Gull Island

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Green islands on blue water with Gull Island called out in orange

About the Island

Gull island is a tiny, rock-covered island that rises just a few feet above the surface of Lake Superior. It’s just three-acres in size but it’s home to hundreds if not thousands of herring and ring-billed gulls. It is the most important gull breeding area in the islands. At times, the smell can be overwhelming. Gull Island is closed to human visitors, with the exception of researchers who study the gulls and other birds.

A 50-foot-tall black cast iron tower serves as a lighthouse on the tiny island. A solar-powered flashing beacon warns boaters to stay away from the island and nearby shallow waters. Gull Island is a northern neighbor to the much larger Michigan Island.  The shallow reef between them is an important spawning area for lake trout. To learn more about the national lakeshore, we recommend Apostle Islands Water Trips by John C. Frank. Buy a copy here.

Proceeds benefit Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and the park.

Fast Facts

NPS map showing the island outline and features

NPS Map – Click image to enlarge

Hundreds of gulls soar over tiny, stone-covered gull island as scientists do their research on the ground.

Hundreds of seagulls fly over Gull Island. Click image to enlarge. – Photo: NPS

Gull Island – Gayaashko-minis

Location:  46.9067° N, 90.4433° W

Features: 

  • 3 acres
  • 1 unmanned light tower, built in 1928
  • Historically maintained by keepers of the Michigan Island lighthouse
  • No public access May 15 – Sept. 1
  • Along with Eagle Island, designated a State Natural Area in 1992

NPS Gull Island Information:

 

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