Round-trip: 6 km
Location: Drummond Island, MI
Marblehead is a viewpoint located on the easternmost point of Drummond Island. Marblehead is also the easternmost point in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. At the lookout, you stand on top of limestone cliffs 100 feet above Lake Huron for beautiful views of the North Channel. I was surprised to find out that these cliffs are considered to be a part of the Niagara Escarpment.
Drummond Island is one of the largest islands in the Great Lakes. Two-thirds of the island is owned by the State of Michigan. There is also a small community of about 1,200 full-time residents. The island is diverse with rocky shores, sandy beaches, hardwood forests, meadows and inland lakes. Michigan’s DNR has 76 miles (122 km) of designated off-road vehicle (ORV) trails, which are very popular, frequently making Drummond Island the site of ‘Jeep Jamborees‘. In the winter there are 100 miles (160 km) of groomed snowmobile trails.
Make sure you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle with good clearance if you want to get to Marblehead. Although, the route is good for mountain biking, and you could easily go with a regular vehicle and start biking from wherever it gets too rough for your vehicle.
From I-75 take M-134 east to De Tour Village. From De Tour take the very short ferry ride to Drummond Island. Make sure you get a colour-coded map of the island from the Tourist Information center. You will definitely need it!
From the ferry terminal drive east on M-134 for 15 miles (24 km). Here you need to watch for the hard-to-see Kreeton Road on your left. Turn left onto Kreeton Road and follow it for less than a mile/km then turn right onto Glen Cove Road. You are supposed to follow Glen Cove Road for 6 miles (9.6km) until you get to Glen Cove. But roads are not marked and there are lots of side trails. We thought we were following the map closely and we still made a wrong turn. Luckily there are a few routes to Marblehead and we made it no problem!
From Glen Cove take a right toward the south. The road follows the lake toward Sitgreaves Bay. You should now know why you needed to have a 4-wheel drive vehicle! Park near the bridge at Sitgreaves Bay. If the road is too rough for your vehicle at any point between Glen Cove and Sitgreaves Bay you can park off the road and choose to hike the extra distance.
From where you park follow the trail/road south-east for about 1.5 miles (2.4 km). Here you will come to an intersection with a sign for Marblehead, where you turn left/east and hike until you reach a large series of stone steps that are a popular challenge for ORVs. Shortly after climbing the steps, you will reach the Marblehead viewpoint cliff edge. You will return the way you came.
Even though 100 feet (30m) isn’t that high, the views are impressive. The views of the North Channel of Lake Huron are great, and you can also see the Canadian shore to the north, as well as the Canadian Cockburn Island to the southeast.