September 21, 2017
A thunderstorm came in the night from the west. I could hear it coming for over an hour and hoped it would pass and not be significant. I did my best to prepare for it, but when it came, it was very windy out on the point and my tent was soon blown over as the rocks I had tied out the lines to weren't heavy enough. I quickly packed up camp and moved inland to a more sheltered location where I managed to partly set up my tent again and curl up in a ball with my rain jacket over me as I went back to sleep. Fortunately it wasn't cold and I was able to stay reasonably dry. The storm finally passed and I awoke to a cloudy morning.
My tent barely managed to stay upright.
Back out on the point, I could barely see the sunrise through the clouds.
I followed a jeep trail part of the way.
Sitgreaves Bay was peaceful and there was a jeep trail that went right around it.
The trail was right on the beach.
There were some nice campsites nearby.
The sky started to clear and I enjoyed the view from Pilot Cove.
There was a peninsula with a great campsite.
I continued around the eastern side of the island as I approached Marblehead, a popular overlook.
I looked carefully to make sure I didn't walk past Marblehead.
Small rocky cliffs began to be present beside the beach.
I noticed a small trail off the beach and decided to follow it to see if it would take me to Marblehead.
I could see a cliff behind the trees.
I climbed up top and there was a great view!
I wasn't sure, but this was Marblehead. I could see across to Cockburn Island.
View from Marblehead.
My GPS had a specific location for the summit of Marblehead and I wanted to make sure that I didn't miss it. I went off trail and found the location to be an ordinary location in the forest.
I went back toward the lake.
I found another nice view of the False Detour Channel between Drummond and Cockburn Islands.
I hiked through a pine forest on my way back to the beach.
The beach was still rocky but quite scenic.
In some places there wasn't much beach at all.
Often through this section, there was a trail right beside the lake.
The shoreline became more overgrown, but I continued on enjoying the beauty.
There were places where I had to wade through the water.
I finally reached the point where I had to turn away from the lake to head back to the trailhead. I took one last break for a snack and to experience the view.
I walked through the forest hoping to find a trail back to the trailhead. It took some time and it was getting hot as I walked through an area with some logging activity. Eventually I reached a trail.
It was nice, easy walking back to the trailhead.
It was a scenic trail/road back and the leaves were still quite green for late September.
I made it back to the trailhead and another outstanding adventure was complete. It was a short drive back to the ferry and soon it was time leave Drummond Island. Like all the hikes I have the opportunity to hike, I'm thankful to God for the wonders of nature and for safety along the journey.
Prior to coming to Drummond Island, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I wasn't able to find many backpacking trip reports. I'd considered backpacking Drummond Island for a couple years and this was a last minute decision without much planning. I didn't completely plan my route until after I had purchased the trail map on the island.
Would I see lots of jeeps and ORVs? What would the scenery be like? How hard would the off-trail hiking be? What would the beach be like? Overall, backpacking Drummond Island was a great experience. The logistics were easy. The bushwhacking challenging. The sense of wild unlike nearly all the hikes I've done in Michigan. Maybe it was just the time of the year, but I didn't see anyone out on the trails. Drummond Island is a place that can be enjoyed by those simply looking to get away for the weekend to experience beautiful lakeside primitive camping or those looking for a serious off-trail backpacking adventure.