SLEEPS: 4 comfortably
BEDROOMS: 1 small + 2 tiny (where only a full sized bed can fit comfortably)
BATHROOMS: 1 (shower only, no tub, with heated floors)
*ON RIVER (Michigamme River)
*ONLY ACCESSIBLE VIA WATER (hence the word island!)
*EXCELLENT FOR FISHERMEN
*ROWBOAT, JON-BOAT, basic PONTOON (as possible) + CANOE INCLUDED
*PRIVATE BOAT DOCK (May-September)
*SCREENED IN PORCH
*SWIMMING technically possible, yet not easy
*PETS are WELCOMED
NEW IN 2018: 40 in. Flat screen, Smart TV
NEW IN 2017: Renovated galley kitchen with improved cooking space, countertops and shelving, Old Town Canoe
NEW IN 2016: Screened in porch, Satellite TV + all new outdoor furniture, lounge chairs and tables.
Escape the ordinary vacation. Relax or be adventurous. Fish your heart out! Take a break from technology. This historic (1800's), 3 bedroom, cedar log cabin is nestled within a 2 acre rustic private island on the Michigamme River. Flexibility is key.
Electricity, running water, a land-line phone, satellite (Direct TV) + VCR/DVD and WiFi internet are some of the creature comforts on this rustic island. Enjoy the wildflowers and wilderness. Rustic Decor throughout. High beam ceilings. Kitchen, breakfast bar, bathroom with shower, plus a gorgeous natural wood-burning cobblestone fireplace warms the living room. Linens and towels provided.
An open mind and flexibility are keys to fun here. The island is only Water-access only. Be your own captain! One of our boats will be waiting for you, as you venture off to the Island. A Jon boat (best in low water), pontoon**NOT guaranteed (best in high water) with electric motor, canoe, aluminum boat are all provided for your sole use during your stay. We try to keep all the boats running at all times, yet Spring and Fall are the times that it is most challenging. If you need a specific boat (i.e. pontoon) to have the fun you dream about, then the Island may not be your best choice. Flexibility is not just nice virtue, yet a necessity.
Off-street and alongside road parking. Republic Island is the home of excellent fishing, bird watching (a bald eagle nests nearby), and canoeing.
Requirements for Island: You are able-bodied enough to be able to drive/row the boat/canoe, if needed. Plus you should have decent agility to walk up and down the uneven walkways. A positive, flexible attitude is essential for a good experience. As a Special Education teacher by trade, I wish we could find a way to accommodate all abilities in the Republic Island experience. While you do not need to be an athlete, at least an average level of agility is definitely required in order to have a positive experience for you and your family.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Animals: Yes, there are all kinds of animals that like to roam around the island. While you don't see most of them, you have to be someone who is comfortable in that true rustic, outdoorsy environment. This is not Disney World. We have seen snakes (non-poisonous), mice, squirrels, otters, beavers, skunks and a raccoon. You are on a secluded parcel of land. While we haven't seen any moose, deer or bear actually on the island, it's not an impossibility. We do our absolute best to keep all the critters away and out of the cabin. We do not use Decon within the cabin due to pets and children being part of our family of guests. Fall is the biggest challenge as the little critters, including mice, are looking for a warm place to stay the winter months. We are vigilant about keeping critters at bay, and are always open to suggestions.
Bathroom: Even though the Island is rustic, we do have a normal toilet and sink with a neat shower that has you surrounded by the logs of the 1800s. We even have a wonderful, heated floor in the bathroom. The bathroom has the historic drain slope of the room, which was customary at the time of new, indoor plumbing, though we have tried to maintain the historic feel.
