Since the 1800s this island has been a popular harbor and fueling station. By the late 1840s there were piers on both the eastern and western sides of the island. The steamers traveling to and from Chicago and the Straits of Mackinac stopped at these piers to refuel. The island was inhabited for a time. Today North Manitou Island (like South Manitou Island) is an uninhabited island just off the coast of western Leelanau County. Since the mid 1800s families have lived on the island, remnants of their farms still survive and there is a cemetery at the southeast edge of the island. The village is composed of houses which were summer houses or hunting lodges. There are many miles of trail over the island and wilderness camping is allowed on the island.
Cool things to do: hike, swim, fish, check out the abandoned buildings – they are dangerous to go in.
Watch out for Poison Ivy! A way to help remember about Poison Ivy is this little rhyme: Leaves of three, let it be. Before you go check out Wikipedia: Poison Ivy to learn more about it. The Poison Ivy in Leelanau County is normally ground cover and not a shrub. As long as you do not touch the Poison Ivy you will be fine.
How to reach the island: you can take a personal boat or take the Manitou Transit, Manitou Transit only drops people off and picks them up, they do not stay at the island in order to pick passengers up later that day, if you go to the island plan on camping.