All of Round Island has been designated wilderness except one acre on the northern tip, a sand and cobblestone spit where the lighthouse stands. There has been no logging on the island since the turn-of-the-century. There are no docks, roads, or developed hiking trails on the island. Access is by boat in the summer and over ice in the winter. Several historic and prehistoric sites exist on the island. Visitors are reminded that these sites are protected and it is unlawful to possess any island artifacts. Leave what you find. The "Michigan rattler", massausauga has been rumored to reside on the island. You may see whitetail deer, raccoon, red squirrel, fox, rabbit, and an occasional black bear on the island; as well as a variety of songbirds and waterfowl. Trout, pike, salmon, and other freshwater fish are found in the lake waters around the island. While the island is removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it is close enough that you can see busy Mackinac Island and the mainland lights. Heavy boat traffic from Lake Huron freighters, commercial ferries, and pleasure craft can be heard throughout the island. "Heavy seas" make travel to Round Island treacherous at times.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Round Island Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.