Harbor Island National Wildlife Refuge

Potagannissing Bay, Drummond, Michigan 49726 USA

“wildlife refuge island, drummond, michigan”

A 695-acre (281 ha) horseshoe-shaped island and National Wildlife Refuge. There are no bridges to Harbor Island, and visitors arrive by boat. Harbor Island is today as it was when it was formed so many million years ago. It is a pristine virgin wilderness. It has never been timbered or dredged.  Harbor Island is shaped like a giant horseshoe lying on top of another, to form two distinct spaces. False harbor, the one to the west as you approach the main harbor, is popular with sailboats for overnight moorings and with fisherman for pike, smallmouth bass and perch. The main harbor a large shallow inner harbor is over ½ mile wide. Harbor Island is zoologically and botanically rich. Cooper hawks, osprey, northern harriers, common loon and bald eagles are all on the state's special species concern list and can be observed here. Of special interest to the botanist are orchids, gentians and lobelias.  Walking the deep green forested hills is like walking the halls of a great natural cathedral.  Harbor Island National Wildlife Refuge GPS entrance is N46 02.850 W83 45.775, the 695-acre, island became part of the National Wildlife Refuge system in 1983 when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services purchased it from The Nature Conservancy. Harbor Island is overseen by the Seney National Wildlife Refuge in Seney, Michigan. Harbor Island hosts a variety of habitats including a marsh that runs almost fully around the main harbor.  On the north side there are sand beaches, on the east side across from Bald Island is a mature stand of white pine and if you head north from there you will come to what the locals call the narrows. In this area you will find an old growth forest of oak. There are at least thirty-one types of trees and shrubs on Harbor Island. The Island is open for public use during daylight hours only and can be used for hiking and swimming.  No fires, no camping and no motorized vehicles are allowed. It’s a “boots only” refuge.  Parking and launching:  Closest site is the Drummond Island Yacht Haven.  Other locations are Township Park and any resort along Tourist Road,   Distance one way:  Closest point Drummond to north end of main harbor. 2.6 miles round trip 5.2 miles. Level: Intermediate  Closest point Drummond to North side of Cedar Island.  5.25 miles 10.5 miles. Level: Advanced or expert Click here for a PDF document from the US Dept of the Interior regarding the future of Harbor Island, and their 15 year plan.

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