North Manitou Island Travel Guide

  • North Manitou Island
    by neurochic
  • Sunset on Lake Michigan
    Sunset on Lake Michigan
    by neurochic
  • Our Shadows
    Our Shadows
    by neurochic

North Manitou Island Things to Do

  • Check Out the Beach

    Spend sometime on the beach while you are at North Manitou. Its a good place to watch the sunset, play cards, take a stroll with your mate. As you look across vast Lake MI you truly feel a world apart which you know is sometimes quite nice.

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  • Check Out The Old Barn

    In a Big Field you will find one of the only remaining buildings still standing on North Manitou Island, the Swenson Barn. Many years ago North Manitou island was an actual functioning island with people who actually lived on the island. This is a nice area to take a break and have lunch because there aren't many insects and you can just lay lazily...

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  • Take Time Out to Look at Nature

    Ok there is no TV, no video games, no work, no stress so take time out to look at the beautiful scenery around you as you hike North Manitou. Its not often in most of our hectic lives where we really pay attention to how beautiful butterflies really are or how perfect a flower a daisy is. So take the time out to stop and literally smell the roses.

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North Manitou Island Nightlife

  • ShireLass85's Profile Photo

    by ShireLass85 Written Sep 12, 2006

    If you're staying at the village campground on a clear night, stumble down to the beach/village area, then turn off your flashlight to get your night vision. You have a wide open area under which to see a large expanse of sky with no lights for miles. I had just gotten back from New Zealand where I had been awed by the clear skies, constellations visible, and even the Milky Way- a clarity I had never seen in North America until now! It was just as impressive, the Milky Way as clear, etc. etc. Don't miss it : )

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Backpacking
    • National/State Park

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North Manitou Island Transportation

  • Ferries and where to catch them

    Maybe it's because the North Island brings people to camp and the south island brings more daytrippers that aren't as comfortable roughing it, but the south manitou island ferry was much nicer and larger than the north island. It does depend on the day, the trip over on the north ferry was choppy, everyone got wet and was feeling pretty queasy...

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  • The Ferry From Hell

    In order to reach North Manitou Island you must take a ferry across Lake Michigan operated by Manitou Island Transit. Here is a link Ferry. This is the worst boat trip I have ever taken in my life! If you think you should sit inside the ferry because you will be sheltered from the wind think again. It's pure hell in there. You can feel every single...

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  • North Manitou Island Hotels

    0 Hotels in North Manitou Island

North Manitou Island Warnings and Dangers

  • ShireLass85's Profile Photo

    by ShireLass85 Written Sep 12, 2006

    The ranger tells you they are everywhere and they are friendly... he's right. The island doesn't house "damgerous" animals, but these little buggers can be downright creepy. I'm used to being excited to see chipmunks and maybe snap a picture before they run away. Here we were literally stepping over the chipmunks in our way on the hiking trail! So tying up your food is a must. The Village Campground has metal poles you can stick your food bags on. We were making breakfast over the campfire one morning and if I ever turned my back, there was a chipmunk, on the bench, trying to gnaw through two bags to get to the bread. Holding the bag caused a chipmunk to run on top of my foot and try to reach up to it.

    Cute... a little creepy... and hungry, Very hungry. Combat the urge to feed them.

    Related to:
    • Camping
    • Backpacking
    • Hiking and Walking

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North Manitou Island What to Pack

  • neurochic's Profile Photo
    Prime Example of How Not To Pack 1 more image

    by neurochic Updated Nov 13, 2005

    Luggage and bags: sleeping bag
    pillow
    backpack
    foam to lie on

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: fleece
    long sleeved shirt
    capris/cargo pants/or khackis
    (avoid shorts or the mosquitos will let you know you made the worst mistake of your life)
    hiking boots
    wool socks (cotton ones will get wet)
    bathing suit (avoid bikini, Lake MI too cold)
    baseball cap
    change of undergarments/socks
    windbreaker

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: toilet paper
    soap
    toothpaste/toothbrush
    first aid kit w/moleskin/antibacterial ointment
    suture material if you know how to do stiches
    bandaids
    antiinflammatory like Motrin/Tylenol

    Photo Equipment: camera

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: insect repellant a must (Cutter has wipes which were great)
    tent (lightweight, remember you have to carry it)
    rope to hang up your backpacks at night so critters don't get your stuff
    water filter (remember you can't lug all the water, you have to filter it from the lake)
    headlamp at night (how are you going to find your potty spot without it) or flashlight
    lantern
    cooking ware/silverware (make sure the cooking ware has a pot/skillet)
    mug (good for hot drinks but also for cereal/oatmeal)
    Shovel (you have to bury #2)
    fuel

    Miscellaneous: freeze dry food (REI has an awesome selection)
    oatmeal
    pop tarts
    GORP
    crystal light has packets that you can put in your Nalogene water bottle
    cards/small board game
    Nalogene water bottles or a camelback
    granola bars
    good book (remember there is no tv)
    Matches (a must, make sure waterproof)

    Related to:
    • Camping
    • Hiking and Walking

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North Manitou Island Favorites

  • neurochic's Profile Photo
    My Brother Mike Tying Up our Gear

    by neurochic Updated Nov 13, 2005

    Favorite thing: I can't stress how important it is to make sure you tie up your backpack at night so that critters don't eat your food or damage your goods. The higher up you can get your things the better. Do not put your food in your tent because you will be attacked. Make sure you bring pretty sturdy rope from an army surplus store before you arrive.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Backpacking
    • Eco-Tourism

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