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We are all about Michigan lakes. Life on, in and near Michigan's lakefront brings a richness that rewards for a lifetime. Have a story or comments on your experience? You can be one of the first to share it with the world on our Michigan lake directory.
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Road Ends

roadendssignYou may have seen signs similar to this one that reads, “Road Ends”.  Over the years, as many Michigan lakes were developed and platted, roads were planned.  Some were built, many remained unbuilt. A number of plats included roads that ended at the water’s edge. Many of these roads are rights of ways, or easements, can vary in width from sixty six feet down to as narrow as five feet wide.

In these cases, many questions arise.  Who has the what rights to use that water frontage  and what can they do there?  Can a boat be launched there? If so, who has the rights to launch a boat? Can a dock be placed there? If so, who has the rights to do so? Can a boat be moored there and for how long?  Overnight? What about a boat lift?

Questions arise regarding the use inside the right of way or easement. Can one use the area for a family picnic, sunbathing, swimming, fishing or parking of vehicles or trailers?

Now years later, that intent is somewhat vague. Many plats were marked simply “For Public Use” without any description of what was acceptable and what was not. Through many court cases, the answers seem to lie in the intent of the original developers (dedicators of the easement or right of way).

Rather than try to boil it down to this short post, check out a very informative document on line that is well worth the read. It covers the issue from several perspectives.

Generally speaking, if you have legal way to get to the water (via a road end), you have the legal right to use the water. It would be considered for access of in and out use only, not as a site for the family reunion.

There are many ways to enjoy the Michigan Lakes.

Written by Dave.