Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail In Michigan

Here is everything you need to know about the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Michigan
  • Length: 42 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: dirt
  • Managed By: Hi! The organization responsible for the maintenance and management of the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail is the Hiawatha National Forest.
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website:

The Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail holds a significant historical background that dates back centuries. This trail, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, was once a vital transportation route for Native American tribes and early European settlers. The trail follows the shoreline of Lake Michigan’s Little Bay de Noc and connects to the historic Grand Island, offering a glimpse into the region’s rich past.

Before European settlement, Native American tribes, including the Ojibwa (also known as Chippewa) and Menominee, utilized this trail for trade and travel. They recognized the strategic importance of the Bay de Noc area, which provided access to abundant natural resources such as fish, game, and wild rice. The trail served as a link between their villages and hunting grounds, enabling the tribes to maintain a thriving economy and cultural exchange.

With the arrival of European explorers and fur traders in the 17th century, the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail gained further significance. French voyageurs and fur traders utilized this trail to transport furs and supplies between the Great Lakes and the interior of the continent. The trail became an essential part of the fur trade network, connecting the French settlements of Sault Ste. Marie and Mackinac Island to the trading posts along the Bay de Noc.

As the region witnessed the establishment of permanent settlements in the 19th century, the trail continued to play a crucial role in the transportation of goods and people. It facilitated the growth of industries such as logging, fishing, and mining, which relied on the accessibility provided by the trail. The Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail became a lifeline for the local communities, enabling economic development and cultural exchange throughout the region.

Today, the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail stands as a testament to the historical significance of this area. It offers visitors an opportunity to explore the same paths that were once traversed by Native Americans, fur traders, and early settlers. The trail not only showcases the natural beauty of the region but also serves as a reminder of the rich history that shaped the communities along the shores of Little Bay de Noc and Grand Island.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Bay de Noc – Gladstone Trailhead: This is the starting point of the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail. It is located in Gladstone, Michigan, and provides parking facilities and access to the trail.

2. Rapid River Trailhead: Located in Rapid River, Michigan, this trailhead offers parking and access to the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail. It is a popular starting point for hikers and bikers.

3. Fayette Historic State Park: This historic park is located along the trail and serves as a trailhead for the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail. It offers parking, restrooms, and picnic areas for visitors.

4. Garden Corners Trailhead: Situated in Garden Corners, Michigan, this trailhead provides parking and access to the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail. It is a convenient starting point for those exploring the trail.

5. Manistique Trailhead: Located in Manistique, Michigan, this trailhead offers parking and access to the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail. It is a popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts to begin their journey.

6. Grand Island Ferry Dock: This access point is located in Munising, Michigan, and serves as a gateway to Grand Island. Visitors can take a ferry from here to reach the island and explore the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail.

7. Williams Landing: Situated on Grand Island, Williams Landing is a popular access point for the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail. Visitors can reach this landing by ferry and start their hike or bike ride from here.

8. Murray Bay Picnic Area: Located on Grand Island, this picnic area serves as an access point for the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail. It offers parking, picnic facilities, and restrooms for visitors.

9. Trout Bay Overlook: Situated on Grand Island, this overlook provides stunning views of Lake Superior and serves as an access point for the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail. Visitors can park their vehicles here and start their hike or bike ride.

10. Echo Lake Campground: This campground is located on Grand Island and serves as an access point for the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail. It offers camping facilities, parking, and access to the trail for visitors staying overnight.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail.

Transportation Available

1. Delta County Transit – Local public transportation service in Delta County.
2. Escanaba Taxi – Taxi service operating in Escanaba and surrounding areas.
3. Rapid River Shuttle – Shuttle service providing transportation in Rapid River and nearby locations.
4. Gladstone Taxi – Taxi service serving Gladstone and its vicinity.
5. Escanaba Area Public Schools Bus Service – School bus transportation for Escanaba area students.
6. Delta County Airport – Regional airport offering flights to various destinations.
7. Escanaba Greyhound Bus Station – Greyhound bus station in Escanaba, providing long-distance bus services.
8. Escanaba Amtrak Station – Amtrak train station in Escanaba, offering train services to different locations.
9. Escanaba Car Rental – Car rental service in Escanaba for convenient transportation.
10. Escanaba Bike Rentals – Bike rental service for exploring the area on two wheels.


