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My 6 night trip to Manitou Island in Lake Michigan. Decided to try and head north from Indiana hoping the temperatures would be a little milder; and they were mid-to-upper 70's (F) during the day and low 60's at night. I had never been there before and thoroughly enjoyed it. The trip starts with a ride to the island from Manitou Transit. Very nice people who answered my many questions. If you ever visit the island, keep in mind you pay for the ferry ($35 round trip) and you pay for backcountry permits too ($5/night or $40 for an annual pass); and you can pay it all at the dock. Hour boat ride, uneventful but beautiful, about a dozen other hikers and campers getting on and off the island.
Camp anywhere, just stay 300 feet from water, historic buildings, etc. The above is just about where I camped for the first night.
Inland: Manitou was once heavily lumbered and had homesteaders and summer cottages. In several places you can see the old homes and barns, occasional abandoned cars, and a truck graveyard (coming up). Consequently the inland is made up of relatively young trees and occasional clearings where a homestead used to be. I really enjoyed the variety of scenery.
Sometimes it wasn't easy getting 300 feet from the water. In this case, the first 100 feet were vertical.
On the last night, I hiked in to the inland lake, Lake Manitou. When I imagined a lake on a small island, I pictured algae and full of weeds, but this lake was big and clear and beautiful; with just enough breeze to keep the mosquitos away. I even skinny-dipped a bit.
A couple of notes: You would think an island in the middle of a freshwater lake would make getting water a breeze, at least I expected it to be easy. But the reality is, depending on the weather, the waves can be fairly huge and churn up a bunch of sand and seaweed, which I was able to filter out but it can be a lot of work (bring something to backflush your filter).
Also, those big waves make gathering water a hilarious adventure. The first night I planned to roll up my pants legs, wade out a bit to clearer water, scoop up a bit and then gracefully step back before the waves soaked me with what felt like ice-water. The reality was, the first wave soaked me, I screamed like a little girl (it's so cold!), and moved with all the grace of a man trying to catch fish bare-handed. Now I know why sailors have the reputation for swearing like they do.
And, no bears; but the chipmunks make up for it. Hang both your food and your pack or be sorry.
I can't wait to go back again.