If you're looking for an exciting hiking trip or vacation, look no further than North Manitou Island and Leland, Michigan. North Manitou Island is the more "hiker friendly" of the two Manitou Islands, with South Manitou Island being more for camping and large groups. North Manitou has fifteen thousand acres of wilderness, and their trails are clearly defined. They also have several areas where you can pitch camp at a camp site if you prefer that, or they also encourage off-trail camping.
North Manitou is stunning to hike, especially in the summer and early fall months when weather in northern Michigan is favorable. The entire island is full of abandoned barns, homes, automobiles, and more that have been kept in a state of natural preservation since the park service bought the land.
Each "spot" or home has its own unique backstory, and taking several days to hike the entire circumference of the island. On the island, there are about 23 miles of well-maintained trails, and hiking over the course of a long weekend is a good idea so you can take your time to see all of the interesting historical areas.
If you're more interested in completing day hikes, the camp site near the main dock area is a great place to pitch your tent. It's right by the beach, and fires are permitted in the fire pits.
Looking to make your vacation an extended one? Check out Leland, commonly known as Michigan's Fishtown! The ferry to the islands comes out of Leland, so it's an excellent place to stop by and explore. It's an outdoorsy area with amazing hiking and biking trails along their beaches and roads. Additionally, you can check out their historical museum, rent a boat, or go fishing. What a great way to end your UP trip!
Michigan is full of amazing hiking locations, and North Manitou Island is just one of many. But it's stunning views, interesting history, and easy-moderate trail difficulty makes it a great place to go if you're looking to spend a long weekend in Michigan's great outdoors!