Few would likely guess that low-key Drummond is, in fact, the largest U.S. island in the Great Lakes. About 66 percent of Drummond Island is state-owned; the rest is largely owned by summer residents, who swell the island’s population to about 5,000 in July and August. You’d never know it—life in this fishing-oriented place is focused along the shore, which you can rarely see from the island’s few roads.
With sandy beaches, inland lakes, cedar swamps, hardwood forests, and open meadows, Drummond Island boasts remarkably diverse animal and plant habitat. Loons, bobcats, moose, and wolves all roam here, and various orchid species grow wild on the island. Biking is a fun way to explore Drummond, since M-134 dissolves into a variety of double-tracks and, eventually, single-track. Kayaking is even better. The fjord-like bays and 150 miles of ragged shoreline make this a magical place to paddle.
For such a mellow island, you might be surprised to run across The Rock (Drummond Island Resort and Conference Center, 800/999-6343, www.drummondisland.com , daily Apr.–Oct., $35–59 w/cart), a spectacular designer golf course completed in 1990 by then-owner Tom Monaghan, owner of the Domino’s Pizza chain. The first-rate course makes fine use of the natural environment, its holes weaving through woods and limestone outcroppings.