@Drummond Island Tall Ship Co

Drummond Island

Drummond Island is off the coast of the far eastern end of the Upper Peninsula. It is an adventure-packed, recreational paradise that doubles as a relaxing year-round “Island Time” destination. Whatever your passion — time on the water, off-roading, golfing, hiking, snowmobiling, scuba-diving for shipwrecks or just kicking back  — you can fill your days on Drummond Island doing what you love most. 

Drummond Island Quick Facts

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  • Drummond Island is the second-largest island in the Great Lakes, surpassed only by Ontario, Canada’s Manitoulin Island, also in Lake Huron. With its 87,000 acres (nearly 60% state-owned), it also boasts of being the eighth-largest lake island in the world! 

  • The island is named after Gordon Drummond, the first Canadian-born officer to command the military and the civil government of British Canada. 

  • It became part of the United States (and eventually Michigan) in the 1814 Treaty of Ghent; British troops, however, didn’t abandon Fort Drummond until 1828. 

  • Drummond Island has over 150 miles of shoreline and 30 bays and coves.

  • It also has 34 inland lakes and an extensive river system.

  • Weather on the island, average temperatures: summer highs are in the mid-70s/lows in the mid-50s; fall highs range from the upper 60s in September to mid-30s in November/lows range from the low 50s in September to 30s in November; winter highs in the mid-20s/lows in the teens, average annual snowfall 81 inches; spring highs range from mid-30s in March to low-60s in May; lows range from 18 degrees in March to low 40s in May.

Arrive year-round by the Drummond Island ferry

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From ancient days, people have reached the island by watercraft. If you have a boat, you can rent a transient or seasonal slip at Drummond Island Yacht Haven, conveniently located on Potagannissing Bay, But most people arrive by the Drummond Island car ferry, departing from DeTour Village. The ferry runs hourly all year, bringing passengers and their cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles, and semi-trucks to and from the island. It takes only 10-15 minutes to cross the St. Marys River for your island adventure!

There are two other ways to access Drummond Island. If you own or charter an airplane, the centrally located Drummond Island Airport is on Townline Road and has a paved runway. The runway runs between the fourth and fifth holes on the Drummond Island Township Golf Course which makes it a unique summer landing/take-off experience!

In the winter, when the ice is safe, you also can ride your snowmobile across the international ice bridge between Drummond Island and St. Joseph Island, Ontario. Access the frozen bridge at Drummond Island Yacht Haven.

Top 10 things to do on Drummond Island

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1.  Bring your ATV, ORV or UTV to the off-roading paradise of Michigan. With over 60 miles of ATV trails and 40 miles of ORV routes, Drummond Island offers Michigan’s largest closed-loop, off-road trail system. Whether you are a first-timer or a long-time mud sprayer, you will ride through dense, hardwood forests (especially gorgeous in the summer and fall), wildflower-strewn meadows and over thrilling rocky ridges. If you don’t have an ORV, rent one at Beaver’s ATV Rental & Repair. Want to meet others who have off-road adrenaline coursing through their veins? Participate in the annual Jeep the Mac, Jeep Jamboree and Trek the Mighty Mac events. 

2.  There’s a reason Pure Michigan voted Drummond Island the #1 Place to Snowmobile. Ride just shy of 80 miles of scenic groomed trails and rarely meet another sled. Other ways to enjoy winter include ice fishing, ice skating, cross-country skiing on 11 miles of groomed trails or snowshoeing on 12 miles of trails. 

3.  Make it an island eco-adventure. Nature enthusiasts, this is your wilderness destination every season. Birdwatchers especially enjoy the spring and fall migrations. A good place to watch is on the  North Huron Birding Trail with its seven spectacular birdwatching locations. Expect to see Yellow Rail, LeConte’s Sparrow, the Common Loon, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Red-necked Grebe, Great Blue Heron, Osprey, Sandhill Crane and more.
Drummond Island also has four designated hiking trails and 117 miles of state land off-road vehicle trails where you can cinch your boots and explore. You will traverse many different habitats through sun and shade.

4.  Visit many must-see points of interest. If you must narrow your choices, make Maxton Plains Preserve a priority — it is one of the finest examples of alvar grassland in the world. Here, see plants native to the Arctic tundra, Great Plains and the Great Lakes, including the beautiful prairie smoke that blooms from mid-May to mid-June. Also, go to the island’s north shore and walk on the ledges made from the fossilized remains of a saltwater coral bed. It requires some off-roading to get there, but it’s an adventure you will be glad you made. 

5.  Spend time on the beach. There are three public beaches, all with sandy shorelines, some with colorful rocks and others with rounded pebbles. Most are shallow for up to 100 yards, so you can comfortably bring small children. One adventure the entire family will enjoy is walking out from Drummond Island Township Beach to a neighboring island.

6.  Discover water fun everywhere! Beautiful Potagannissing Bay with its numerous islands as well as Drummond Island’s over 30 inland lakes, make this a natural place to go boating, sailing, paddling or fishing. Kayakers and canoeists, add the Drummond Island Heritage Water Trail to your itinerary and take in the points of interest on its 60-mile loop. Sailors, don’t miss the dream opportunity of raising the sails and taking the helm aboard a tall ship. Learn about 2-hour daysails to 4-day trips available from the Drummond Island Tall Ship Company

7.  Hunt for puddingstones on the beaches and in the forests. The Jasper Conglomerate got its nickname, puddingstone, from the first British settlers who thought they looked like boiled suet pudding with berries. These collector stones come in all sizes from small pebbles to as big as a dump truck! If you want to make your search easier, stop in one of the local shops where you can bring home puddingstones made into bookends, coasters, jewelry and more.

8.  Watch national and international freighters move through the shipping lanes. Look for these massive cargo ships as you drive along M-134, while waiting for the ferry in DeTour Village or as they cruise near the ferry while you are crossing the St. Marys River. 

9.  See shipwrecks in the DeTour Passage Underwater Preserve. There are 16 ships and one sunken construction crane in shallow enough water for scuba divers to explore near Drummond Island. But, you don’t need to wear diving gear to get a view of two of the shipwrecks. Launch your kayak at Big Shoal Bay Beach along Scammon Cove, Then paddle over the wreck of the schooner barge TROY lying in 5-10 feet of water (some of its wooden ribs stick out of the water). Just off Meade Island, you can paddle over the tug SILVER SPRAY visible in 5-10 feet of water. 

10.  Golf 27 holes surrounded by island beauty. The Rock at Drummond Island Resort is our championship, 18-hole gem carved out of hardwood and cedar forests and limestone. Register for an early or late tee time for the best viewing of wetland and woods wildlife. The Drummond Island Township Golf Course is a nine-hole, par 36 course with affordable rates. As mentioned earlier, the airport runway cuts through the course so watch for not only deer but airplanes as you play!

Where to stay on Drummond Island

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Pick a season, then a night or two, a week or longer, and book your stay. Choose from a variety of island lodgings offering a spectrum of amenities as well as the comforts of home that make it easy to sleep and hard to leave. The island staff and rates will entice you to come back again and again.
Resorts & Cottages
Vacation Rentals & Condos
Winter lodgings

Plan to visit Drummond Island soon and often

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As you put together your adventure plans on Drummond Island, make it easier with our plan your trip guide. If you need advice or more information, we are ready to help. Reach out to the Upper Peninsula Travel & Recreation Association or learn more about the island from the Drummond Island Tourism Association.