There are two formal campsites along the coastline that paddlers can use (see below). Rustic campsites with a small tent platform and fire pit are still under development at other locations around the Island.
The Emerald Isle Hotel offers shower facilities to campers for a fee; (231) 448-2376 or www.emeraldislehotel.com.
St. James Township Campground
Located on the north end of Beaver Island. Overlooks Lake Michigan and Garden Island, with views of Squaw and Whiskey Islands. Twelve rustic campsites, pit toilets and hand pumps. No showers or electricity.
Bill Wagner Memorial Campground
Located on the east side of Beaver Island on the shore of Lake Michigan with a view of the west coast of mainland Michigan. Twenty-two rustic campsites, pit toilets and hand pumps. No showers or electricity.
Beaver Island has other lodging accommodations, including motels, B&Bs, rental homes and inland campgrounds. Accommodations fill up quickly during the summer, so be sure to call ahead of time.
Eating on the Island
Restaurants and bars are clustered in and around St. James, offering a range of menu items and drinks. Groceries and other wares can be purchased at McDonough’s Market, a full-service grocery store.
Supplies and Other Provisions
Supplies (e.g., batteries, tarps, rope, etc.) can be purchased at the hardware store located just south of the ferry dock.
Happy Paddle At Jewell Gillespie Park. (630) 488-2949. www.happypaddle.com
Lakeside Sports 26250 Main Street, adjacent to the ferry dock. (231) 448-2166.
Beaver Island Fun
Beaver Island has a number of fun and interesting events and festivals throughout the paddling season:
Beaver Island’s St. Patrick Day and Fourth of July holidays both offer festive parades and activities. The Fourth of July weekend is widely regarded as the busiest weekend on the Island.
The Beaver Island Music Festival is held at the Beaver Island Hideaway Campground. The Music Festival draws thousands of people to come hear bands and musicians over three days in July each year.
July’s Museum Week features presentations on nature, oral history and Native American culture, live music, nature walks, a pet show and an art show.
Baroque on Beaver is a musical festival and concert series that draws thousands of visitors and musicians from Michigan and beyond. The event is held in various locations throughout the Island during the last week of July and first week of August.
Homecoming is an Islandwide event held each August with a festival, food, music and a softball tournament.
For all events on the Island, visit the Beaver Island Community Calendar at www.biccenter.org/calendar.