The Huron Islands are a group of eight small, rocky islands in Lake Superior, located about three miles offshore from the mouth of the Huron River in northwestern Marquette County, Michigan. Together they comprise the Huron National Wildlife Refuge, which was established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1905.  The Wildlife Refuge is also known as the Huron Islands Wilderness and is a unit of the Seney National Wildlife Refuge. The underwater area around the islands is part of the Huron Islands unit of the Marquette Underwater Preserve and several shipwrecks can be visited by divers.
Only one of the islands, known as Lighthouse Island or West Huron Island, is open to the public, and is accessible only by private boat for day use. This island is the site of the historic Huron Island Light, built in 1868. Thel ighthouse still operates, but is now fully automated.
There is a walking path from the boat landing site on the south end of the island to the lighthouse. The path continues beyond the lighthouse to the structures and cliffs on the far north end of the island. The entire path is just over 1/2 mile long. The path from the lighthouse to the north end of the island is quite rustic and is often overgrown with brush.
The larger islands are sparsely forested with pine and birch. The smaller islands are bare granite outcroppings, and home to a large colony of herring gulls. Bald eagles also nest here.
Origin of Cattle IslandEdit
An example of how dangerous the islands could be was the wreck of the side-wheel steamer Arctic, which was carrying passengers and freight from Marquette to Portage Entry. Well aware of the islands, Captain Miller was traveling at reduced speed in a dense fog in the early morning hours of May 29, 1860, and when he and his mate felt they were beyond the islands, they altered course, only to run aground on one of the western islands. All the passengers and cattle made it safely ashore before the steamer sank, and the refugees were picked up two days later by the upbound steamer Fountain City. To this day, one of the Huron Islands is known as Cattle Island, for the cattle marooned there. The Arctic’s anchor is on display at a waterfront park in L’Anse.