This is the largest island among many in St Mary’s River where it ends its journey from Lake Superior by flowing into northern Lake Huron in upper Michigan. It is also the second-largest freshwater island in the USA. Drummond Island in the USA. Drummond Island extends to 335 sq km (130 sq mi) in the area and is within touching distance of the Canadian border.
The island is largely forested, with cliffs at the eastern end, and over two-thirds of the land is owned by the state of Michigan. Its economic mainstay is tourism and, whilst that has traditionally meant summer visitors, Drummond – in common with many Great Lakes islands – is trying to promote all-year-round activities to keep the tills ringing, with some success.
Drummond Island is a natural paradise, described by its proud inhabitants as the ‘Gem of the Huron’. Diverse topography ranges from rocky ledges to cedar swamps, prairie meadowland to hardwood groves, and rugged shores to sandy beaches. The summer wildflowers can be spectacular, as are the trees from September.
It is a wildlife haven, with numerous deer the most visible animals. But there are plenty of raccoons, skunks, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, woodchucks and weasels. Rarer sightings include bears, moose, bobcats, coyotes and wolves. There is also a variety of reptile life, including snakes and turtles, plus many species of birds.
Vacation activities on Drummond Island include boating, camping, hunting and fishing, hiking, biking, wildlife watching, photography, stargazing (no light pollution here), off-road vehicle activity or simply exploring the island’s various terrain.
When to visit
July to December is the best time to visit, except for those interested in Specialist winter pastimes like snowmobiling. Many facilities close out for the season.
How to reach
The M-134highway on the mainland continues for 13 km (8 mi) on the island via the Drummond Island Ferry from DeTour Village. There is a small airport.
- The new Drummond Island Museum, built after the old one (be warned!) collapsed under the weight of snow.
- Big Shoal Bay, is a beautiful natural enclave on the island’s southern edge.
- Detour Reef light, a preserved lighthouse in the passage between Drummond Island and the mainland.
- The Heritage Trail is a hiking route created to show off the island’s habitat and wildlife.
You should know
The British were reluctant to surrender the island, only abandoning Fort Collier in 1823, thus finally ending their military presence in the USA.