Campground
Ari A.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Nov. 11, 2020

Hard to get to but worth it

Lime Island Recreation Area is located in the St. Mary’s River at the very east end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It sits in the middle of the river with Canada on one side and Michigan on the other. Raber, Michigan is the nearest shore town, 2 miles across the river. The only way to reach the park is by boat but there are no designated ferries, so the only way to reach it is by using your own boat or finding someone in the area with a boat willing to charter you and your gear. Non-motorized boats are not recommended due to the many freighters and choppy water conditions.

Overnight accommodations include six cabins that can sleep between four and seven guests each, as well as 10 tent sites on wooden platforms that look out over the river. The park is a favorite among fishermen, couples, and large families who like to rent out all the cabins for annual reunions. 

A boat slip comes with your reservation. The island has limited electricity (solar-powered only) and no running water. Portable toilets are provided and there is a pump for a potable-water well. Cabin guests need to provide all their own gear, including sleeping and cooking supplies and equipment.

Approximately 7 miles of hiking trails traverse the island, providing guests the chance to wander, explore and possibly encounter wildlife. With so little human activity you never know what you’ll find.

One of the favorite pastimes of guests is sitting and watching the large Great Lakes freighters pass by at all hours of the day. They pass so close to the island you feel you could almost touch them. It’s quite a sight!

There's a ton of history on the island, some of which is still visible. According to the Michigan DNR, “Lime Island provides a significant representation of early 20th-century industrial and maritime history. The coal dock, fuel storage tanks, Quonset hut with bunker, fuel heating and pumping equipment, other supporting buildings, and scattered industrial equipment, provide a complete picture of the island’s use as a ship refueling depot. The schoolhouse, superintendent’s house (that was brought to the island by dragging it across the frozen river), cottages, and fruit trees remind visitors of island life for the workers that supported the depot.”

It's not an easy state park to reach, but if you can find a way to get there, the seclusion should make for some great camping on the tent platforms (or hanging out in the cabins if you're into that sort of thing.)

  • The LIme Island dock
  • One of the tent platforms
  • Some of the cabins available for rent
  • Great Lakes freighter passing by
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  • Tent platform and path to river
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