Destinations

Great Lakes Islands – Lake Michigan and Lake Superior

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Islands have always fascinated man. Maybe, it was because they were those far away exotic destinations. Or maybe because they were part of exciting stories about riches and pirates and tropical fruit and spices. Or simply, because they were always on the horizon, visible from mainland, but difficult to reach, and therefore – mysterious destinations.

 Great Lakes Islands

While there are hundreds of islands on the five Great Lakes, only several are accessible by public boat transport, and only those will be featured in this series of blogs.

Lake Michigan

South Manitou Island

South Manitou Island is a part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It is a small round island of about 2 mile diameter.  The attractions there include museum in the village, lighthouse, ghost towns, old Coast Guard station outbuildings and hiking trails over sand dunes, sandy beaches  and also a shipwreck. There is also a primitive campground on the island. You can get to South Manitou Island by a ferry from Leland, MI.

To find out more, visit a Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore website.

 

Great Lakes Islands

Backpackers on North Manitou Island

 

North Manitou Island

North Manitou Island is also a part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It is more than twice as big as South Manitou Island. It is strictly a backpacking destination without any modern facilities. To get to North Manitou Island, take a ferry from Leland, MI.

To find out more, visit a Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore website.

 

Great Lakes Islands

Beaver Island

 

Beaver Island

The island is the largest island on Lake Michigan. It is unique, because while far from mainland, it has over 600 year-round residents. There are motels and restaurant on the island. There is also a campground. For recreation, island offers kayaking, paddle boarding and bicycle rentals. There is also a boat charter. Like on any other Lake Michigan island, there are some nice beaches there.

To get there, you need to take a 20-min plane ride or a 2+ hour boat ride from Charlevoix, MI.

To find out more, check the Wikipedia Beaver Island info.

Or this visitors guide.

 

Great Lakes Islands

Cabin on Washington Island

 

Washington Island

Washington Island is located north of the Door County Peninsula in Wisconsin. For recreation it offers bike and moped rentals, bird watching, boat rental, fishing and golf. The accommodations on the island include few cottages, inns and motels. There is also a campground.

More information can be found on Washington Island website.

 

Rock Island

Rock Island is a small island off Washington Island. It is a Wisconsin State Park. It offers primitive, walk-in campground. To get there take a ferry from Washington Island.

More info is available on Washington Island website.

Or on Rock Island State Park website.

 

Lake Superior

 

Great Lakes Islands

Isle Royale

Isle Royale

The island is Lake Superior biggest island and it is a national park.  It is mostly a backpacking destination, but is also offers full-service lodge facility in Rock Harbor.  To get to the island, you can take a seaplane or a ferry from Houghton MI, Copper Harbor, MI or Grand Portage, MN. There is also a seaplane service that operates between Houghton and Rock Harbor. There also might be charters available from other destinations as well.

To get more info visit a Isle Royale National Park website.

 

Great Lakes Islands

Grand Island

 

Grand Island

It is located just off the north shore of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula about one-half mile from the Munising, MI. Grand Island is a wild and scenic place perfect for nature enthusiasts to explore. Less than 10,000 lucky people are allowed to visit the island each year. Grand Island offers spectacular overlooks and beautiful sandy beaches. You can get to the island by a ferry.

More info can be found on the Grand Island website.

 

Great Lakes Islands

Apostle Islands

 

Apostle Islands

The islands are part of a national lakeshore park located at the west end of Lake Superior. They are kayaking, backpacking, hiking and sight-seeing destinations. The Apostle Islands Cruise Service offers shuttles to some island for different recreational activities. There are also morning and evening tours, and shipwreck and lighthouse tours, and more.

Additional info is available at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore website.

 

Great Lakes Islands

Grand Island on Lake Superior

 

Rich S. is a lifetime photographer and traveler based in Metro Detroit area. He has been traveling the Great Lakes area for over 30 years. Follow his blog about his trips, interesting activities and destinations in the Great Lakes region.

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