Unforgettable Sailing and Backpacking Adventure: North Manitou Island

Experience two days Sailing with Traverse City Maritime Heritage Alliance on the schooner Champion

Backpack on historic North Manitou Island

A truly unique experience in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Sail two separate days aboard the historic Cutter Champion. Assist the Captain in hoisting the sails or lounge on deck under the sun. Explore and camp on North Manitou Island. Professional guides will assist and safely aid you in your backpacking experience.


Sail aboard a vintage Great Lakes Schooner on Lake Michigan.

Participate as an active crewmember.

Witness panoramic vistas of Lake Michigan from massive Island dunes.

Stroll miles of sugar sand beaches

Click the Tabs to Find out More

Trip Details

Trip Details


$975 per person (call for group rates)

Departure time

8:00 am

Meeting point

Northport Marina

105 Rose St, Northport, MI 49670


(4 days) June 19-22, 2022
(4 days) June 22-25, 2022


4 days (first and last days will be on the sailboat)

Group size

Semi private groups of 4-8 persons

Participation requirements

Skill level: able to walk up to 5 miles with up to 45lb pack
Age: min. age 14


  • Backpacks
  • 3 person tent (per 2 people)
  • Sleeping pads, sleeping bags
  • Camp cooking necessities
  • Group water filtration
  • Professional guide
  • Licensed boat captain
  • First mate
  • 4 breakfasts
  • 3 dinners
  • Healthy midday snacks

  • Not included

  • Personal camp/hiking clothing
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen

  • What to bring

  • Personal clothing
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Hiking shoes
  • Sandals or flip flops
  • Water bottle(s)
  • Small day pack
  • A PDF packing list will be sent to you once you complete your booking.

    About your guide

    1- Licensed sailboat captain
    1- First Mate crew
    1 or 2 -professional backcountry guides (dependant on group size)

    Overview Of The Tour

    This is a one of a kind experience to North Manitou island. From the first moment you arrive, you will be stepping back into time. The schooner Champion is a vintage wooden Cutter owned by the Traverse City Maritime Alliance. Help hoist her sails and feel the exhilaration of sailing this vessel for a full day to the Island.
    Once on the Island, we explore historic settlements and 1890s era Coast Guard Rescue Station. We Explore the island by backpack for three days to incredible natural dune formations and camp along miles of wide open beaches. This is a backcountry experience and common comfort amenities are not available on the island. Our professional staff strives to make your experience as enjoyable as possible. Leave No Trace camping practices will be exercised. We are happy to teach all outdoor skills to you if you are unfamiliar.

    Good To Know

    North Manitou Island is a remote location in the middle of Lake Michigan. Individuals must be of sound health and fitness. Use your best judgment if you want to attend this tour. We welcome anyone who has wanted to experience wilderness backpacking on an intermediate entry level. Our guides are knowledgeable and willing to teach the techniques required. Walking up to 5 miles per day over hilly, sandy, and/ or rooted uneven ground with 50L packs will be experienced. We cannot control Mother Nature and it is possible to experience inclement weather or natural conditions. Facilities are limited to rustic toilet facilities at the ranger station. If you’d prefer more of a campground experience let us know, we would like to assist you. We have group campsites in South Manitou for a more family friendly experience.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Yes, you may contact the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to purchase a park entrance pass or contact LyfMotiv Adventures and we can assist you.

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