America's continental divide is a special place, the line that runs the spine of the continent that marks water that flows to either the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean. Michigan has an area some call the peninsula's "continental divide" where the waters part to flow toward either Lake Michigan or Lake Huron.

The Peninsula Divide, if you will, is the small area of land between the headwaters of the Manistee River, which flows into Lake Michigan and the Au Sable River which journeys east to Lake Huron. On the map above, it looks almost like the two rivers run clear across the state.

The state's water divide was described by users after the map was shared to reddit,

The Au Sable River and the Manistee River start just NW of Grayling. The two basins are only separated by a small ridge line. It’s sort of like the “Continental Divide” of the LP.


The Manistee and Au Sable run parallel at their headwaters near Frederic, and then diverge and run horizontally along the state near Grayling.

Just south of the Michigan state line in South Bend, Indiana, you'll find another Continental Divide, the North/South divide. The St Joseph River flows north from South Bend to Lake Michigan at St Joe then eventually to the Atlantic Ocean via the St Lawrence. Nearby the St Joseph are the headwaters to the Kankakee River which flows west and south with water travelling to the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers to the Gulf of Mexico.

The map that accompanies this article is part of the collection of Muir Maps, described as Maps for the Adventurous Soul - the Michigan Hydrology Series map, which shows the state's waterways, can be purchased here.

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