Lake frontage, river frontage, or vacant wooded area surrounded by private land – these types of parcels are available at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ next round of surplus public land auctions, August 2 through September 9.
The department is preparing 188 such properties for sale in August and early September. Land is available in the lower and upper peninsulas. Fifteen online auctions will be offered, featuring vacant lots in the following counties on these dates:
- August 2 – Washtenaw.
- August 4 – Hurons.
- August 5 – Arenac and Iosco.
- August 11 – Macomb, Saint Clair and Sanilac.
- August 16 – Saint Joseph.
- August 18 – Berrien and Van Buren.
- August 23 – Lake.
- August 26 – Chippewa, Luce and Mackinac.
- August 30 – Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Marquette and Ontonagon.
- August 31 – Antrim and Charlevoix.
- September 1 – Roscommon.
- September 6 – Alcona and Alpena.
- September 7 – Emmet.
- September 8 – Mason, Newaygo and Oceana.
- September 9 – Grande Traverse.
How auctions work
You can pre-register and get more information about the auction schedule online at Tax-Sale.info. If you wish to bid on a property, you must register before the property’s auction date. Proxy bids can be made up to 30 days before the auction.
The “interactive” bidding portion of an auction will open at 10:00 a.m. on the day of that auction. At that time, you can see the current highest bids for each property. You can continue bidding on a property until 7 p.m., when the auction ends and the winning bid is determined.
Visit Michigan.gov/LandForSale for more information, including minimum bid, square footage and location of available properties, plus maps and more. Interested bidders are also encouraged to consult the MNR Land Sales: Terms and Conditions.
Selling property details
Properties for sale range in size from less than one acre to 160 acres. Many of the surplus properties highlighted in the auction are in Chippewa, Dickinson, Grand Traverse, Luce, Marquette and Saint Clair counties.
There are around 50 properties of 40 acres or more available, mostly in the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula. Notable waterfront properties include:
- A Chippewa County property with frontage on Lake Garkinghouse (lot 99037).
- A Dickinson County parcel fronting on the Sturgeon River (lot 99061).
- Two properties in Gogebic County along the Montreal River (lots 99065 and 99066).
- A Mackinac County property with frontage on South Manistique Lake (lot 99116).
- A property in Marquette County along the Escanaba River (lot 99140).
Many parcels are wooded and/or have road frontages better suited to private ownership. Much of the land offered in these auctions is isolated from other properties managed by the MNR, which creates management problems. Other parcels are included because they provide limited public recreation benefits.
Independent of the online auctions, the DNR offers additional properties (listed for sale at their former minimum bid prices) that have not sold in previous auctions. These properties are available for Buy Now only through the BuyNow listing.
Auction proceeds help provide future outdoor recreation opportunities consistent with DNR’s mission to conserve, protect, and manage the state’s natural and cultural resources for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.
State Land Auctions and Review
Most of the properties included in the auction were designated as surplus in the DNR’s state land review. The review aims to examine isolated state-run parcels of 200 acres or less with a substantial private-public boundary. The review process is conducted on a county-by-county basis across the state. Public comments can be made for a particular group of counties before the DNR Director makes a final decision on a parcel. To learn more about the state land review and the strategies used to administer public lands, visit Michigan.gov/PublicLands.
For more information on the sale of surplus state-managed public land, contact Michael Michalek, Resource Specialist with MNR’s Real Estate Section, at 517-331-8387.
Note to editors: Accompanying photos are available below for download. Caption information follows.
- Arenac: A vacant residential property, 40 acres on Main Street (Title-Check lot 99012).
- Chippewa 1 and 2: A vacant, wooded, 36.8-acre residential property on the east side of Garkinghouse Lake (Title-Check Lot 99037); a 0.5 acre residential agricultural property, on the east side of Sugar Island (title-verification of lot 99046).
- Dickinson: A zoned timber production property, 40 acres, with approximately 1,200 feet of frontage on the Sturgeon River which runs through the parcel (title-verification of lot 99061).
- Gogebic: An 8-acre parcel on the east side of Duck Lake Road (Title-Check Lot 99067).
- Iosco: A 25 acre property with frontage on the Au Sable River. The parcel has no road frontage and is only accessible by river (Title-Check Lot 99089).
- Marquette: Vacant woodlot in southern Ely Township, 30 acres, surrounded by five private landowners (Title-Check Lot 99123).
- Newaygo: A 0.9 acre property, zoned Rural Residential with vacant land (Title-Check lot 99148).
- Oceana: A vacant 19.7 acre wooded property with road access on S. Logging Road (Title-Check Lot 99152).
- Ontonagon: A vacant 15 acre residential property with road frontage on the west side of the M26 (title-check lot 99155).