There’s quite a bit of history in these Islands, along with some pristine cruising grounds to hike and enjoy. Get a sailboat, cruise up, anchor, row ashore and enjoy the beauty of the Isles of Lake Michigan.
1 Bassett Island nee Marion and Power Island – West Lower Grand Traverse Bay
Bassett (2 acres) and originally named Marion Island after the daughter of the man who purchased it in 1880 (200 acres, or 3,000ft X 5,0000ft) is connected via an isthmus, in low water years one can walk between the Islands, in high water years, you’ll get wet if not in a boat. One may kayak or use other boat to a dock to reach the Islands, and can camp (campground permit required). It provides 4 campsites, forested, boat dock, picnic areas, five miles of trails and sandy beaches. There is a shuttle from shore available too. Drinking water is available, outhouse, pets must be leashed, and carry your trash with you back to shore. At one time, Marion Island was owned from 1917 – 1944 by Henry Ford which included visits from Harvey Firestone and Thomas Edison. The Island had paddle wheel steamships visits and two story dance pavilion (early 1900’s to 1917) to which people flocked to. Eventually Eugene and Sayde Power contributed $250,000 in 1975 to buy the Islands and bestowed them upon Grand Traverse County to prevent the Islands from being developed. Grand Traverse County changed the name to Power Island in 1987. Deer, and bald eagles have been seen on the Island.
2 Bellow Island nee Gull Island, Fisher’s Island, Bell Island, Fish Island, and Trout Island.
In Northport Bay in Grand Traverse Bay is Bellow Island which is 1,000ft X 500ft. A low gravel island covered with shrubs. Somewhere around 1900 a family built a home on the Island only to find massive competition from the birds. The family introduced skunks, foxes and snakes to eradicate the birds. It took 25 years and the birds won out. The house was abandoned, left for vandals, and all that remains today are two chimneys. Today it is owned by the Nature Conservancy and is a bird rookery. There are 2,000 herring gull nests, and 100 cormorant nests in the trees. Tresspassing is forbidden.
3 Fisherman Island – 4 miles Southwest of Charlevoix
Connected to the mainland via an isthmus. Lush with native wildflowers, trees and bushes. Part of Fisherman Island State Park. 1,000ft X 400ft.
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