Scuba Diving in Cayuga wreck, Lake Michigan, Michigan USA

Skill Level:
Intermediate to Advanced
100ft /30m
Diving Season:
May to September
After advanced arrangements
Lake Michigan, the second largest of the Great Lakes of North America by volume and the third largest by surface area, is actually the only one located entirely within the United States. With its basin conjoining with that of Lake Huron to the east and having the same surface elevation, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are technically a single lake. The large size of the Lakes and the fact that they are prone to sudden and harsh storms increases the risk of water travel and has led hundreds of ships to their end.

The rocky shoals and shallows, combined with the storms that enter the narrow Straits of Mackinac make the area dangerous to navigate. Over the years, a large number of ships have submerged in the Straits, many of them have yet to be discovered. The Straits of Mackinac Underwater Preserve lies at the northern tip of Lakes Michigan and Huron and tries to preserve Michigan’s shipwrecks for later generations. One of the shipwrecks that has been found is The Cayuga.

The Cayuga was a Steel Propeller Steamer built in 1889 at Cleveland, Ohio. Six years later (May 10, 1895), she was carrying grain and general merchandise when she encountered heavy fog. Unfortunately, the much smaller, wooden-made Joseph L. Hurd struck her on her starboard bow and led her to sinking 25 minutes later. From 1896 to 1899 , unsuccessful efforts were made to raise her, leaving large pontoons and other salvage equipment at the wreck site. You can still see a flat barge, which was lost in the salvage effort, sitting off her port bow.

Although she is gradually decaying and her bow is beginning to collapse, her stern is relatively intact and allows some penetration, while many details of her construction are present along with some hardware. The Cayuga lies southwest of Straits of Mackinac and because of the distance, you should make advanced arrangements, if you desire to dive this site.

How to Get to Destination

BY CAR FROM Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan
84.65 km/52.6 mi, 54 mins
Follow the I-75 S 1. Head southeast on Dawson St in Kimball St. 2. Turning right at (n) Johnston St. 3. Take the 2nd turning right into E Easterday Ave. 4. Turn left to enter the I-75 S toward St Ignace. 5. Take exit 345 for Portage St to St Ignace. 6. Turn left into the (n) Portage St. 7. Continue in Central Hill. 8. Turning right at (n) S State St Your destination will be on your right.
BY CAR FROM Alpena, Michigan
162.54 km/101 mi, 1 hour 2 mins
Follow the US-23 N 1. Head northwest on U.S.-twenty-three N / E Chisholm St toward S 2nd Ave Continue to follow the US-23 N. 2. Turning right at (n) N Main St. 3. Take the first left turn into U.S. 23-N / Mackinaw Ave Continue to follow the US-23 N. 4. exit toward I-75 N With controlled toll road. 5. Take exit 344A to Saint Ignace. 6. Turning right at (n) I-75 Business Your destination will be on your left.
BY CAR FROM Thessalon, ON, Canada
176 km/109.36 mi, 2 hours 2 mins
Follow the ON-17 and I-75 S 1. Head west on Huron St to Main St 2. Proceed to Frances St / Fullerton Bridge Continue to follow the Frances St. 3. Proceed to Lakeside Dr. 4. Turning left at (n) -ON on the 17th. 5. Turn right to stay on (n) -ON on the 17th. 6. Turning right at (n) S Market St. 7. Proceed to McNabb St. 8. Continue along St Georges Ave E. 9. Turn left into the (n) Huron St. 10. Turning right at (n) Sault Ste Marie International Bridge With controlled toll road. 11. Continue straight to stay on the Sault Ste Marie International Bridge Toll road. 12. Slight left to stay in Sault Ste Marie International Bridge Toll road. 13. Turn right to stay on (n) Sault Ste Marie International Bridge Toll road. 14. Proceed to I-75 S With controlled toll road. 15. Take exit 345 for Portage St to St Ignace. 16. Turning left at (n) Portage St. 17. Continue in Central Hill. 18. Turning right at (n) S State St. Your destination will be on your right.
Pellston Regional Airport,
23 miles / 37.02 km
Sault Ste. Marie Airport ,
64 miles / 103 km.

There is no train station serving this spot.


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