St. Helena Island Nature Preserve

Size: 266 acres

Frontage: 2.84 miles Lake Michigan shoreline

Land Description: When crossing the Mackinac Bridge, look west and the largest island visible (~7 miles away) is St. Helena. LTC owns the entire island except for the lighthouse and the three acres which are owned by the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association (GLLKA). In The Michigan Botanist, Ed Voss reported that he had documented 332 vascular plant species on the island. There is very little sandy beach here, with most of the shore gravelly.

Trails: A rough trail connects the lighthouse to the old village site on the north side of the island. (This trail is sometimes impassable due to poison ivy.) The Beach Trail, established in 2010, leads along the south side of the island and follows an old ridge running parallel to the shore.

Directions: Access limited to boat travel. Nearest boat ramps are St. Ignace, Point La Barbe, and Mackinaw City. Anchor a boat or land a kayak at the sheltered bay near old village site on north side of the island. GLLKA offers a variety of ways to get to the island: www.gllka.com or 231.436.5580.

Check out the plants and animals found at this preserve using the iNaturalist guide below. Help us document more with iNaturalist.org and eBird.org!