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LANDFORMS IN MICHIGAN

Peninsulas
Landforms are natural characteristics of the Earth.
They include mountains, hills, valleys, plains, plateaus, and
islands. When you look at a map of Michigan, the first landform
most people think about is a peninsula. Thats because
Michigan is made of two peninsulas, the Upper and the Lower
Peninsula. A peninsula is land surrounded by water on three
sides.

Mountains
Compared to states like Vermont and Colorado,
Michigan is not very mountainous. Mountains are
very high, natural places on Earth, higher than a
hill. Much of Michigan is level with some rolling
hills. The Upper Peninsula does have two
mountain ranges, however. Mountain ranges are
rows of connected mountains. Michigans two
ranges are called the Huron Mountains and the
Porcupine Mountains. Michigans highest point is
Mount Arvon. It is located in the Huron
Mountains and is about 2000 feet high.
Michigans most famous wetlands
Wetlands
Wetlands are another
important natural characteristic
of Michigan. Wetlands are areas
where the soil is wet or saturated
with water for at least part of the
year. Swamps and marshes are
examples of wetlands. Over time,
many of Michigans wetlands
have been drained and filled in.
This was done to make way for
farms, houses, shopping malls,
and other places. One of

is Tobico Marsh, located in Bay


City State Park.
Islands
Because Michigan has so much water it also
has a lot of islands. An island is a piece of
land that is completely surrounded by
water. More than 500 islands belong to
Michigan. Michigans largest island is Isle
Royale, which is located in Lake Superior.
Isle Royale is Michigans only National Park.
Other important islands include Beaver
Island and Mackinac Island.

Sand Dunes
Probably Michigans most famous
landforms are sand dunes. These are
hills of loose sand that have been piled up by the wind. Most of
Michigans sand dunes are found along the shores of Lake Michigan.
This area has the largest amount of freshwater sand dunes in the
world. Sand dunes support many plants and animals that cannot be
found any place else. Michigans most famous dunes are the
Sleeping Bear dunes.

Names_________________________
Date___________________________
Landforms in Michigan - Table
Landform

peninsula

mountain

Definition

Important
Facts

Michigan
Examples

mountain
range

island

sand dunes

wetlands

Landform

peninsula

mountain

mountain
range

Definition

Important Facts

Land
surrounded by
Michigan is made
water on
of two peninsulas
three sides

Michigan
Examples
Upper Peninsula
Lower Peninsula

A very high,
natural place
on earth,
higher than a
hill

Compared to
states such as
Vermont and
Colorado Michigan
has few
mountains.

Mount Arvon

A row of
connected
mountains

The mountain
ranges of
Michigan are

Porcupine Mts.
Huron Mts.

found in the Upper


Peninsula

island

Beaver Island
A piece of
land that is
Michigan has more Isle Royale
surrounded by than 500 islands.
Mackinac Island
water

sand dunes

Ridges or hills
of loose sand
piled up by
the wind

Wetlands

An area
where the soil
is wet or
saturated
with water for
at least part
of the year

Sand dunes are


one of Michigans
most special
natural
characteristics.

Sleeping Bear
Dunes

Over time about


50% of Michigans
wetlands have
been drained and
filled in to make
way for things like
farming and
housing.

Tobico Marsh in
Bay City State Park