Friday, July 1, 2022

Michigan: over 185 parcels of surplus state-managed land available via online auctions

Lake frontage, river frontage or vacant forested acreage surrounded by privately owned land – these types of parcels are available in the next round of surplus public land auctions, running Aug. 2 through Sept. 9, from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The department is busy preparing 188 such properties for sale in August and early September. Land is available throughout the Lower and Upper peninsulas. Fifteen online auctions will be offered, featuring vacant land in the following counties on these dates:

  • Aug. 2 – Washtenaw.
  • Aug. 4 – Huron.
  • Aug. 5 – Arenac and Iosco.
  • Aug. 11 – Macomb, Saint Clair and Sanilac.
  • Aug. 16 – Saint Joseph.
  • Aug. 18 – Berrien and Van Burien.
  • Aug. 23 – Lake.
  • Aug. 26 – Chippewa, Luce and Mackinac.
  • Aug. 30 – Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Marquette and Ontonagon.
  • Aug. 31 – Antrim and Charlevoix.
  • Sept. 1 – Roscommon.
  • Sept. 6 – Alcona and Alpena.
  • Sept. 7 – Emmet.
  • Sept. 8 – Mason, Newaygo and Oceana.
  • Sept. 9 – Grand Traverse.

How bidding works

You can pre-register and get more information about the online auction schedule at If you would like to bid on a property, you must register before the property’s auction date. Absentee bids can be made up to 30 days before the auction.

The “interactive” bidding portion of an auction will open at 10 a.m. on that auction date. At that time, you can see current high bids for each property. You can continue to place bids on a property until 7 p.m. when bidding closes and the winning bid is determined.

Visit for information including minimum bid, acreage and location information on the available properties, as well as maps and more. Interested bidders also are encouraged to review the DNR Land Sales: Terms and Conditions.

Sale property details

Properties for sale range in size from under an acre to 160 acres. Many of the surplus properties highlighted in the auction are in Chippewa, Dickinson, Grand Traverse, Luce, Marquette and Saint Clair counties.

There are around 50 properties 40 acres or larger available, mostly throughout the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula. Notable waterfront properties include:

  • A Chippewa County property with frontage on Garkinghouse Lake (Lot 99037).
  • A Dickinson County parcel with frontage on the Sturgeon River (Lot 99061).
  • Two Gogebic County properties along the Montreal River (Lots 99065 and 99066).
  • A Mackinac County property with frontage on South Manistique Lake (Lot 99116).
  • A property in Marquette County along the Escanaba River (Lot 99140).

Many parcels are forested and/or have road frontage better suited for private ownership. Much of the land offered in these auctions is isolated from other DNR-managed property, which creates some management challenges. Other parcels are included because they offer limited public recreation benefits.

Separate from the online auctions, the DNR is offering additional properties (listed for sale at their former minimum bid prices) that were not sold in previous auctions. These properties are available for immediate purchase only via the BuyNow list.

Auction proceeds help provide future outdoor recreation opportunities in keeping with the DNR’s mission to conserve, protect and manage the state’s natural and cultural resources for the use and enjoyment of current and future generations.

Auctions and state land review

Most of the properties included in the auction were designated as surplus during the DNR’s state land review. The review aims to examine isolated state-managed parcels 200 acres or smaller with a substantial private-public boundary. The review process is conducted on a county-by-county basis throughout the entire state. Public feedback can be made for a particular group of counties before the DNR director makes a final decision on a parcel. To learn more about the state land review and strategies used to administer public lands, visit

For more information about the sale of surplus state-managed public land, contact Michael Michalek, resource specialist in the DNR's Real Estate Section, at 517-331-8387.

Contact: Michael Michalek, 517-331-8387 or Scott Goeman, 517-599-1197