North Manitou Island Back Country Regulations
North Manitou is managed as wilderness with the exception of an 27-acre area around the village located along the east side of the island. Travel in the wilderness area is by foot only. We ask that visitors practice the 7-principles of Leave No Trace to ensure the wilderness is preserved for future generations to enjoy.
- Camping permit and fee payment must be completed before camping.
- Camping is strictly prohibited within 300 feet of the Lake Michigan high water mark, lakes, streams, ponds, springs, other campsites, and buildings, including historic farm structures.
- Must camp at least 200 feet from trails.
- The Village Campground contains seven designated individual sites and one group campsite on a first come first serve basis. There is a limit of two tents and four people per individual sites, group camping is limited to 5-10 people within the designated group site.
- Campsite "improvements" such as the construction of rock walls, log benches, tree bough beds, new fire rings, and trenches are prohibited.
- Open fires are prohibited in the wilderness area.
- Fires are prohibited on the beach
- Fires are permitted in community fires rings in the Village campground when weather conditions permit
- Waste food and trash should not be burned in the fire pits
- Keep fires small and do not leave them unattended.
- All fires must be properly extinguished with water prior to departure or when left unattended
- Dead and down wood may be collected for fires in the village campground. Gas stoves are permitted in the wilderness area.
WATER AND SANITATION
- Potable water is available only in the village. All other water should be treated.
- Washing is not permitted at/in any water source
- Outhouses are located only in the village and Village Campground.
- All human waste and toilet paper must be buried at least 6 inches deep or packed out.
- Solid human waste holes (cat holes) must be used out of sight and at least 100 feet from trails, campsites, buildings and must be 300 feet from water.
- Info on water and sanitation.
FOOD STORAGE AND TRASH
- Because of animals, campers should not store any food in tents or backpacks. Food should be stored in durable bags and suspended from a tree about 6 feet above the ground.
- All trash must be packed out. Trash cans are located in the Village. Please place empty fuel cans next to the cans.
- State of Michigan fishing license is required
- Only artificial lures are allowed on or in Lake Manitou, and Tamarack Lake
- Bass must be at least 18 inches in size and there is a daily limit of one
- Boats without motors are permitted on the inland lakes, (wheels may not be used in transporting boats to the lakes)
- Any watercraft brought to the island to be used in the inland lakes must be decontaminated free of charge by rangers to prevent the spread of non-natives.
- Pets are prohibited on the island due to disturbance to visitors and wildlife
- Bicycles, wheeled vehicles, motorized equipment are prohibited.
- Explosives including fireworks are prohibited
- Because of nesting piping plover, an endangered species, Dimmicks's Point area is closed to hikers from May 1st through August 15th.
- Boaters may use the dock for unloading and loading only. Maximum tie-up time is 30 minutes and must not interfere with ferry service operations.
- North Manitou Island DOES NOT have protected anchorage. Boaters who anchor their craft offshore do so at their own risk.