Now here is a camping trip! 15,000 acres of wilderness with a visitor use concept that emphasizes solitude, self-reliance and a sense of exploration. Camping on North Manitou is "open": you choose the campsite! The primary visitor activities include hiking, swimming, backcountry camping and backpacking. The island itself is home to a large whitetail deer herd and is the summer range for a variety of raptors (including the Bald Eagle). In the fall, special trips are available for hunters. Wilderness camping regulations are in effect on North Manitou Island. A backcountry permit and fee payment must be completed before camping. Permits are available on the island and on the mainland. All trash must be packed off the island. Camping is prohibited within 300 feet of the Lake Michigan high water mark, lakes, streams, ponds, springs, buildings or other camps. Camping is prohibited on any trail. Groups are limited to a maximum of 10 people. Transportation to the Island is via passenger ferry or private boat.
The small Village Campground is the only designated campground and it contains eight designated campsites, two fire rings, and one outhouse. There is a limit of two tents and four people per site. PLEASE NOTE THAT CAMPING FEES ARE CHARGED BY THE SLEEPING BEAR DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE.