Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
by Frank Passic
VOLUME 6, ISSUE 1 WINTER 2013
Trail-goers may have recently noticed a quaint clearing made along the trail at Lime Lake, located in a shady nook on a hill overlooking the sparkling waters. This feature was developed by members of the Diver’s Mast dive club of Jackson over the past two year as their official scuba diving launch site. Two benches have been installed upon which to place scuba tanks. A trail-sponsored Lime Lake mining history historical marker donated by Becky Cunningham has been moved to the site from another location.
In addition, divers have moved a 16 inch square by 30 foot long wooden beam which came from the barge that mined marl from the late in the early 20th century, from across the lake to the dive site. This plank will be developed in the future to recognize the mining operations at the lake. A diver’s red-and-white flag has been attached to a tree for identifying the site, as well as one facing the lake for those divers who need help finding their way back from a dive. The path from the small parking lot by the north fishing lake where divers park, up to the Falling Waters Trail has been filled with gravel, again courtesy of Diver’s Mast. This provides a quick and safe walking experience with full dive gear on to the dive site.
On Saturday, August 18, Diver’s Mast held a clean-up work bee at the dive site along the trail. Over a dozen persons vigorously helped clear and develop the site. Numerous 50-gallon drums and metal pipes that had been lying in the water partially submerged were removed. These sharp objects had not only been an eyesore, but were dangerous as well.
Most importantly, a “runway” of 80 cubic feet of pea stone was laid on top of a 15 foot wide and 40 foot long piece of fabric where divers enter the water. When the dive site was developed a year ago, it was unfortunately discovered that the entrance point was full of holes and muck, and divers sank to their knees when entering. The newly installed base provides a firm entrance experience for divers walking into the lake. It must be stated that this is not a general swimming area, but is for divers only, as muck still exists outside of the pea stone area.
The new site along the Trail is becoming an attraction to dive clubs across the state, and now even in the Midwest. The August, 2012 issue of Midwest Dive News featured a two-page article about the Lime Lake dive site, and the Trail. This magazine was distributed to dive shops and clubs across the Midwest. This positive exposure will certainly bring more people in to experience the beauty of the Trail. The article can be accessed via their Facebook page, or this direct link to the dive news network website.
Why dive Lime Lake? When the marl was mined forming the lake in the early 20th century, areas were missed in the central portion of the lake near where the dive site has been developed. What was left was a bizarre underwater scene of mountains, pillars, and spires where spots were missed. The scene somewhat resembles a coral reef without the coral. It is a sight and experience you won’t find anywhere else. The water is also much clearer than other lakes in Southern Michigan, and provides an excellent opportunity for underwater photography. The lake is only 25-30 feet deep, and so even beginner divers can enjoy the unusual beauty as they swim around the unusual formations found here.
Are you interested in learning to scuba dive? Contact Diver’s Mast for further information at (517) 784-5862. Classes are regularly held to fit all types of schedules. Weekly “store dives” are held at various locations throughout the summer months, including at Lime Lake along the Trail.
New Lime Lake Diver Access Entrance
All text copyright, 2016 © all rights reserved Frank Passic