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  Roscommon County was organized in 1875 and named for the Irish County Roscommon.  Between 1880-1884, the population increased rapidly due to the lumbering boom. The first resort development came to the northeastern shores of Higgins Lake in 1884.  With roads and improved methods of transportation the areas around the largest inland lake in Michigan, Houghton Lake, and the nationally recognized 6th most beautiful lake in the world, Higgins Lake, and the abundant fishing lake, Lake St. Helen, and the pristine trout stream known as the South Branch of the AuSable River.

Demographics


Acreage:   371,264 acres
Land acreage:   337,983 acres
Water acreage: 33,280 acres
Forest, Water and Wetlands make up 86% of Roscommon County
Public Land: 203,326 acres
National Wildlife Refuge:     40 acres
  State Parks & Recreation:    963 acres
State Game Wildlife Areas:     7,745 acres
  State Forests:   195,575 acres
Total Miles-Rivers/Streams    204 miles
County seat Village of Roscommon
Local Governments Village, townships
Property density 46.9 persons per sq. mile
               
2010 Census  --  24,449 people  
Born in Michigan:    83.7 %  
Born in another State: 14.0 %
Born outside the US: .6 %
Naturalized citizens:  1.3 %
Foreign born:  (not US citizens) 4 %
Total labor force 9,591
Total Employed 8,456
Total Unemployed 1,135
Median Age 50.8

 

Our Location

Roscommon County, Michigan is located north centrally in the Lower Peninsula and is twenty-four (24) square miles. The County is served by the I-75 and US 127 freeways which intersect a few miles past its northern border. M-55 is the east-west major highway and M-18 serves as the north-south corridor. An operating short line railroad runs through Roscommon and St. Helen connecting the County to the south.

Traverse City, MI 75 miles
Mackinac Bridge 90 miles
Lansing, MI 140 miles
Detroit, MI 190 miles
Chicago, IL 300 miles
Toronto, Ontario, Canada 340 miles
Cleveland, OH 260 miles
Indianapolis, IN 460 miles

Our Lakes

Roscommon County is home to the largest inland lake in Michigan,  Houghton Lake, with 22,000 acres and 32 miles of shoreline.  Its deepest spots are around 22 feet deep and it has an average depth of 8 feet. Higgins Lake, located just north of Houghton Lake, has been called the sixth most beautiful lake in the world.  With 10,317 acres and 10.5 miles of shore, this springfed lake has depths up to 135 feet. Lake St. Helen is three smaller connected lakes with 2,390 acres and is renown for its bluegill fishing. The total water acres in Roscommon County is 33,280 acres.

Our Streams

Roscommon County is the beginning of the South Branch of the pristine AuSable River.  It is well- known for its world class trout fishing and canoeing through natured filled shores leading to Lake Huron. The Cut River connects Higgins Lake through Marl Lake to Houghton Lake.  The Muskegon River begins in Houghton Lake and flows west.  The total Miles of rivers and streams in Roscommon County is 204 miles.

Our Parks

Over fifty per cent of Roscommon County is state- owned land with 203,326 acres.  It is home to two state parks, North Higgins and South Higgins with beaches on Higgins Lake.  There is a State Forest campground on the north shores of Houghton Lake. Several township parks dot the shores of Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake and Lake St. Helen.

Our Airport

The Roscommon County Blodgett Memorial Airport provides a 4000 foot hard surface east/west runway for visiting aircraft.  There is a 2000 foot turf north/south runway.  Cornerstone Aircraft Maintenance services plans. Rental hangars are available. It is centrally located in Markey Township.  There are plans to extend the runway and add a commercial distribution development at the Airport.

Our Employers

The major employers in Roscommon County are Lear Corporation, Roscommon County government, and the four educational organizations.  Roscommon County has a tourism-based economy.  There is a strong summer tourist influx as well as a winter-based tourism due to the hundreds of miles of groomed snowmobile trails.  Cross-country ski trails abound throughout the County.

Unemployment rates have ranged from 18% down to the current rate of 5.9%. The service industry accounts for a significant segment of the workforce.  Some Roscommon County residents commute to employment areas as far away as Saginaw, Gaylord, and Traverse City.

Our Educational Systems

Roscommon County students attend Roscommon Area Public Schools, Houghton Lake Community Schools, COOR Intermediate School District and Kirtland Community College, Charleton Heston Academy, along with Our Lady of the Lakes School and Immanuel Christian School.  There are several excellent pre-school day care programs including the Good Shepherd Child Development Center, the NMHSA Head Start, and the Roscommon Cooperative Nursery School.  Kirtland Community College serves all ages with core college courses, cultural programming and vocational training and retraining for both adults and youth from Roscommon County and the three surrounding counties of Crawford, Ogemaw and Oscoda..

Our Utilities and Communications

Consumers Energy
DTE Energy
 Frontier Communications
M-33 Access
i2k.com
Charter Cable Communications
AT&T Michigan
Sprint - Northern Michigan
Cherry Capitol Connection, LLC
Endless Journey, INC
Gas Light Media
Verizon

Our Transportation

By Car & Truck North-South I-75 & US 127
  East-West M-55 & M-18
By Air Roscommon Co Blodgett Memorial Airport
  (passenger service) Cherry Capital Airport-Traverse City
  (passenger service) MSB Airport-Midland, Saginaw, Bay City
By Bus within Roscommon Co Roscommon Transit Authority
By Rail  (shipping only) Detroit & Mackinac Railroad
Roscommon County Transit Authority (989) 366-5309 or roscota.net
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©2013 Roscommon County Economic Development Corporation design by Great Sand Bay Productions