You’d Never Know One Of The Most Incredible Natural Wonders In Michigan Is Hiding On This Island
The Great Lake State boasts many impressive natural wonders such as Kitch-iti-kipi, Pictured Rocks, and Tahquamenon Falls. But there is a lesser-known natural wonder on South Manitou Island, Michigan that deserves to be explored. Get ready to plan your bucket list trip to this uninhabited island.
Valley of the Giants is located on South Manitou Island in Lake Michigan, approximately 16 miles west of Leland. The island is eight square miles and is part of the Leelanau County and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Head to Leland to embark on the Manitou Island Transit ferry service which generally operates from May through October.
You can take the 1.5-hour ferry ride to South Manitou Island for a day trip to visit the lighthouse, have a picnic, see a shipwreck, or explore a hidden natural wonder.
South Manitou Island has gorgeous Lake Michigan shores, but the real treasure of this island is hidden deep within the forest.
On the southern side of the island, take the 6.9-mile trail hike to view one of Michigan’s last stands of virgin timber. Giant white cedars loom over 100 feet tall and some are over 500 years old.
The cedars have survived this long by dodging the loggers’ saws in the 1800s. The trees had sand blown into their bark from nearby bluffs so they were spared for us to enjoy today.
Guided tours are offered and can help you spot wildlife like this delightful tree frog in the forest.
South Manitou’s old-growth forest is an ethereal, secluded, and once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Valley of the Giants should be on every Michigan hiker’s bucket list.
To view the ferry schedule and what else the island has to offer, visit the Manitou Island Transit website or Facebook page. Have you been to this incredible remote island before? Let us know about your experience. If you have a favorite Michigan hiking trail or hidden natural wonder, let us know about it by submitting a nomination form.
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Address: South Manitou Island, Glen Arbor Township, MI, USA