South Manitou Island
Camping is permitted at three locations on this island – the Bay, Weather Station and Popple Campgrounds. The island is small with a fragile ecosystem and low impact camping is the rule. At all locations food should be stored in hard containers to thwart the Northern Miniature Tiger (aka the chipmunk!). There is no transportation to the campgrounds so all camping gear and supplies must be packed in and out. Wagons are not permitted to the campgrounds. Coolers with wheels are allowed but must be carried. Nothing wheeled can be taken on the trails to the campgrounds.
**As long as you have boat reservations, you are guaranteed a camping permit, the individual sites are available to anyone scheduled on our ferry. For individual campers, reservations are not taken. For large groups, reservations are taken as noted below.
FOR GROUP RESERVATIONS, CALL 1-877-444-6777 OR http://www.recreation.gov (ONLY FOR SMI GROUP SITES)
NPS LINK: CAMPING ON SMI http://www.nps.gov/slbe/planyourvisit/smicamping.htm
North Manitou Island
Now here is a camping trip! 15,000 acres of wilderness with a visitor use concept that emphasizes solitude, self-reliance and a sense of exploration. Camping on North Manitou is “open”: you choose the campsite! The primary visitor activities include hiking, swimming, backcountry camping and backpacking. The island itself is home to a large whitetail deer herd and is the summer range for a variety of raptors (including the Bald Eagle). In the fall, special trips are available for hunters.
NPS LINK: CAMPING ON NMI http://www.nps.gov/slbe/planyourvisit/nmicamping.htm
TICK INFORMATION: http://www.nps.gov/slbe/naturescience/ticks.htm
NOTICE TO CAMPERS: MANITOU ISLAND TRANSIT MAKES EVERY EFFORT TO SAIL ON SCHEDULE, HOWEVER, WE CANNOT ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR INCONVENIENCES RESULTING FROM DELAYS.
*this includes wind and weather issues. That being said, campers should always pack extra food in the event that we are unable to run. Lake Michigan, especially early spring and fall, can change quickly, causing us to cancel trips.