Channel Marker Campsite on Grand Island

Area Status: Closed

Some of the highlights of Grand Island, a Congressionally designated National Recreation Area (NRA) include:

  • Massive 300-foot wave-cut sandstone cliffs
  • 13,500 acres of lush forest
  • Beaches of fine sand
  • Winter ice caves
  • Historic buildings and artifacts dating back as far as 2,000 B.C.

The island's scenic natural beauty and interesting history make it an attractive place for camping and other outdoor activities.

Channel Marker Campsite Information:

  • Hike in, bike in or boat in only.
  • Public vehicles are not allowed on the Island.
  • Located on the southwest tip of Grand Island near Merchandise Beach.
  • Close proximity (0.5 miles) to William's Landing (ferry service arrival point, water, and visitor information center).
  • Located approximately 75 yards from Lake Superior and Murray Bay Beach.
  • Accessed via the island's trail system and is accessible to kayakers via the unnamed beach approximately 0.5 miles west of William's Landing.
  • Leave your kayak on the beach, and walk approximately 100 feet inland to the campsite.
  • Accommodates up to 6 people.

Drinking Water for Channel Marker Campsite:

  • Drinking water is available at Williams Landing, Juniper Flats, Farrell Cottage and Murray Bay Day Use Area.
  • If traveling elsewhere on the island, bring water with you or filter/boil/treat surface water.

Latrine and Other Amenities:

Near the campsites you will find:

  • Latrine
  • Food storage pole and locker
  • Fire ring
  • Benches
  • Firewood

Washing and Bathing

  • Keep soaps and detergents out of lakes and streams.
  • Wash dishes and clothes in a pot.
  • Dispose of the wastewater in a hole at least 100 feet from the nearest water supply.
  • Bathe in a similar manner.

Pack Out What You Pack In:

  • There are no supplies available on the Island.
  • There are also no trash cans on the Island.
  • Be prepared to pack in and pack out everything you need.

Be Black Bear Aware:

  • Black bears live on Grand Island.
  • Information is available at the Ranger District on how to prevent and survive bear encounters.
  • Be prepared to store your food and all consumable and scented items, including trash, on the bear pole at the site.
  • Never leave food unattended in campsite.


The mosquitoes and black flies can be very bad from Mid-May to mid-July. Be sure to bring plenty of insect repellant and even a head net during those months.

Watch Your Step:

Avoid climbing on or standing along the sandstone cliffs. The sandstone is very fragile and may not support your weight.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Reservations required.
Operational Hours: Beginning May, 2022
  • Check-in Time: 2 pm
  • Check-out Time: 11 am
Reservations: Reservations for Channel Marker Campsite and an interactive map can be accessed at:
Fees: Federal Recreation Passes (Golden/America the Beautiful) are accepted.  
Permit Info: Camping at Channel Marker is by reservation only. Walk ins are not allowed during peak season. This campsite can be reserved for up to 4 consecutive days. Reservations are required and can be made up to and including the day of arrival.  Reservations are made on our National Recreation Reservation System. To check availability of the campsites or to make a reservation, call 877-444-6777 or go to Reservations are not required for off season use (Oct 12-May 25th). However, transportation to the Island is not available during the off season. Travel to and from the Island over the ice is not recommended. For more information about winter access to Grand Island, contact the Munising Ranger District at 906-387-2512.
Open Season: Friday before Memorial Day - Columbus Day

General Information


Grand Island is located in Lake Superior, about one-half mile from the mainland community of Munising, Michigan. Munising is about 43 miles from Marquette and 55 miles from Manistique.

Visitors can reach the island via passenger ferry (Grand Island Ferry Service) or private watercraft.

The ferry departs from Grand Island Landing on the mainland, located on M-28, about 3 to 4 miles west of the Munising's blinking light. Look for the Grand Island NRA signs. Prices and schedules vary from season to season.

For information or reservations, call (906) 387-2600 or visit their website at

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

Channel Marker is one of 17 campsites on Grand Island.

Boating - Motorized

Personal watercraft (SeaDoo/Jet Ski) are not allowed on the shores of Grand Island.

Boat Access:

  • There is no boat launch or public dock facility on Grand Island.
  • The dock at Williams Landing can be used for loading and unloading only. Boats may not park at the dock.

There are a number of sand beaches where a boat could pull right up to shore. The following three ares have the largest sand beaches with little to no rock obstructions:

  • Murray Bay
  • Trout Bay
  • North Light Creek

There are several areas around the perimeter of the island where kayakers can gain access. Be aware that there are very few locations on the northwest and northeast sides that are not cliff.



The lake bottom is sandy, sandy with small rocks, or solid rock depending on what site you choose.

Lake Superior can be cold with average high temperatures reaching only the high 60s (degrees Fahrenheit).

Be cautious when swimming because this area has not been checked for possible hazards.

Please remember, you swim at your own risk.

Children should be attended at all times. 

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities



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