2019 Trip: South Manitou Island

 Schedule Below, Age 10-12

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On Friday morning we will depart from our headquarters, Moose Hall, to Leland, where we will board the ferry for the one-hour transit to the island. There is no shortage of sights to see, so the next two days will be jam packed with exploration:

South Manitou was once a hub of maritime commerce because of the natural harbor Crescent Bay. A considerable economy grew around provisioning these ships, but as maritime shipping dwindled, so too did the island’s population. In the early 1970’s the island became a part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

The artifacts those folks left behind are some of the island’s most popular destinations: Lighthouse tours, hikes to the overlook of the shipwrecked Francisco Morazan (1960), old farm houses and graveyards are all staples of a Crystalaire trip. On top of that, the island is home to some of the world’s largest white cedars! You’re in for a busy three days!

South Manitou Island is Crystalaire Adventures’ second home. We even owned a cabin there before Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore existed. Nowadays, we opt for tents and a campsite, but that doesn’t change our connection to the island! Between the lighthouse, shipwrecks, dune climb and beautiful beaches, there’s no place that captures the history, culture and ecology of Northern Michigan quite like South Manitou Island.

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