North Manitou Island offers 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! However, camping is strictly prohibited within 300 feet of Lake Michigan. 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). Solitude is easy to find. Leave no trace camping is the rule. There is one campground in the village area, which does have a group fire ring as well as water. The Village Campground is the ONLY place on the island that a fire is allowed.
Camping fees for North manitou are $10.00 per night per permit (4 adults are allowed on a permit) or $20.00 a night for groups of 5-10. Every group needs a backcountry permit which costs $15.00 each. These fees are all paid in the Manitou Island Transit ticket office before you get on the boat.
ATTENTION CAMPERS: THE NATIONAL PARK DOES NOT TAKE RESERVATIONS FOR THE CAMPING PERMITS, AS LONG AS YOU HAVE BOAT RESERVATIONS, YOU ARE GUARANTEED YOUR PERMITS AND THESE CAN BE PURCHASED WHEN YOU CHECK IN FOR THE BOAT.