The amenities available at the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail include:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available at various points along the trail for visitors’ convenience.

2. Parking: There are designated parking areas at the trailhead and other access points for visitors to park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: The trail offers camping sites for those who wish to spend the night. These sites may have amenities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water.

4. Picnic Areas: There are designated picnic areas along the trail where visitors can stop and enjoy a meal or snack. These areas may have picnic tables and benches.

5. Scenic Overlooks: The trail provides scenic overlooks where visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

6. Interpretive Signs: Throughout the trail, there are interpretive signs that provide information about the natural and cultural history of the area.

7. Trail Markers: The trail is well-marked with signs and markers to ensure visitors stay on the designated path.

8. Wildlife Viewing Areas: The trail passes through areas known for their wildlife, providing opportunities for visitors to observe and appreciate the local fauna.

9. Fishing Spots: The trail may have access points to fishing spots along the water, allowing visitors to enjoy fishing activities.

10. Water Access: The trail may provide access points to the water, allowing visitors to swim, kayak, or engage in other water-based activities.

Please note that the availability of these amenities may vary depending on the specific section of the trail and any regulations or restrictions in place. It is always recommended to check with local authorities or trail management for the most up-to-date information.

Nearby Services

1. Terrace Bay Hotel – Lakeside hotel offering comfortable accommodations with stunning views of Lake Michigan.
2. Quality Inn & Suites – Convenient hotel with modern amenities and easy access to the trail.
3. Sunset Lodge – Cozy lodge located near the trail, perfect for a peaceful retreat.
4. Econo Lodge – Budget-friendly hotel providing basic amenities for a comfortable stay.
5. Super 8 by Wyndham – Affordable lodging option with easy access to the trail and nearby attractions.
6. Bay de Noc Campground – Campground offering RV and tent sites for outdoor enthusiasts.
7. The Stonehouse – Quaint bed and breakfast with a charming atmosphere, ideal for a relaxing stay.
8. The Dock Grill & Bar – Waterfront restaurant serving delicious meals and refreshing drinks.
9. The Stonehouse Restaurant – Cozy eatery offering a variety of dishes in a historic setting.
10. Rapid River Pub – Local pub serving pub-style food and drinks, perfect for a casual meal.
11. Rapid River Mini Mart – Convenient store providing essential supplies and snacks for hikers.
12. Rapid River Fire Department – Emergency services available for any unforeseen incidents along the trail.

Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail Difficulty Notes

The Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail offers a moderate difficulty level for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Spanning approximately 42 miles, this trail provides a diverse range of terrains and landscapes, including forests, wetlands, and stunning Lake Superior shoreline. While the trail is well-maintained and clearly marked, it does present some challenges such as steep inclines, rocky sections, and occasional muddy patches. However, with proper preparation and hiking experience, adventurers can enjoy the rewarding experience of exploring this beautiful trail and its breathtaking views.

Features And Attractions

1. Bay de Noc: The trail starts along the beautiful Bay de Noc, offering stunning views of the water and surrounding landscapes.

2. Sand Point Lighthouse: Located in Escanaba, this historic lighthouse offers a picturesque view of Lake Michigan and the surrounding area.

3. Fayette Historic State Park: This well-preserved ghost town showcases the remains of an iron smelting community from the 19th century. Visitors can explore the historic buildings and learn about the area’s industrial past.

4. Garden Peninsula: As you continue along the trail, you’ll pass through the Garden Peninsula, known for its scenic beauty and charming small towns. The peninsula offers opportunities for hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing.

5. Hiawatha National Forest: The trail passes through parts of the Hiawatha National Forest, offering a chance to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area. The forest features dense forests, sparkling lakes, and abundant wildlife.

6. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore: Although not directly on the trail, the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a must-visit natural landmark nearby. This stunning stretch of Lake Superior shoreline features towering cliffs, colorful sandstone formations, and beautiful waterfalls.

