South Manitou Island, Leland

4.8
Island · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
South Manitou Island is located in Lake Michigan, approximately 16 miles (26 km) west of Leland, Michigan. It is part of Leelanau County and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The uninhabited island is 8.277 sq mi (21.44 km2) in land area and can be accessed by a ferry service from Leland. Guided tours on open-air vehicles are available to visitors, but most traffic is on foot. Larger North Manitou Island lies to its north.

The island is 3 miles (4.8 km) wide and 3 miles (4.8 km) long. It is part of an island chain that extends north to the Straits of Mackinac. The island consists of a ridge of tilted layers of limestone, buried under a blanket of glacial debris. Glaciers carved out the Lake Michigan basin. When the basin filled with water, the peaks of the ridge remained exposed as islands. During post-glacial times, winds blowing on the high, sandy bluffs on the west side of the island moved sand inland, forming sand dunes. Florence Lake is the island's only inland lake. The island has a system of trails and campsites.

A growth of Northern white cedars on the southwestern corner of the island are among the oldest and largest in the world. The largest is 18 ft (5.5 m) around and is estimated to be over 500 years old.
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South Manitou Island reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
11 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • great anchorage to comfortably stay the night. trails and historical farms to explore! bring a bug net mask though  more »
  • This pair of island are a hop away from Traverse City. If you take the public ferry, you will park at Leland and take the hour long trip. For day trippers, there's nice clean beaches and lighthouse...  more »
Google
  • The island was gorgeous, this is a must see place , a hidden gem. Either you can go for just a day tour or camp out for a few days up to a week!
  • Good place to get away to. Not for tofs

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