Grand Island is located in Lake Superior, about one-half mile from the mainland community of Munising, Michigan. Munising is about 43 miles from Marquette and 55 miles from Manistique. Grand Island is the perfect place to spend a day or even just a few hours biking and exploring. The island's breathtaking overlooks, pristine sandy beaches, fascinating cultural sites, deep hard woods, and inland lakes make it an exciting and secluded destination.
Swimming - The lake bottom is sandy, with small rocks, or solid rock depending on what site you choose. Lake Superior can be cold with average high temperatures reaching only the high 60s (degrees Fahrenheit). Be cautious when swimming because this area has not been checked for possible hazards. Please remember, you swim at your own risk.
Hiking/biking - Over 30 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails provide wonderful opportunities for day-trips and give access via unsurfaced trails to some of the Island's most spectacular scenery.
Fishing and Hunting - Lake Superior has Coho salmon, lake trout, perch, pike, walleye, and rock bass. Game species on the island include deer, bear, rabbit, grouse, and ducks. A Michigan fishing, hunting and/or trapping license is required. (See the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fishing Guide for license information and special regulations for Echo and Duck Lakes.)
Boat Access - There are a number of sand beaches where a boat could pull up to shore. Murray Bay, Trout Bay and North Light Creek areas have the largest sand beaches with little to no rock obstructions. There are several areas around the perimeter of the island where kayakers can gain access. Be aware that there are very few locations on the northwest and northeast sides that are not cliff. There is no boat launch or public dock facility on Grand Island. Personal watercraft (SeaDoo/Jet Ski) are not allowed on the shores of Grand Island. The dock at Williams Landing can be used for loading and unloading only. Boats may not park at the dock.
Drinking water is available at Williams Landing, Juniper Flats, Farrell Cottage, and Murray Bay Day Use Area. If traveling elsewhere on the island, bring water with you or filter/boil/treat surface water. Keep soaps and detergents out of lakes and streams. Wash dishes and clothes in a pot and dispose of the waste water in a hole at least 100 feet from the nearest water supply. Bathe in a similar manner.
Channel Marker: This campsite is located on the southwest tip of Grand Island near Merchandise Beach. The site is in close proximity (1/2 mile) to William's Landing (ferry service arrival point, water, and visitor information center). The site can accommodate up to 6 people. A primitive latrine, food storage pole, fire ring and benches are provided in/near the campsite. Channel Marker can be accessed either by the island's trail system or by water. Kayakers can access this site via the unnamed beach approximately 0.5 mile west of William's Landing. Leave your kayak on the beach, and walk approximately 100 ft. inland to the campsite.
Grand Island, a Congressionally designated National Recreation Area (NRA), boasts massive 300-foot wave-cut sandstone cliffs; 13,500 acres of lush forest; beaches of fine sand; winter ice caves; and historic buildings and artifacts dating back as far as 2,000 BC, to name just a few of its highlights! The island's scenic natural beauty and interesting history make it an attractive place for camping and other outdoor activities.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Hiawatha National Forest, and the City of Munising are all in the area. The Munising area provides a variety of restaurants, hotels, camping opportunities, and outfitters. Local outfitters provide guided and self-guided kayak, canoe, pontoon, and mountain bike rentals.
ADA Access: N
The channel marker campsite is the perfect distance (about a half mile on a well maintained flat trail) from the ferry dock and could be accessed by water too! There is a primitive toilet at the site along with a bear pole and storage locker, and a campfire ring with grill top. The site is private yet still close to the trail with an adjacent trail down to the beach, both areas include beaches.
The site requires that all tents are placed within 15 feet of a sign which only grants space for 1 tent easily. We also were able to fit one hammock within these guidelines.
There is provided firewood at most all the other campsites we walked by, but no wood was provided to this site.
Also note the bugs (mosquitoes and flies) are horrendous! Even with strong deet spray. Good idea to invest in the bug net gear the ferry service recommends!
Grand Island Channel Marker Campsite is a ferry ride or paddle away from Munising, Mi. A small touristy town with several interesting tour options for the island and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
The campsite is off the beaten trail literally, this is at a definite high traffic area for the island as the ferry dock is nearby. There is about a 15 foot walk in to the site from the trail which gives you a little seclusion. The day we were there a marathon was going on, bikers and foot traffic was also passing by. Large enough area for a few tents , pit toilets and MOSQUITOES!!! They were horrible! We applied copious amounts of deet bug spray but these little buggers did not care. Swarms followed us and when they dispersed….well when there were less then 20 trying to suck you dry , the horse flies would start their attack flight patterns.
I would suggest planning your adventure for a time of year when cold keeps the bug population down. Otherwise it was an excellent time between the beaches ( COLD water) and the town ( good food, try the pasties ) plus several other options nearby for hiking, biking and sea kayaking ( I brought my kayak but was advised that there is a difference in types and apparel ) First trip to Lake Superior has left me wanting more!
I love sites that you need to kayak or canoe to get to and this is one of those sites. This island has massive (for the midwest) cliffs cut by the water and pit toilets! There are several campsites on the island. This one is very near a dock with ferry service and info center. Overall it is secluded once you reach it but I was hoping for more. You always know there is a big dock with ferry service close by. You will need a water filter or steripen at this site. Bug spray and bear spray is a must. There are black bears on the island though we were fortunate and didn't see any. Maybe because they are not that common or maybe because we keep everything smellable, including cook clothes, in odor-proof bags. There are campfire rings for cooking and there was a nice breeze coming off the lake the entire time we were there. That helped keep down the bugs but we wore our light long sleeve at night.