General Information for Grand Island

Drinking Water

Bring a refillable water container. Drinking water is available at Williams Landing , Juniper Flats, Murray Bay Day Use Area and along Murray Bay road. If traveling elsewhere on the island, bring water with you or filter/boil/treat surface water. Keep soaps and detergents out of lakes and streams. Wash dishes and clothes in a pot and dispose of the waste water in a hole at least 100 feet from the nearest water supply. Bathe in a similar manner.


Rustic vault toilets are located at Williams Landing, Juniper Flats, Trout Bay and Murray Bay. In other areas of the island, dig a small 6-inch deep hole at least 100 feet from the nearest water source and cover after use. Please bury or pack out your toilet paper.


The mosquitoes, black flies and stable flies can be nuisance all summer. Be sure to bring plenty of insect repellent (a.k.a. bug dope) and even a head net. Wear layers of tightly woven light colors clothing for extra protection.


Summer water temperatures of Lake Superior usually stay near 50 degrees, except in shallow bays. Prolonged exposure to these temperatures can lead to hypothermia. Conditions on Lake Superior change rapidly and boaters are advised to monitor channel 16 on the ship-to-shore VHF radio or listen to a NOAA weather radio. All visitors should be prepared to spend at least one extra day on the island and leave a travel plan with someone on shore.


Avoid climbing on or standing along the sandstone cliffs. The stone is very fragile and may not support your weight. Grand Island is closed to rock climbing and rappelling.


Keep in mind that domestic animals are required to be kept on a leash, except while being used for hunting. Many dogs have fallen off the cliffs of Grand Island. Please keep your dog on a leash and in your control at all times.

Leave No Trace Techniques

Due to increasing awareness of the island, the number of people visiting Grand Island will continue to rise. We need your help protecting the island. Follow ‘Leave No Trace’ techniques to help reduce your impact on Grand Island’s resource. Visitors must follow the ‘pack-it-in/pack-it-out’ method. Everything you carry in, you also carry out with you, including garbage.

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Black Bears

If you are both observant and lucky you may be able to see a black bear during your visit. These are wild animals and are NOT to be harassed or fed. Bears, become habituated to human food sources if they find it often enough. Habituated bears lose their wildness and become a threat to people and property. Bears that lose their fear of humans and become a nuisance usually have to be destroyed.

Whether you are camping or just on Grand Island for a few hours, you can minimize your chance of a negative bear encounter by following a few simple rules:

Never leave ANY of these items unattended at your campsite or picnic site:

Failure to comply may result in a $100 fine – CFR 261.58(cc)

Black Bears are normally afraid of humans and will leave the area in a hurry. If you see a bear near you, retreat slowly. Do not turn and run. Bears can run up to 30 miles an hour. Always allow the bear to have a clear and unobstructed escape route. If a bear approaches you, frighten it by making yourself as big as possible. Waving your arms and yelling, banging pans together, or throwing rocks. Give bears with cubs plenty of room. In the unlikely event that you are attacked by a Black Bear, fight back. Playing dead is not appropriate.

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