Mackinac Island and Round Island

Saint Ignace, Michigan

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Mackinac Island State Park was Michigan’s first state park. Today most of the island is protected within the park, giving you 1,780 acres to explore. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the island; it is an ideal area to explore on foot, by bicycle, or in a kayak. This is not a wilderness island by any means. At the south end of the island is a harbor and small city, where ferries bring thousands of tourists to the island every summer. However once you leave the harbor area, you follow a mostly undeveloped shore, where your only company will be cyclists enjoying the road that circles the island. By traveling to the island by kayak, you can enjoy the undeveloped coast and land near the harbor and the historic buildings from the fur-trading era, including Fort Mackinac. High on a hill above the harbor, the view from the famous porch of the historic Grand Hotel (dripping wet kayakers are not welcome inside) is truly grand. The contrast between the quiet undeveloped coastline and the frenzy of the tourist activity near the harbor adds to the experience.
Guide to Sea Kayaking on Lakes Huron, Erie & Ontario

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Guide to Sea Kayaking on Lakes Huron, Erie & Ontario

by Sarah Ohmann & Bill Newman (The Globe Pequot Press)

Mackinac Island State Park was Michigan’s first state park. Today most of the island is protected within the park, giving you 1,780 acres to explore. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the island; it is an ideal area to explore on foot, by bicycle, or in a kayak. This is not a wilderness island by any means. At the south end of the island is a harbor and small city, where ferries bring thousands of tourists to the island every summer.

However once you leave the harbor area, you follow a mostly undeveloped shore, where your only company will be cyclists enjoying the road that circles the island. By traveling to the island by kayak, you can enjoy the undeveloped coast and land near the harbor and the historic buildings from the fur-trading era, including Fort Mackinac. High on a hill above the harbor, the view from the famous porch of the historic Grand Hotel (dripping wet kayakers are not welcome inside) is truly grand. The contrast between the quiet undeveloped coastline and the frenzy of the tourist activity near the harbor adds to the experience.

©  Sarah Ohmann & Bill Newman/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Sea Kayaking
Nearby City: Saint Ignace
Distance: 16
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: Day trip
Season: Spring to fall, weather permitting
Local Maps: NOAA 14881, USGS: Cheboygan at 1:100,000
Driving Directions: Directions to Mackinac Island & Round Island

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Apr 2018