Beach/Swimming: There is NOT a traditional sandy beach around the Island. Personally, I truly wish there was a way to make that happen. We've done our best to create a peaceful experience, yet being on a flowing river, there isn't a simple way to maintain a sandy beach. My apologies. We recommend that people head into town (2 miles) to enjoy the sandy beach area in Republic when they want to swim in a traditional way on a beach. Plus, to be honestly, the river bottom is generally muddy, so it isn't the ideal place to enjoy traditional swimming. If you are an excellent swimmer, we do enjoy taking the pontoon boat out into the middle of the river, with the 1-2 mph current, jumping in and swimming around, yet I wouldn't recommend that for anyone who isn't a strong swimmer. The middle of the river is 20 feet deep.
Boats: Ideally, basic boat knowledge is needed for the island. Still, a ton of patience, a flexible attitude and sense of humor can make it work as well. Generally the SPRING and the FALL are times where pontoon boat use is limited. There will be at least 1 boat available for your sole use, and we have up to 4 boats that may be available. I'm sorry, we can not guarantee which boats will be available for your use during your stay.
There will be one of the following boats available (yet no guarantee on which one), there is a :
1. Simple pontoon boat with an electric motor (you must still be able to row, if needed.)
We do our absolute best to keep the simple pontoon (with lawn chairs) up and running at all times. Fixing or replacing anything on the Island is a challenge. That is also the excitement of being on an island. We always do our best. We require flexibility There isn't a key. We use a prop instead of keys. The pontoon isn't fancy at all. It functions like a floating barge.
2. Jon boat (flat bottom)
3. Old-school 14 foot fishing boat
4. NEW in 2017 (Old Town Canoe)
Considering bringing your own boat? Bring an extra dose of patience and flexibility. There is a gravel launch within 1/2 mile and a nice cement launch 2 miles away, right off of MI-95.
The Michigamme River is quite rocky, and we've lost a few motors + props in the past 10 years. That is why we only have a simple electric motor on the pontoon. It all depends on the fluctuating water levels. Sometimes your navigation skills are not enough, as the rocks seems to creep up as the water fluctuations are a natural occurrence. We normally have 4 boats for your use during your stay, though at times we have to pull various ones due to the water levels. The jon boat is always our trusted simple boat.
ATV's: closest official snowmobile trail is 241, approximately 1.5 miles from the island.
Bugs: Yes, there are bugs on the Island. There are mosquitos. The Island vacation is not for everyone. It is for true outdoorsy guests who are flexible and love an adventure, while enjoying many of the amenities of an historic cabin. We've added a screened in porch in 2016 to allow our guests to enjoy the Island scenery, while limiting the impact of mosquitos.
Cell phone service: Cell phone service is generally unreliable in the Upper Peninsula when you travel outside of Marquette and Escanaba. Therefore, we have a land line at the cabin with unlimited local and long distance service for your use. We also have WiFi, if you have an iphone, facetime audio is a great way to use your phone if your service isn't strong or nonexistent.
Children: Our experience has been that kids either absolutely love or hate the Island experience. The kids who can entertain themselves, don't need TV or electronics for fun and love the outdoors (especially fishing) think they are in heaven. It's the best trip of their lives. On the flip side, I've had even one parent leave early because her kids were so bored and therefore she couldn't't relax. Plus, they were scared of every sound and never wanted to leave the cabin. When they found out that we only had 3 channels, they were very upset. I just like to make sure everyone is aware of the pros and cons to the Island experience. It isn't Disney World, yet I've been surprised at how many people have that expectation. It is important to us that our guests have the best experience possible. Again, depending on the ages of your kids, it may be ok. There is just a lot more to consider when we rent to the Island with families in mind. I'll admit that it wasn't the easiest place to be when we had our 5 year old with us. It's getting easier each year, though between 1-4 years old, it was huge challenge. Our little Luke loved to explore and wander. There are steep parts of the island. We just have be extra-vigilant when he is there.
* Pictured Rocks: 1 hour and 45 minute drive
* Marquette: 45 minutes (northeast)
* Ishpeming: 20 minutes
* Iron Mountain: 45 minutes (south
*Tahquamenon Falls State Park: 3 hours
*Mackinac Bridge: 3 hours and 50 minutes away. (205 miles)
Dock: The docks are floating docks. Due to the fluctuation of the river levels, we are not able to control, yet do our best to control the placement of the docks. During the late summer/fall, and the Michigamme River can be low and muddy. We advise you to please bring boots, plus your patience between mid-August and October.
