On April 5, 1880, area residents met at the Gerrish logging camp to elect officers for their newly organized Township. Originally, the Township embraced present-day Gerrish, Lyon and Markey Townships. In 1920, the present boundary line was established. The Township borders on one-half of the shoreline of Michigan’s sixth largest inland lake, Higgins Lake. The area is primarily a resort community.
The Township of Gerrish is located in the Northwestern portion of Roscommon County. Our boundaries are roughly M-76 at the north, County Road 104 at the south, Wheeler Road to the east and Townline Road to the west. It covers 36 square miles – 6 miles by 6 miles.
It is a popular tourist area. The primary attraction for our visitors is Higgins Lake which has been rated by National Geographic as the world's sixth most beautiful lake due in part because of the unusual depths of the middle of the lake combined with the source of water being underground springs. The lake is the 10th largest in Michigan covering 10,317 acres with 20.5 miles of shoreline more than half of which are included within Gerrish Township's borders. Higgins Lake drains into Marl Lake by the Cut River which runs into Houghton Lake and eventually to Lake Michigan.
Recreational access to Higgins Lake is provided by two State Parks. One of which, South Higgins Lake State Park, is totally within Gerrish Township. The Park has a mile of shoreline and provides public boat launches and camping. The other, North Higgins Lake State Park, is located in Lyon and Beaver Creek Townships. The State also provides an access site in Lyon Township.
- 1 extra inch of depth to Higgins Lake = approximately 266,953,088 gallons of water
- Dam flow: 3 inch head = 21,947,716 gallons per day -- it takes approximately 12.1 days to remove 1 inch
- Compare the daily lake level of Higgins Lake with the legal summer level (5.37) and the legal winter level (4.87) at:
- Water level - http://waterdata.usgs.gov/mi/nwis/dv?site_no=442805084411001