The United States Congress designated the Round Island Wilderness (map
) in 1987 and it now has a total of 375 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Michigan
and is managed by the Forest Service.
All of Round Island has been designated wilderness except one acre on the northern tip, a sand and cobblestone spit where the lighthouse stands. There has been no logging on the island since the turn-of-the-century. There are no docks, roads, or developed hiking trails on the island. Access is by boat in the summer and over ice in the winter. Several historic and prehistoric sites exist on the island. Visitors are reminded that these sites are protected and it is unlawful to possess any island artifacts. Leave what you find. The "Michigan rattler", massausauga has been rumored to reside on the island. You may see whitetail deer, raccoon, red squirrel, fox, rabbit, and an occasional black bear on the island; as well as a variety of songbirds and waterfowl. Trout, pike, salmon, and other freshwater fish are found in the lake waters around the island. While the island is removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it is close enough that you can see busy Mackinac Island and the mainland lights. Heavy boat traffic from Lake Huron freighters, commercial ferries, and pleasure craft can be heard throughout the island. "Heavy seas" make travel to Round Island treacherous at times.