Power Island has always been so tantalizingly close and yet so far away.
Sitting 6.5 miles out in West Grand Traverse Bay, the 200-acre island, which is owned and operated as a park by Grand Traverse County, has always been accessible only by private boat.
The island has a dock, swimming beach, hiking trails, picnic sites and four rustic campsites, but the fun has always been reserved for the aquatically mobile.
The Grand Traverse County Parks and Recreation Commission has changed that; the commission recently approved ferry transportation between the Bowers Harbor Boat Launch on Old Mission Peninsula and Power Island; the commission also plans to add five camp sites on Power Island and five on nearby Bassett Island, attached to Power by an isthmus.
The boat, which the county uses to get to the island, can hold up to six people; the fee is $30 for the first rider of a group and $15 for each additional rider. (Contact the Grand Traverse County Parks and Recreation department to make reservations.)
This is public property that few members of the public could enjoy until now.
Parks commission president Alisa Kroupa has it right: “We are really lucky to have an island among our county parks and it’s important for everyone to have access ... “
The ferry is an inspired idea.