Round Island Wilderness
Located in the Hiawatha National Forest in Michigan.
Round Island is located in Lake Huron, in the Straits of Mackinac, Mackinac County, Michigan. It lies approximately four miles southeast of the town of St. Ignace and one mile south of Mackinac Island. Round Island is also known by the Indian name Nissawinagong.
There has been no logging or other commercial activity on the island since the turn of the century. No roads or developed trails exist on the island. Access is by boat in the summer and over ice in the winter. Several historic and prehistoric sites exist on the island. The Round Island Lighthouse is the only permanent improvement on the island; however, the lighthouse is not a part of the wilderness. It occupies about one acre on a sand and cobblestone spit on the northwest corner of the island.
The 378-acre island is totally National Forest System land and is administered as a part of the St. Ignace Ranger District of the Hiawatha National Forest. The Island lies east of the Mackinac Bridge between Mackinac Island and Bois Blanc Island. A limestone cliff on the northeast side of the island rises 76 feet above the lake, and limestone bedrock outcrops are present. A sandy beach on the east side of the island extends for about two-thirds of a mile.
Whitetail deer, raccoon, red squirrel, fox, gulls and a variety of songbirds and waterfowl inhabit the island. Trout, pike, salmon and other freshwater fish are found in the lake waters around it.
Mackinac Island, the Mackinac Bridge and the mainland on either side of the straits are clearly visible from Round Island, as is the lake traffic between the islands and the mainland. Noise from great lakes freighters, Mackinac Island ferryboats and pleasure craft can be heard while on Round island. Although the island offers a feeling of physical separation from land, numerous lights are visible at nearby Mackinac Island, St. Ignace or Bois Blanc Island.
Access is difficult and time consuming and is only possible by boat or over the ice. The lake can be treacherous at times. Visitors should check conditions and be aware of the possibility of heavy seas.
For more information contact: The Hiawatha National Forest
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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