Benzie County, Michigan

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Benzie County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is part of the Traverse City, Michigan, Micropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2000 census, the population was 15,998. The county seat is Beulah[1]. The name "Benzie" is derived from the French Riviere Aux-Bec Scies or "river of sawbill ducks" (bec-scie). Americans altered the pronunciation of the river's name, which became known as the "Betsie River". A similar alteration in pronunciation produced "Benzie". The county was initially set off in 1863 and organized in 1869.[2][3] At 321 mi² (831 km²), Benzie County is the smallest of the 83 counties in Michigan.

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Geography

Benzie County, Michigan's smallest in terms of land area, is located in the northwest of the Lower Peninsula, in the "little finger" position of the mitten-shaped peninsula and is considered to be part of the Northern Michigan region. Lake Michigan is to the west, Leelanau County and the Leelanau Peninsula are to the north. Grand Traverse County and Traverse City are to the east. Wexford County is to the southeast and Manistee County to the south. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore extends into the northwest portion of the county. Crystal Lake is a prominent physical feature of the area. The Platte River rises out of a lake district around Lake Ann in the northeast of the county and flows southwest and the northwest into Platte Lake before emptying into Lake Michigan at Platte River Point. The Betsie River rises in neighboring Grand Traverse County, flowing southwest across the southeast corner of the county into Manistee County, where it bends northwest until just south of Benzonia where it receives the outflow of Crystal Lake and then flows mostly west through Elberta and Frankfort and into Lake Michigan.

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