Saugatuck, MI

Step Back in Time on the Saugatuck Chain Ferry

saugatuck chain ferry

When you come to sunny Saugatuck during the summer, chances are you’ll board the Saugatuck Chain Ferry to get around. The relic of Saugatuck that is the ferry harkens back to a simpler time when it carried horses across the river. Step aboard this piece of history and see where it can take you.

Looking for the best things to see and do in and around Saugatuck? Take our suggestions for things to do and you’ll find the best Saugatuck vacation you’ve ever had! At Lakeshore Lodging, we’re the experts on all things Saugatuck, so you can trust our recommendations!

Get On Board the Saugatuck Chain Ferry

The Saugatuck Chain Ferry was originally used to carry horses across the Kalamazoo River, but today carries passengers of a different variety along the river. The ferry was built in 1838 and is the only hand-cranked ferry of its kind still in use in the United States. The vessel is inspected and approved by the U.S. Coast Guard and carries its passengers about 100 yards across the Kalamazoo River to the other shore. From there, you can explore the Saugatuck Douglas Historical Museum and walk over to Oval Beach, just a mile away. While you’re near the Saugatuck Douglas Historical Museum, be sure to check out the Mt. Baldhead look-out, too!

How to Take the Ferry

Whether you’re a pedestrian or have a bike, the ferry will transport you across the river to where you need to be. The ferry will blow the whistle to signal that it’s getting ready to cross to communicate to the other boats on the river to stop. Then, three pulleys keep it aligned with the chain to pull you across the river.

Other Essential Information about the Saugatuck Chain Ferry


528 Water Street

Saugatuck, MI 49453


$1 per person

Cash Only

Hours | Memorial Day to Labor Day

9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Have other questions?

Explore Saugatuck On Vacation Here

When you plan your summer vacation to beautiful Saugatuck, you’ll revel in the abundance of great things to do while you’re here! From the awesome beaches to great local shops, you won’t run out of things to do. Plan your vacation with Lakeshore Lodging, and you’ll find that our wonderful rentals and vacation homes are perfectly situated for your comfort and convenience. Browse them today to see how they can best serve your next vacation to sunny Saugatuck! And, if you need more great ideas for things to do while you’re here, be sure to check out our recommended things to do. Contact us today to book your stay! We are eager to be your host!