www.tax-sale.info/

Every parcel of land up for grabs can be seen here