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“Manitou Island transit”

Manitou Island Transit
Ranked #4 of 14 things to do in Leland
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed September 9, 2013

I've been going over to the Manitou islands for almost 20 years and have not had a bad experience. I'm shocked to read some people were disappointed with the ferry service. They are an experienced third generation sailing family.
First of all leave your backpack at the dock when you go and park your car, then you wont have to carry it back. I've never had mine tampered with.
Crowded. I've only experienced overcrowding on Memorial day or Labor day or other major holidays. They do that so no one is left behind. Most of the time people move around and go up on the upper deck for a while so you can usually find a seat sometime.
Have an uncomfortable trip? Well that's Lake Michigan for you. I personally like the fact that some people find the boat trip unpleasant. It keeps the island from being over run with noisy screaming kids and obnoxious people. The kind of people that go there are people who love and respect the outdoors and love our national and state parks and don't mind a bit of a challenge to experience them.
Its pure heaven over there. Its my favorite place to be in the outdoors and recharge my mental batteries. If you want to be assured there will be absolutely no challenges, rough weather or last minute disrupted schedules due to storms, then stay on the mainland in a state park with your big campers, radios, and generators. I've certainly put up with your kind before and I say "Good Riddance." I'll be sitting on top of the western sand dunes watching the sunset with my son and glass of Crown Royal.

14  Thank hondokat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (70)
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48 - 52 of 70 reviews

Reviewed September 2, 2013

We visited S. Manitou Island in late July. For just a day trip (no overnight camping), we were really pleased at the amount of things to do on the island. The hiking trails were really well-maintained and we (as able-bodied 30somethings) were able to walk to the ship wreck, cedar grove and lighthouse in the time allotted, no problem. Those who paid for the riding tour probably heard more about the island from the tour guides, but I'm not sure what they did with the rest of their time

Fair warning - the ferry trip is long. Over an hour is pretty long to be on a small boat, even for those who usually don't get seasick. The trip out to the island was calm, and still multiple people were leaning over the side. The wind had picked up considerably by the time we made our way back. Needless to say, everyone was praying for shore.

For day travelers - make reservations, bring your own lunch and snacks (nothing to purchase on the island) and be prepared to spend the entire day there. Even if it starts to pour down rain or someone gets bored, there's no way to get back. And, be prepared to stay longer than you expect. The return ferry arrived to pick us up almost 2 hours late, and the ride back was longer due to the choppy water.

6  Thank AliOkie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2013

We went to North Manitou which was beautiful and gorgeous for camping. We did not make a reservation because we were told we didn't need one. Apparently you don't need one to go camping, but you DO need one for the ferry. The ferry we were on was full on the way there and the way back, so we just made it in because of a few cancellations. Right next to the ferry dock is a great sandwich place, but it's CASH ONLY. We saw lots of people order and leave because they didn't have cash. When you get to the ferry, you have to give them your backpack before finding a seat. They sell beer, pop and water so make sure to have cash with you if you want to buy something. The ferry to North Manitou took a little over an hour. On the way back, the water was rocky (about 3-4 foot waves) and it took about an hour and 40 minutes. (Plus it was an hour and a half late picking us up.) The island is worth it, even with lots of people camping, you still felt like you were the only ones there with a private beach. Ask the ranger the best places to camp, he can tell you where you can camp and still see the water.

5  Thank Nina T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2013

We planned a trip and they cancelled the Northern Leg of their schedule because "there were no reservations" and that we should have made reservations, despite their clearly posted schedule on their website. They then told us our only option was to go to the South island, stay a night and they pay $15 to transfer in the morning. When we got to the South island, we met other groups of hikers who made reservations in advance and had them cancelled by the company, also forcing them to go to the South island and pay an extra $15 a person to transfer. The transfer was over 45 minutes late after requiring hikers to "be on the end of the dock an hour before departure." They lack integrity, customer service, and do not keep to their schedule. Have a back-up plan before counting on them to get to your hiking destination.

2  Thank Chris H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2013

Traveled on the Manitou Island Transit with my 10 year old grandson to the South Manitou Island for a day of exploring. It was a great adventure. We took their 2 hour wagon tour to the giant cedars. We could never have walked it in the time available, plus we got the excellent commentary of our driver/guide. Saw the cedars on a 1 mile walk, then saw the shipwrecked freighter from a bluff, and stopped at Florence Lake where the guide found a turtle and very small non-poisonous Ring Necked snake that each of the kids were able to hold. Ten we went up the 117 steps to the top of the lighthouse for a grand view. It was easier than it sounds. The Transit company was great, and they even had a cash bar on board. Everyone should do this.

6  Thank Duke G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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