Scuba Diving in Colonel Ellsworth wreck, Lake Michigan, Michigan USA

Skill Level:
Intermediate to Advanced
70ft /21m - 85ft /26m
Diving Season:
June to September
Lake Michigan is the second largest Great Lake by volume and the only one located entirely in the United States. The lake’s shoreline is more than 1600 mi/2575 km and the average depth is 195 ft/59.4 m. Lake Michigan and Lake Huron have the same surface elevation and are technically a single lake. They are actually connected by the Straits of Mackinac, where many ships have foundered due to heavy storms. The Straits of Mackinac Underwater Preserve, located at the northern edge of Lakes Michigan and Huron, tries to preserve Michigan’s shipwrecks for next generations. One of the shipwrecks found is Colonel Ellsworth.

The Colonel Ellsworth was a 137 ft/41.75 m wooden schooner, built in Euclid, Ohio in 1861. On September 2, 1896 she was caught in a windstorm and collided with the schooner Emily B. Maxwell, while carrying alabaster stone. Her crew was saved by Maxwell, but Colonel Ellsworth sunk at 4 am.

She is located upright, 6 mi/9.56 km east of White Shoals Lighthouse and that’s why she is not often visited. Her stern is damaged, but her bow is in better shape. Much of her hardware, deck fittings and equipment stay untouched. One of her masts lies on the port side lake floor. Divers must  have in mind that risks of entanglement exist in the area, due to the fishing nets. Yet the current is mainly limited and the visibility good.

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 / 37.01 km
Sault Ste. Marie Airport ,
64 miles / 103 km.

There is no train station serving this spot.


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