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Boyne River (Michigan) facts for kids

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Boyne River
Country United States
Physical characteristics
Main source Eastern Charlevoix County, northeast Antrim County, northwest Otsego County
River mouth Lake Charlevoix at Boyne City
Length 9.0 km (5.6 mi) (main branch)
Basin features
Basin size 40,320 acres (163.2 km2)

Boyne River is a stream in Northern Michigan, named for the River Boyne in Leinster, Ireland. Together with the north and south branches, the river system has approximately 22 miles (35 km) of mainstream and the water basin drains 40,320 acres (163.2 km2). Boyne River is Lake Charlevoix's second-largest tributary, after the Jordan River.


Boyne River's mainstream is approximately 5.6 miles (9.0 km) long, from the confluence of the north and south branches at 45°10′53″N 84°55′12″W / 45.18139°N 84.92000°W / 45.18139; -84.92000 less than a mile northwest of the village of Boyne Falls . The main branch flows northwest through Boyne City into Lake Charlevoix at 45°12′53″N 85°00′53″W / 45.21472°N 85.01472°W / 45.21472; -85.01472.

The North Branch Boyne River is 5.9 miles (9.5 km) long and rises in Hudson Township in eastern Charlevoix County at 45°10′34″N 84°48′52″W / 45.17611°N 84.81444°W / 45.17611; -84.81444. The South Branch Boyne River is 10.5 miles (16.9 km) long and rises in Elmira Township in northwest Otsego County at 45°05′10″N 84°48′42″W / 45.08611°N 84.81167°W / 45.08611; -84.81167. The South Branch flows northwest across the northeast corner of Warner Township in Antrim County.


The river system has three major impoundments:

  • The Boyne City Mill Pond within the Boyne City limits less than a mile from the river's mouth. The Boyne City Mill Pond is not a true impoundment resulting from a dam on the river, but affects the river similarly in that itcollects sediments and provides a large surface area that tends to raise the water temperature during the summer months. The pond is called "Little Lake" in a 1901 plat book.
  • The reservoir formed by a hydroelectric dam owned by Boyne Resorts at 45°11′38″N 84°56′53″W / 45.19389°N 84.94806°W / 45.19389; -84.94806. The dam was built about 1906 to provide power to nearby towns. The Boyne River Power Company was consolidated with many other small power providers in west Michigan to form the Michigan Public Service Company in 1927. Consumers Energy bought that company in 1950 and continued to operate the power plant until October 12, 1962, after which the generating equipment was removed and the dam, buildings and land surrounding the reservoir were sold to the Boyne Mountain Lodge in 1963. In 1982, the Boyne Mountain Resort received a license to operate a 250 kilowatt hydroelectric generator using the existing dam and 80-acre (0.32 km2) reservoir.
  • The Boyne River Pond at 45°10′09″N 84°55′05″W / 45.16917°N 84.91806°W / 45.16917; -84.91806 on the South Branch near Boyne Falls. The dam was built before 1900 and the water flow powered a saw mill and grist mill. M-75 crosses the river over the dam.

The soils surrounding Boyne River's headwaters are primarily composed of a Kalkaska-Leelanau association (a mixture of Kalkaska and Leelanau sands), and tend to form steep riverbanks. Among the fish species living in Boyne River are chinook salmon, walleye, brook trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout.


  • (right) Forest Lake, identified as Mud Lake in a 1901 plat book
  • (left) North Branch Boyne River
    • (left) Schoolhouse Creek
    • (right) Cramer Creek
    • (right) Licks Creek
    • (right) Kuznick Creek
  • (right) South Branch Boyne River
    • (right) Moyer Creek

Drainage basin

The Boyne River system drains all or portions of the following cities, townships, and villages:

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