Just past the lighthouse building, heading back towards the town area is a road leading off to the right.  This is the Gull Harbor Road.  Through the hard work of many, many island residents and visitors alike, this is now a permanent natural area owned by St. James Township.

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At this time, the water level of Lake Michigan is very low, as a result this area looks more like a field than the large shallow bay it normally is.  This is a favorite place to see Great Blue Heron, wild ducks, eagles and various other wildlife.  During the winter months, the ponds freeze early and are enjoyed by ice-skaters of all ages. A starkly beautiful area, Gull Harbor, during low water level times, resembles a Japanese stone garden.   From here one is able to see Garden, Hog, Grape Islands, and the mainland.  On the 4th of July we can see fireworks bursting on the mainland.

In 2001 a walking trail was built along the back side of Gull Harbor and offers hikers a different view of the area.  Benches are placed at strategic spots along the walkway. (The photos below are thumbnails - click on each to enlarge, then use your 'back' button to return to this page)

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