Visitor Activities

Snake eating a toad.

Remember to slow down and look until you really see.  Above a garter snake eats a toad.

  • Hunting

    Deer shoulder bone.

    Hunting is permitted for white-tailed deer and black bear on Harbor Island National Wildlife Refuge in accordance with Michigan state and federal regulations. Federal regulations include the prohibition of all-terrain vehicles (ATV) on refuge lands and the use of bait to hunt black bear and white-tailed deer.  Refuge specific regulations state that the use of dogs to hunt black bear is prohibited.

    Rules and Regulations

  • Fishing


    The island has no fishable interior streams or other fishable bodies of water. Fishing is allowed in accordance with state regulations in Lake Huron.

  • Wildlife Viewing

    Wildlife Observation

    Over 120 species of birds, 15 species of mammals, three species of snakes and four species of amphibians have been observed using the island or the surrounding waters. Several species of ducks are known to nest on the island including mallards, American black ducks, wood ducks and common goldeneyes. During the spring and fall migrations bird enthusiasts can find several species of sandpipers utilizing the island’s beaches. In the spring, the marshes are home to hundreds of wood frogs and spring peepers whose calls can be heard throughout the day reaching a crescendo in the evening hours.

    Bird Watching

  • Wildlife Photography

    Garter Snake

    Whether you are photographing wildlife from a boat or stalking your quarry in the forests, Harbor Island National Wildlife Refuge offers visitors a variety of wildlife and habitats. Osprey, great blue herons and other marsh birds are frequent visitors to the island marshes. Staff members have also captured great photos of snakes, frogs and toads on their trips to the island.