Photo Courtesy of Neebish Island Facebook Group

Michigan’s Little Gem of the St. Mary’s River

As the first rays of the sun dance upon the tranquil waters of Neebish Island in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, you can almost hear the whispers of a time forgotten. Picture this: a secluded haven where nature and history intertwine, waiting to be explored by the adventurous traveler. But what exactly makes Neebish Island stand out from Michigan’s array of picturesque destinations? Dive in with me as we journey through this hidden gem, unveiling secrets most travel guides might overlook.

Lying just south of Sugar Island, Neebish Island is a place of serene beauty and rich history. It may not be the most well-known destination; its unspoiled landscapes and tranquil atmosphere make it a perfect retreat for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience.

Neebish Island has an abundance of wildflowers and wildlife. There are well over one hundred various species of wildflowers. Wildlife includes birds, squirrels (red, black, gray, and flying), bears, bobcats, skunks, porcupines, coyotes, moose, deer, muskrats, beavers, raccoons, otters, foxes, mink, and wolves.

A Slice of Stats

Neebish Island is not just another spot-on Michigan’s map; it is a testament to nature’s artistry. Spanning approximately 21.5 square miles and a year-round population of under 100, the island is mostly undeveloped. The island remains largely untouched, offering a genuine escape for those seeking solace in nature’s embrace. While many focus on Michigan’s bustling cities, Neebish boasts a unique charm with its diverse flora and fauna. Surprisingly, only a handful of visitors explore its treasures annually, making it an underrated destination waiting to be discovered.

The island is made up of two islands “Big Neebish” and Little Neebish.” They are separated by a narrow and shallow creek known as “the dark hole” or “the black hole” by Neebish Islanders.
At one-point Little Neebish was known as Rains Island after one of the first European settlers, Major William Rains.

Beyond the Beaten Path – Unique Experiences

Now, let us steer away from the usual talk of bars and restaurants. Neebish Island beckons with adventures that tantalize the senses and rejuvenate the soul. Discover some lesser-known activities that make Neebish Island a must-visit destination for any nature enthusiast.

Bird Watching Bonanza

With over 200 species of birds calling Neebish home, it is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Grab your binoculars and camera, and you might just spot the elusive Kirtland’s Warbler or witness the majestic flight of the Bald Eagle.

Wildlife Encounters

Keep your eyes peeled for the island’s resident wildlife. Whether you are an avid birder or simply appreciate nature’s wonders, Neebish Island offers a chance to observe a variety of bird species and other native animals in their natural habitat.

Kayak Quests

Glide through crystal-clear waters, exploring hidden coves and serene inlets. As you paddle through the blue waters, you will be treated to breathtaking views and the soothing sounds of nature. Whether you are a seasoned paddler or a novice, Neebish’s calm waters offer a kayaking experience like no other.

Keepers Duplex, Courtesy of US Coast GuartHistorical Hikes

Uncover the island’s rich history by trekking its ancient trails. From remnants of Indigenous settlements to tales of early explorers, every step reveals a chapter of Neebish’s captivating past. Delve into the island’s history by visiting the Neebish Island Lighthouse built in 1869. Climb to the top for a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape and a glimpse into the area’s maritime heritage.

Stargazing Soiree

As night blankets the island, gaze upwards to witness a celestial spectacle. Imagine lying on the soft grass, gazing up at a glittering blanket of stars, and being captivated by the celestial display above. Away from city lights, Neebish offers a clear view of constellations, making it a haven for stargazers and romantics alike.

A Parting Thought

As the sun sets on your Neebish Island adventure, you will carry with you memories of unspoiled nature and tranquil moments. Neebish Island is a place where time seems to stand still, and the wonders of the natural world unfold before your eyes. From stargazing to kayaking and immersing yourself in history, this hidden paradise beckons to the adventurous spirit in all of us.

As we wrap up our journey through Neebish Island, one cannot help but ponder: How many more hidden gems like this await discovery in Michigan’s vast expanse? While bars and restaurants offer fleeting pleasures, destinations like Neebish provide timeless memories etched in nature’s grandeur. So, dear traveler, when will you set foot on this enchanting island and write your own tale?