Grand Island Loop

A beautiful and unique loop around the perimeter of Grand Island

Hiking Moderate

33 km
565 m
565 m
7-8 hrs
Low Point
182 m
High Point
279 m
Grand Island Loop Map

Part of the Hiawatha National Forest, Grand Island is a one of a kind destination. The island is only accessible by boat, specifically a ferry that departs from Munising on a seasonal basis. Specific information on the ferry schedule can be found here.


Hiked clockwise, you'll begin with a traverse along the western shore of the island, which provides some phenomenal clifftop views overlooking Lake Superior. The water is incredibly clear, and you'll have a spectacular vantage point to enjoy the island's unique beauty.

Overnight options are plentiful on Grand Island, with over 20 designated campsites and plenty of opportunities to camp off the beaten path. Reservations for a cabin can be made at, and as of 2019, there are no permits required to camp on the island.

There are several beach access points along this route, so be sure to bring a swimsuit! Even during peak season, the size of the island will keep you from encountering too many people, and it's likely you could have a large section of beach to yourself.

For facilities, drinking water is available at a few points on the island and vault toilets can be found in a few key areas as well.

On the eastern side of the island, soak in the views of nearby Pictured Rocks, another hiking destination that should be added to your list, if it's not on it already. The sandstone bluffs can be hiked via the North Country Trail, and the beautiful formations make it an excellent destination for boaters and paddlers.

The final portion of this loop follows an access road on the island that leads back to the ferry crossing. After returning, head into the nearby town of Munising for some local food and drink to refuel after your long hike.




Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between May and October


  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation