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Drummond Island Michigan: Ultimate Guide

Discover Drummond Island: Michigan’s Best-Kept Secret

Longing for a pure Michigan island vacation but don’t want to deal with crowds? With stunning views and fun attractions, Drummond Island is Michigan’s best-kept secret. If you’re looking for a unique trip idea, this island in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula might be exactly the getaway spot you need!

Drummond Island sits in Lake Huron just east of the Upper Peninsula. It’s home to pretty scenery, outdoor adventure spots, shopping, and dining. It’s also a favorite Michigan destination for vacationers who flock to the quiet island year-round for its amazing trails, gorgeous scenery, and unique shoreline.

Drummond Island: Gem of Lake Huron

Dubbed the “Gem of Lake Huron” by the Drummond Island Tourism Association, it’s recognized for its natural beauty. The many interesting natural features of the island, including fossilized ledges; tiny islands off the coast; and 34 inlands lakes. They make it a fun area to explore, and a great spot for outdoor activities.

We’ve prepared this ultimate visitor’s guide to beautiful Drummond Island, Michigan to help you start planning your island adventure.

Drummond Island Michigan
Drummond Island

About Drummond Island: Top Upper Peninsula Travel Destination

Drummond Island is a unique place to get away in Northern Michigan.

It’s the second largest freshwater island (second only to Isle Royale in Lake Superior) in the United States, andit’s also the seventh-largest lake island in the world. The island spans a total of 249 square miles across water and land.

One of the state’s true travel treasures, this is a destination that can be enjoyed any time of year.

History of Drummond Island MI

Drummond Island has a fascinating history that dates back more than 200 years.

The island is named after Gordon Drummond, the first Canadian-born military and civil government officer in British Canada. The British had control after the War of 1812, until American gained possession in 1828.

Drummond Island

How to Get to Drummond Island Michigan

Since it’s an Island, getting there is part of the fun. Visitors can get to and from the island by boat or airplane. Be sure to check the Drummond Island Ferry Schedule if you plan to visit.

By Air: Fly into Drummond Island Airport located at 34264 S Townline Rd, Drummond, MI 49726. Connecting airports are Chippewa International Airport, about 45 miles from the island, and Pellston Regional Airport, about 93 miles from the island.

By Drummond Island Ferry: Hop in your vehicle of choice and take a one-mile car ferry ride across the St. Mary’s River to the island. Ticket prices and times vary depending on if you’re in a car, truck, motor home, camper, trailer, etc. Walk-on passengers can also ride the ferry over for $2.

Kayaking on Drummond Island Michigan

Best Things to Do on Drummond Island

Try Out Some Water Activities

Since Drummond Island is located in the heart of Lake Huron, 35 miles from the Straits of Mackinac, there are more water activities available than you could ever dream of.

It’s not just the surrounding Great Lakes that make it a haven for water lovers. There are also 34 inland lakes on the island, and clear, blue Potagannissing Bay is home to many small islands just off the coast.

Visitors can relax on one of the island’s many beaches, catch a fish (or two), and go boating or sailing.

Kayak the Drummond Island Heritage Water Trail

Need an idea for a great kayak trip? The Drummond Island Heritage Water Trail is a 60-mile loop of water links around the island, which can be broken off into paddle trips.

The water trail is a great way to see many of the unique features of the island, like the Fossil Ledges. These ledges are the remains of fossilized coral beds and are amazing to see from the water.

Be sure to check in with the Drummond Island Outfitter to make sure you have a map and everything else you need for your kayaking trip.

15 places to go bird watching in michigan

Go Bird Watching

Bird watching is a popular pastime on the island, which is a natural habitat for numerous bird species such as loons, grebes, waterfowls, and owls. There are eight designated bird watching spots along the North Huron Birding Trail.

Go Off-Roading on a Drummond Island Trail

Off-roading on ATVs and ORVs is a popular attraction due to the abundance of accessible trails. With 60 miles of atv trails and 40 miles of ORV routes, Drummond Island is Michigan’s largest closed loop off road trail system.

Beaver’s ATV Rental, 35239 E. Johnswood Road offers ATV and UTV rentals for guests who want to get out into nature and try their hand at off-roading.

Explore the Drummond Island Historical Museum

This museum, which was built using hand-hewn Drummond Island logs, focuses on the history of the island through the artifacts of Native Americans, Finnish farmers, and Yankee settlers.

Additionally, it features displays on the British Fort Drummond, the lumber era, sporting camps, ferry boats, and the island’s fishing and boating heritage. The fireplace in the museum is crafted from stones from the chimney of the Fort Drummond.

puddingtonstone on drummond island
Large Piece of Puddingtone

Search for Drummond Island Puddingstones

Michigan has many special rocks like the Petoskey Stone. Puddingstones are very unique, too, and worth searching for. Also known as “Jasper Conglomerate,” Puddingstone’s are conglomerate rocks with bits of red Jasper, and are thought to be almost a billion years old!

You’ll spot them along the coast, and gift shops, too. Many visitors people use them for jewelry and mementos to mark their visit to the island.

Take a Hike on a Trail

If you’re looking to hike some picturesque Northern Michigan trails while visiting Drummond Island, there are plenty of options. Drummond Island Heritage Trail is one mile perfect for nature hiking and snowshoeing in the winter months.

Clyde and Martha Williams Preserve Trail can be found on Maxton Road and is 1.3 miles long. visitors can hike, snowshoe, and cross-country ski.

The five-mile Rainbow Cross Country Trail located on Maxton Road is best for cross-country skiing.

Snowshoe Hare on Drummond Island
Snowshoe Hare on Drummond Island

More Things To Do on Drummond Island

Visit Harbor Island National Wildlife Refuge

This national wildlife refuge is a horseshoe-shaped island in the middle of Potagannissing Bay that can only be reached by boat and is popular for its sandy beaches. You’ll find tall hardwoods and marshes inland that provide a habitat for native species such as ruffled grouse, snowshoe hare, and white-tailed deer on Harbor Island.

Go Birdwatching on Drummond Island

Birdwatching is a must if you’re visiting Drummond Island.

The North Huron Birding Trail highlights seven spots perfect for catching views of species including, Yellow Rail, Leconte’s Sparrow, the Common Loon, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Osprey, and Sandhill Crane, to name a few.

Viewing locations along the trail are Pigeon Cove Flooding, Drummond Island Township Park and Heritage Trail, Williams Nature Preserve, Potagannissing Wildlife Flooding, Drummond Island GEMS site, Maxton Plains Alvar and Glen Cove Road.

Go on a Shopping Spree

For rainy or cold days, there are over a dozen shops and stores to visit to get out of the bad weather.

You can find the perfect souvenir for yourself or a gift from a loved one in a range of fudge, candy, meats, and Michigan wines, to clothing, hunting, and fishing supplies.

Tall Ship in Drummond Island
Tall Ship Near Drummond Island

Sail on the Drummond Island Tall Ship

If you want to get a good feel for the area, climb aboard the Schooner Huron Jewel and take a day sail around the island. You’re close to Canada here, so you might catch a glimpse of the Canadian coastline and St. Joseph Island, too.

The Drummond Island Tall Ship cruises are a relaxing way to take in the Great Lakes, and they’re quite popular, too, with many return visitors. Choose from two-hour trips to longer sails.

Check out a Festival

Drummond Island is home to seasonal festivals throughout the year, including Fall Fest, an off-roading festival called Jeep the Mac, and the Annual Golf Classic.

snowmobile on drummond island

Snowmobile in the Winter

Summer is not the only season to have fun outdoors on Drummond Island, thanks to its miles of snowmobile trails. The Drummond Island Resort offers rentals of snowmobiles.

The Drummond Island International Ice Bridge

One of the most unique features of visiting Drummond Island in the winter is the international ice bridge, which spans across the frozen water to St. Joseph Island, Ontario, Canada. The only international ice bridge in the world, you can snowmobile, dogsled, fat-tire bike, hike or cross-country ski across the bridge. Make sure to check with government regulations before you go.

There are many options for winter lodging, too, which you can find below.

Visit Drummond Island in the Fall

If you’re planning your trip to see Michigan fall colors, be sure and check out our fall color map which predicts the best time to see fall foliage at its peak. Fall in Michigan is one of the most beautiful seasons, and a citing in the fall is a wonderful way to see pure Michigan beauty at its best.

tahquemnon falls - best state parks in michigan
Photo of Tahquameon Falls by Paige Riccobono

Things to See and Do Near Drummond Island

Les Cheneaux Islands are a group of 36 small islands along the northern shore of Lake Huron in the eastern Upper peninsula. Be sure to explore this unique area.

DeTour Village

You’ll pick up the ferry to the island here but spend some time checking out this unique spot. The DeTour Passage Historical Museum features displays relating to early marine operations, social and governmental activities, pioneer families, Native American history, and life in the early years of the area.

Tahquamenon Falls

Located about three hours to the northwest, Tahquamenon Falls is a top travel destination and tourist attraction in Michigan. The largest falls east of the Mississippi River, you can easily hike the short, accessible trails to take in the beauty as the water cascades over both the Upper Falls and Lower Falls.

lodge on drummond island

Where to Stay on Drummond Island MI

Stay at one of the many lodging options to kick back and relax on “island time.” Visitors can choose from resorts, cottages, hotels, vacation rentals, campgrounds and more. There are perfect places for every season of the year.

Drummond Island Hotel
34834 S Townline Rd., Drummond Island, MI 49726

This cozy, quite, comfortable hotel open year-round is located near many of the Island’s marinas, beaches, ATV/ORV and snowmobile trails. Choose from a regular room or a suite.
The hotel has a picnic area for guests fit with charcoal grill and fire pit. Pets are welcome too!

Drummond Island Vacation Home Rentals
34834 South Townline Rd., Drummond Island, MI 49726

Choose from over a dozen waterfront or inland rental properties on the island to stay at. If you stay in a waterfront rental, you can go kayaking, boating, fishing, swiming or watch sunsets on the beach.

Drummond Island Resort and Conference Center
33494 S. Maxton Rd., Drummond Island, MI 49726

If you’re visiting the island, consider staying at this favorite four-season resort. Book one of the 40 lodge-style, wood-themed rooms or try one of the resort’s 16 cabins. Guests have access to amenities including cross country skis, snow shoes, ice skates, kayaks, canoes, bikes, sauna, fitness room, volleyball, horseshoes, an outdoor heated pool and more.

The resort is also a great spot for conferences, retreats or weddings.

Drummond Island RV Park
32884 S Maxton Rd., Drummond, MI 49726

This campground, located in the Northern portion of the island about six miles from the ferry dock, can accommodate RVs and tents. Each campsite comes with a picnic table and fire pit. About half the sites have electric hookups.

Guests can check out Drummond Island Heritage Trail inside the park for fun outdoor activities, including hiking and bird watching.

restaurants on drummond island

Best Places to Eat and Drink on Drummond Island MI

There are many good options for dining on the island, including these top spots.

Bear Track Resturant
33655 S Townline Rd Drummond, MI 4972

This family-owned restaurant located on South Townline Road offers breakfast and lunch to visitors of the island. The menu features pancakes, biscuits and gravy, omlettes, sandwiches, burgers, salads and more.

Northwood Resturant and Bar
29944 E Channel Rd., Drummond Island, MI 49726

This historic restaurant is open daily for all three meals and offers plenty of Northern Michigan cuisine options. Try the fresh whitefish, Angus beef burgers, pasties, soups, salads, homemade desserts and more. The bar features a drink menu of cocktails, wine, beer and liquors.

Bayside Restaurant and Lounge
33494 S. Maxton Rd., Drummond Island, MI 49726

This restaurant located inside the Drummond Island Resort and Conference Center is the only waterfront eatery, offering relaxing bayside dining.

Choose from a variety of delicious gourmet menu items, and if you’re looking for a tasty drink, check out the full bar. Guests can dine inside or outside on the deck.

Esther’s Authentic Mexican Cuisine
29299 E Channel Rd., Drummond, MI 4972

For visitors looking to grab some authentic Mexican food on the island, Esther’s is the perfect spot for lunch or dinner. This is a cute, colorful eatery with tasty food including burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, quesadillas and more. Be sure to check out the daily specials and yummy desserts.

Gourmet Galley Marketplace and Delicatessen & Espresso Bean Cafe
30420 E Johnswood Rd., Drummond, MI 4972

If you’re looking for a delicious sandwich or something sweet on the island, check out Gourmet Galley Marketplace and Delicatessen and the Espresso Bean Cafe.

This one-stop shop offers a variety of deli meats, including a famous ruben sandwich. Anyone with a sweet-tooth can try fresh, homemade fudge, Ashby’s ice cream and an array of coffee options.

Is Drummond Island Worth Visiting?

Drummond Island, Michigan, located in Lake Huron near the Canadian border, is the largest island in Michigan and definitely worth a visit. This four-season vacation destination is perfect for you if love boating, hiking, kayaking, sailing, birdwatching or simple relaxing in Michigan’s natural beauty.

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About The Author-
Madeline Warren is a content writing intern for After growing up in the Lansing area, she now attends Michigan State University where she majors in Journalism with a minor in Public Relations. In additon to My Michigan Beach, she has bylines in The State News at MSU and The Lookout at Lansing Community College. In her free time, Madeline loves spending time with her family, friends and dog, attending concerts and sporting events and of course, finding new places to travel.