7. Grand Island: The trail ends at Grand Island, a large island in Lake Superior. Accessible by ferry, the island offers opportunities for hiking, camping, and exploring its pristine natural beauty.

8. Munising Falls: Located near the trail’s endpoint, Munising Falls is a beautiful waterfall nestled in the forest. A short hike leads to the falls, where visitors can enjoy the serene surroundings.

9. Alger Underwater Preserve: Divers and snorkelers can explore the Alger Underwater Preserve, which protects several shipwrecks in Lake Superior. The preserve offers a unique opportunity to witness the underwater history of the area.

10. Kitch-iti-kipi: Although not directly on the trail, Kitch-iti-kipi is a natural spring located in Palms Book State Park. Visitors can take a self-operated raft to observe the crystal-clear water and the underwater formations.

These are just a few of the scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks that can be found along the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail.

Usage Guidelines

– Pets are allowed on the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail but must be kept on a leash at all times.
– There may be seasonal restrictions or closures due to weather conditions, such as heavy snowfall or flooding. It is recommended to check with local authorities or the trail management for current trail conditions before planning a visit.
– Camping or overnight stays may be prohibited along the trail. It is advisable to inquire about camping options or nearby accommodations if planning an extended visit.
– Littering is strictly prohibited. Visitors are expected to carry out any trash or waste they generate and dispose of it properly.
– Hunting or trapping activities may be restricted or prohibited along the trail. It is important to check with local authorities or the trail management for any specific regulations regarding hunting or trapping.
– Motorized vehicles, including ATVs or motorcycles, are generally not allowed on the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail. The trail is primarily intended for non-motorized activities such as hiking, biking, or horseback riding.
– Open fires may be restricted or prohibited along the trail, especially during dry or high-risk fire seasons. Visitors should inquire about any fire restrictions or guidelines in place before starting a fire.
– Respect for wildlife and their habitats is expected. Visitors should not disturb or harm any plants, animals, or natural features along the trail.
– It is recommended to stay on designated trails and avoid venturing off into restricted or private areas.
– Visitors are encouraged to practice Leave No Trace principles, which include minimizing impact, staying on designated trails, and packing out all trash.

Seasonal Information

The Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail is a picturesque hiking trail located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Spanning over 40 miles, this trail offers breathtaking views of Lake Superior, dense forests, and stunning rock formations. While the trail is open year-round, there are certain times of the year that are considered the best for visiting.

One of the most popular times to visit the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail is during the fall season. From late September to early November, the trail is adorned with vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow as the leaves change color. The crisp autumn air and the peacefulness of the trail make it an ideal time for hiking and enjoying the natural beauty of the area. Additionally, the fall season offers cooler temperatures, making it more comfortable for outdoor activities.

During the winter months, the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail transforms into a winter wonderland. The trail is open for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, providing a unique and serene experience for outdoor enthusiasts. The snow-covered landscape and frozen Lake Superior create a magical atmosphere, perfect for those seeking a peaceful and adventurous winter getaway.

It is important to note that the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail has seasonal closures in certain areas. The trail is closed to the public during the spring and early summer months due to nesting peregrine falcons on Grand Island. This closure is in place to protect the falcons and their habitat. It is recommended to check with the local authorities or the Hiawatha National Forest office for the most up-to-date information on trail closures and restrictions.

In conclusion, the best times to visit the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail are during the fall for the stunning foliage and during the winter for a unique winter adventure. However, it is important to be aware of the seasonal closures in place to protect the local wildlife. Whether you choose to visit during the vibrant fall season or the serene winter months, the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail promises a memorable and awe-inspiring experience for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.


1. Wheelchair Accessibility: The Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail offers wheelchair accessibility, allowing individuals with mobility challenges to navigate the trail comfortably.
2. Paved Pathways: The trail features paved pathways, ensuring a smooth and accessible surface for wheelchair users and individuals with mobility aids.
3. Accessible Restrooms: ADA-compliant restrooms are available along the trail, providing accessible facilities for individuals with disabilities.
4. Handicap Parking: Designated handicap parking spaces are provided near the trailhead, allowing easy access for individuals with disabilities.
5. Accessible Trailhead: The trailhead is designed to be accessible, featuring ramps, curb cuts, and other accommodations for individuals with mobility challenges.
6. Signage: The trail is equipped with clear and visible signage, including braille and tactile elements, to assist individuals with visual impairments.
7. Benches and Rest Areas: The trail offers accessible benches and rest areas at regular intervals, providing opportunities for individuals to take breaks and rest.
8. Assistance Animals: Service animals are permitted on the trail, ensuring individuals with disabilities have the necessary support during their visit.
9. Accessible Picnic Areas: ADA-compliant picnic areas are available along the trail, allowing individuals with disabilities to enjoy outdoor dining and recreation.
10. Trail Information: The trail provides accessible information boards and brochures, offering details about the trail’s features, distances, and points of interest for all visitors, including those with disabilities.

Safety Information

When visiting the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail, it is important to keep the following safety information in mind:

1. Trail Conditions: Before embarking on the trail, check the current trail conditions. Be aware of any closures, weather alerts, or potential hazards that may affect your safety.

2. Proper Gear: Wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the trail. Dress in layers to accommodate changing weather conditions. Carry essentials like a map, compass, flashlight, and a fully charged cell phone.

3. Hydration and Nutrition: Carry an adequate supply of water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized throughout your hike. It is essential to maintain your energy levels, especially on longer hikes.

4. Wildlife Awareness: The Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail is home to various wildlife species. Respect their habitat and keep a safe distance. Do not approach or feed any wild animals you encounter.

5. Insect Protection: During certain seasons, mosquitoes and ticks can be prevalent. Apply insect repellent and wear protective clothing to minimize the risk of insect bites and potential diseases.

6. Sun Protection: Protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. Seek shade when necessary to prevent sunburn and heat-related illnesses.

7. Stay on the Trail: Stick to designated trails and avoid venturing off the path. Straying from the trail can lead to getting lost or damaging the natural environment.

8. Emergency Preparedness: Familiarize yourself with the trail’s emergency procedures and know how to contact local authorities in case of an emergency. Share your hiking plans with someone and inform them of your expected return time.

9. Group Hiking: If possible, hike with a companion or in a group. Having others with you enhances safety and provides assistance in case of an emergency.

10. Leave No Trace: Respect the environment and leave no trace of your visit. Pack out all trash and dispose of it properly. Preserve the natural beauty of the trail for future visitors.

Remember, safety should always be a priority when exploring any trail. By following these guidelines, you can have an enjoyable and safe experience on the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail.

Conservation Notes

The Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail is a significant natural resource that is currently under conservation efforts to protect its unique ecosystem and biodiversity. The trail is located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and spans approximately 42 miles, offering stunning views of Lake Michigan, dense forests, and diverse wildlife habitats.

Conservation efforts for the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail primarily focus on preserving the natural vegetation and wildlife that inhabit the area. The trail passes through various types of ecosystems, including wetlands, forests, and shoreline habitats, which are home to a wide range of plant and animal species. These habitats provide essential breeding grounds, nesting sites, and food sources for numerous bird species, including migratory birds.

To ensure the conservation of this trail, measures have been taken to minimize human impact and maintain the delicate balance of the ecosystem. This includes implementing strict regulations on camping, fishing, and hunting activities along the trail. Additionally, educational programs and initiatives have been established to raise awareness about the importance of preserving the natural environment and respecting the wildlife that call this area home.

Efforts are also being made to control invasive species that pose a threat to the native flora and fauna. Invasive plants, such as Japanese knotweed and phragmites, are actively managed to prevent their spread and protect the integrity of the natural vegetation. Regular monitoring and restoration projects are conducted to ensure the long-term sustainability of the trail and its surrounding ecosystems.

Overall, the conservation status of the Bay de Noc – Grand Island Trail is actively managed to protect its unique natural features, promote biodiversity, and provide a sustainable recreational experience for visitors. Through ongoing conservation efforts, this trail continues to be a valuable asset for both the local community and nature enthusiasts, ensuring its preservation for future generations to enjoy.

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