Benzie County is the smallest county in Michigan at 316 square miles. Located along the shores of Lake Michigan near the northwestern tip of lower Michigan, Benzie is abundantly rich in natural resources with many lakes, rivers, forests, and areas of productive farmland. Over 36% of Benzie County is publicly owned land. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is truly a national treasure.
Our rich history includes the glacial formations that formed our land and dunes, the resurgence of the Anashnabe tribes of the Three Fires as an economic force in our County, the many families that date back to the early 1800s, now joined by a diverse retirement community, artists, shop owners, builders, factory workers, professionals, and others attracted to the beauty of the land and the casual lifestyle.
Hunting and fishing, water sports, golf, downhill and cross county skiing, as well as snowmobiling and other forms of recreation provide many opportunities for residents and visitors. The Betsie Valley Trail transforms the old rail system into a relaxing or vigorous hiking, skiing and biking experience through the County. These resources provide the basis of Benzie's economy with tourism, recreation, and agriculture, and services forming the major economic sectors of the County.
Benzie County is known for its historical small towns and villages. Each of these entities is unique with a strong sense of identity, yet they all share common visions for the future of the County as a whole.
Our challenge as a County Government is to work for all our citizens to grow and prosper, to manage our critical services well and with fiscal restraint, while protecting the quality of life we all share and cherish in beautiful Benzie County.
See "Benzie County Government — A Summary" for a quick overview of the county's governmental structure, and links to its unique townships, villages, and city.