Between the Fort De Buade Museum, the Museum of Ojibwa Culture, and its countless other indoor attractions, St. Ignace serves as a bastion of Northern Michigan history. And outdoors, St. Ignace promises no less excitement, and even more adventure.

Follow a day at the museum by a day spent hiking through forests and across sand dunes, and diving deep beneath the waters of the Great Lakes to discover Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for yourself. Check out these St. Ignace outdoor activities the next time you find yourself in need of a great adventure.

– On Land –


St. Ignace boasts thousands of acres of forest and natural terrain worthy of exploration. The Hiawatha National Forest provides miles of marked trails that extend through woods and across sand dunes. In the same area, you’ll find handfuls of wilderness preserves begging to be adventured.


Biking is a favorite of St. Ignace. Bicycles are allowed on nearly all local road systems. Throughout the area you’ll find designated bike loops ranging from 10 to 40 miles in length, so you can pass as much or as little of the day atop your bicycle as you’d like. You can rent a bike for the day at St. Ignace’s Wrong Way Charlie’s.


Tucked against water on three sides, St. Ignace is home to some incredible scenery. One of the best ways to appreciate the land and the views provided by this city is by spending the day on one of its golf courses and the rolling hills and Northern Michigan color they offer. The serious golfer can choose to spend the day at the St. Ignace Golf and Country ClubHiawatha Sportsman’s Club Golf Course, or the Mackinaw Golf Club. For the newbie or for the family, St. Ignace offers three miniature golf courses: Castle Golf and Games, Mystery Spot Mini Golf and St. Ignace/Mackinac Island KOA Mini Golf.


St. Ignace sports five campgrounds. The area allows for RV and rustic tent camping alike and holds its campsites in some of the area’s most beautiful places. Visit Castle Rock Mackinac Trail Campark set along the Mackinac trail over 200 feet above the surrounding area’s ground, or stay closer to town in Straits State ParkLakeshore RV Park Campground, St. Ignace/Mackinac Island KOA and Tiki RV Park & Campground also offer convenient camping for families.


Home to thousands of acres of public land, St. Ignace is the perfect spot to spend the hunting season. Deer, bear, partridge, turkey, geese, ducks, rabbit, squirrel, and other wild game crawl across the land, while marshes and ponds breed waterfowl. A haven for the sport, St. Ignace welcomes hunters with open arms and promises a rewarding experience for every hunter who gives the area a shot.

– In Water –


Along the straits of Mackinac, you’ll find loads of marinas and docks from which to cast off. The days will slip away atop boats nestled deep in the countless blues of Michigan waters.


At the northernmost point of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron lies the Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Preserve. Over 140 square miles worth of state-preserved underwater land boasts an eerie collection of at least 11 identified shipwrecks, lost years ago to the fierce storms and unpredictable waters of the Straits. Spend a day below the surface exploring what only a few have seen before. Straits Scuba Center offers lessons for divers of all skill levels. Experienced divers can rent equipment for a successful session unobserved, under the waves.


Set against not one, but two, Great Lakes, St. Ignace is the ideal fishing spot. Lakes Michigan and Huron, along with the area’s smaller inland lakes and rivers, are home to countless fish including migratory salmon and steel-head, small mouth bass, pike, muskellunge, and more. Any time spent fishing the waters of St. Ignace is sure to be worth it.


A day in St. Ignace is one nearly surrounded by water, and thus, by limitless opportunities for swimming. In the heart of downtown St. Ignace, you can spread out on the safe and clean shores of Kiwanis Beach, or take a short drive down US-2, to find yourself with a bit more space and scenery in the beaches tucked along Lake Michigan sand dunes.


With miles of shoreline and rivers, St. Ignace is the perfect place to paddle. Brevort and the Les Cheneaux Islands provide some of the best inland lakes for kayak and canoe trips. A day spent beneath open Michigan sky and inside a kayak is sure to be a beautiful adventure for everyone. Kayak rentals and tours are available at Woods & Waters Ecotours in Hessel (about 30 minutes northeast of downtown St. Ignace).

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Cornerstone: St. Ignace outdoor activities

Photo(s) by Jim Hopper