Grand Island Loop

HARD 19 reviews

Grand Island Loop is a 21.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Munising, Michigan that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October.

DISTANCE
21.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1361 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

beach

cave

forest

lake

river

muddy

The island has a number of trails and designated camping zones but you can camp just about anywhere.

backpacking
17 days ago

Check out our trip video on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWpk7K9BStA

...This is a 2 day, 1 night backpacking loop (but can be done in more or less time) in Grand Island National Recreational Area off the coast of Lake Superior in Munising Michigan. The loop is 20.4 miles in total (.2 mi from Williams landing dock to West Rim Trailhead + 20 mi loop + .2 mi from trailhead back to Williams Landing dock) but offers many side trip opportunities. Our trip started the Saturday before Memorial Day 2017 by taking the ferry to Williams Landing at 9AM (also runs at 12 and; 3:30). We were apart of the first group of 6 to go across at 9 and arrived at Williams landing in a minute or so. Backcountry sites are reservable from Memorial Day through the busy season, but before then its "first come first served" .

Day 1 consisted of hiking the West Rim of the Island to Preservation Point Campsite. We were worried about site availability given the holiday weekend & "first come first served" sites, so we took few breaks in the first 9 miles to the site. Luckily, Preservation Point was vacant when we arrived and surprised us with how close it was to lake views. This site even has its own scenic lookout spot with two extra benches. After setting up camp, we did a day trip to North Light Creek beach to get water and do some fishing. The water access was great, but the was little fish to speak of. We did some more exploring and then headed back to our site. Later in the afternoon we allowed some late arriving hikers to share our site since most were already taken. Preservation point only allows 2 tents but the site is big enough for more.

On day 2 we planned to spend the night on a Trout Bay site, but our early arrival on trout bay and heavy rain, convinced us to catch the 12pm ferry off the island as opposed to spending the entire day hanging out in our tent (the ferry will make multiple trips to get everyone across). This was a great trip, even with the rain. The bugs were present on our trip but seemed worse on the East Rim. The West Rim had fewer bugs and was by far the more scenic part of the island (Trout Bay excluded). I would recommend spraying your gear and clothes with Permethrin the day before to keep the bugs at bay (this really helped us). I would also add that the hike is pretty tame, not too many up and downs (seems like this route should be rated "Moderate" instead of "Hard").

backpacking
24 days ago

backpacking
24 days ago

mountain biking
1 month ago

Bring bug spray. Those misquotes are crazy.

backpacking
3 months ago

great trip. as others have said be sure to have plenty of water. northern campsites do not have water access.

8 months ago

beautiful area - Already planning to go back for more time!

backpacking
9 months ago

Few campsites. I do recommend reserving your spot online before going. I had to find my own spot. The hike itself is fairly easy. Not a lot of uphills (which is great). Good hike over all. I rate the hike somewhere in between easy/medium difficulty.

9 months ago

Actually, my girlfriend and I hiked this trail and we ended up putting in 37.8 miles this is the most beautiful hike I've done so far it was absolutely perfect!

10 months ago

Northern point campsites are absolutely stunning. Great rangers with great information as well.

hiking
11 months ago

Beautiful hike if your able to hike for a long distance. The whole loop is just over 20 miles long not 10. However we did the historical loop which was a little over 12 miles and had very beautiful views of the beaches and cliffs. Make sure to bring lots of water the drinking spots are all located in a close area and as you get further into the island there isn't any drinking water

hiking
Saturday, May 07, 2016

Gorgeous! Michigan is anything but boring.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Beautiful Island...especially North Beach if you can make the jaunt (we biked/camped).

hiking
Sunday, March 06, 2016

As someone else has mentioned the trail is around 22 miles long not 10. The trail is well marked and the loop takes you through a very nice hardwood forest. The northern part of the trail brings you into sand uphill terrain which makes it fairly hard to hike but the view of the northern beach is well worth it.

hiking
Saturday, November 14, 2015

This article says 10.9 miles, but the full loop (around the rim of the island) is more like 21 miles. Some slight incline and decline, pretty well maintained trails and stunning views of Lake Superior along with the island's sandstone cliffs. On clear days, can see Pictured Rocks from northeastern cliffs. Depending on the time of year, could be very buggy. Be sure to fill your water vessels while on the south end of the island.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

hiking
Thursday, August 13, 2015

mountain biking
Saturday, August 23, 2014

hiking
Saturday, August 02, 2014

very cool island. if you don't have a watercraft there is a ferry you can take to get out there for $15 round trip. easy mountain biking trails criss cross the whole island. I saw 6 black bears while I was there too.

hiking
Saturday, April 06, 2013

Great Trail for beginners and those who want to see some excellent rock formations. We headed here after finding out that Pictured Rocks was all booked up. What a pleasant surprise...