A Guide to Michigan’s Grand Island

There are over 400 islands in Lake Superior. While Isle Royale is often the most talked about, there are plenty of others that are worth checking out, including Grand Island. The Island is perfect for a rustic getaway or a day of adventure. Learn more about Grand Island and start planning a trip today!  

Where is Grand Island located?

Grand Island is located in Lake Superior a half a mile north of Munising. It is part of the Hiawatha National Forest.  

How big is Grand Island?

Grand Island is 49.07 mi². The perimeter trail that runs along much of the shoreline is roughly 23 miles long. There are approximately 8 miles between the most northern and southern parts of the island.  

How do you get to Grand Island?

The Grand Island Ferry Service runs from Memorial Day weekend to early fall multiple times a day. The ferry takes off just west of downtown Munising.

Personal boats can also be taken to Grand Island. Boats must be beached since there are no docks though.  

In the winter, the Island can be accessed by snowmobile, snowshoeing or skis, when the ice permits. Lake Superior freezes completely roughly once every 20 years, so use extra caution if making the journey in the winter.  

Where can I stay on Grand Island?

Grand Island has a large number of campgrounds to choose from. Most require a reservation beforehand, but a few are first come, first served. Random camping is also permitted, as long as random camp rules are followed. The most notable rule being you cannot set up camp within one mile of a rustic state forest campground, designated state park or recreation area. Learn more about dispersed camping, here.

The Island also offers a few cabins to rent in addition to the campgrounds. Cabins and campsites can be viewed and rented at www.recreation.gov.

There are no stores on Grand Island, so if you are going to stay overnight, or for an extended period of time, be sure to pack enough food to last you the duration of your stay. Also, pack refillable water containers as there are refilling stations throughout the Island.

Are there bathrooms on Grand Island?

Be sure to pack toilet paper because restrooms are limited on the Island. You will find rustic toilets at the following locations: Murray Bay, Trout Bay, Juniper Flats and Williams Landing. If you are not near one of those areas, dig a hole at least 100-feet from water sources and be sure to cover up the hole after use.

What activities are there on Grand Island?

Grand Island is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. There is so much to do include kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing and swimming on the water. Lake Superior is not known for warm temperatures, so you might want to consider swimming in Duck Lake or Echo Lake on the Island.

There are also great hiking and biking trails to explore. With nearly 40 miles of trails to choose from, there is a trail for every skill level.

Kayaks, paddleboards and bikes can be rented prior to leaving on the ferry and then picked up once you reach the Island. You can bring your own bike on the ferry for a small fee.

If these activities aren’t of interest, there is also a bus tour. The bus tour takes you to historical buildings and sites along the southern part of the island.

What animals are on Grand Island?

Many of the typical Michigan animals and creatures can be found on Grand Island. White-tailed deer is one of the most popular to be seen. The Island is also home to black bears, which are commonly more afraid of humans than we are of them.   

Feature image credit: “Lake Superior at Au Train Bay 1” by Dave Garvin is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Similar Posts