Manitou Islands Kayak Camping Adventure
5 Days, 4 Nights
Come explore one of the last truly wild places on the Great Lakes. The North and South Manitou Islands are part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and have kept their truly wild and remote feeling that many places have lost. Experience the serene coastlines by sea kayak; and the rustic woodlands, dunes and old historic sites by foot. Spend your nights under the stars, with amazing views of the vast Lake Michigan, watching the sun set and rise over the water. This island has hosted hikers and backpackers for years, so join this kayaking adventure for a truly unique experience.
Day 1: Meet your guides in Leland, Michigan, and then hop on the ferry to South Manitou Island. Then, load up in the kayaks and head to your first campsite. That afternoon, you will get oriented with your boat by practicing paddling techniques and rescues, and by exploring the coast near your campsite.
Day 2: Pack up and head out to North Manitou Island. After making the crossing, follow the coastline to your campsite. North Manitou Island is covered and criss-crossed with trails, so taking advantage of short hikes is an easy way to explore the inner parts of the island. You’ll be able to go for a short hike, hang around camp, or go for a swim before having dinner and watching the stars come out.
Day 3: Pack up and continue along the coast. Each trip is unique, and each adventure individual, so your guide will find a campsite that suits the group’s wants and needs. Once you find the perfect spot for you, set up camp and take advantage of the afternoon by hiking, swimming, or just hanging out.
Day 4: Take a day off from paddling and hop on the trails. There are over 22 miles of trails that traverse the North Island, and your guide will take you as far (or as near) as you would like to walk. Head to Lake Manitou, the old town and dock site, the bluffs and “Pot Holes” on the northern coast, or for a nice stroll around the Island. That evening, have a celebratory dinner and enjoy your last night in the wilderness.
Day 5: Pack up and kayak to the North Manitou dock site to load back up onto the ferry. But, take your time to soak in the sights and sounds before heading back to the mainland and away from this natural beauty.
**This itinerary is subject to change. As with all adventure travel, some activities are dependent on appropriate conditions. But fear not -we have many alternative activities available in case the weather is not cooperative.
North Manitou Islands are nearly eight miles long and over four miles wide, with twenty miles of shoreline. North Manitou Island has no population. South Manitou Islands lies to the Southwest.
History Trivia: North Manitou Island is shaped like an upside-down teardrop, with the now-forested body of the 'drop' surrounding Lake Manitou, and the tail of the drop narrowing into sandy, exposed Dimmick's Point on the island's southeastern extremity.