Fishing: Generally the Island has very good fishing. Small mouth bass, walleye, perch, pike and pan fish are what most of our guests report catching. If you are a trout fisherman, trout can be caught in the upper Michigamme River. Most tributaries have brook trout that flow into the Michigamme, yet it is not a trout stream per se. I would recommend our Tioga Falls Cabin if you are interested in trout fishing.
Fishing License: You can purchase your fishing license online
The closest place to purchase a fishing license in person is:
Coming from the south (Iron River) Peter's True Value of Republic
Coming from the north (Champion) Koski Korners (BP Gas Station)
Fishing poles: I would advise you to bring your own fishing poles to the Island. While you may be lucky and find one or 2 there, we can't guarantee any will be there upon your arrival.
Grill: Brand new charcoal grill in 2017! You may get lucky if the previous guest left some, but to be safe we suggest you pick up charcoal on your way there.We actually have both an electric grill and a charcoal grill.
Grocery Store: The closest, full-sized grocery store is about a 1/2 hour drive from the cabin, Ishpeming. It is the IGA Jubilee right on U.S 41. If you are driving from Wisconsin/Chicago, the last grocery store is in Iron Mountain.
There is a little store in the town of Republic, about 15 minutes from the cabin, yet there isn't a large selection, and the prices are convenience-store equivalent.
There is a larger convenience store/BP Gas station on the corner of U.S. 41 and MI-95, about 20 minutes north of the cabin.
Hammock: We do have a hammock on the Island. I love it! Enjoy!
Internet: Wi-fi is on the Island! Personally, I do think it is good to disconnect from technology for a while, yet I listened to our guests and realized that many do need to check in with work while they are vacationing.
Linens: Yes, we provide your sheets and linens. Just like a hotel, the beds will be made for you upon arrival. If you are fussy about the thread count of your sheets, just let me know, and I'll make sure we leave a bed open for your sheets. We have just the basic sheets, pillows, pillow cases and bath towels.
Parking: You can either park your car in the off-road parking spot or alongside River Road. We highly recommend that you pull into the parking space, just in case one of the logging trucks drives by. Still, you can park roadside adjacent to the path leading toward the Island.
Pets: *Pets are welcome! Freshwater Vacation Rentals currently charges $50/per pet. Yes, we do accept dogs, yet we do ask that you please clean up after them both inside and outside the cabin. Plus, if you allow them on the furniture, we do ask that you please bring your own linens/blankets for them to sleep on. Just let us know which bed you will be using with them, and we'll make sure it is ready for your sheets when you arrive. Plus, if the pet hair starts to build, we do ask that you please run the vacuum. Generally, dogs love the Island with all the water and places to explore. Their food does tend to attract mice, so vigilance is needed.
Space: Our 1100 sq. ft. log cabin on a 2 acre Island, it is ideal for 2-4 people. It is considered very tight for 6 people, and therefore I do not recommend 6 people on the island together. The island experience is unique in that it brings out the true essence in people when they truly have a chance to get away from it all. Still, six different personalities, especially if they aren't in one family unit can bring out conflict. There are people who feel claustrophobic on an island, even though you can literally see your car 300 feet across the river. We have always had very positive feedback from couples and small families. It's an ideal, private get-away.
Towels: Yes, we provide towels. It's always good to bring extra though.
Washer and dryer: No. It's on my wish list.
Wood: Yes, we provide firewood for Republic Island. We will leave you a handful of started logs on the Island. Once you have burned through the starter pieces, you are welcome to get as much wood as you need during your stay in the parking space on the other side of the road, across from the Island. We ask our guests to please let us know if the wood pile is getting low so we can order more wood. Everyone uses firewood at different speeds. Please note: We have had guests find it too taxing to carry the firewood back and forth. From personal experience of carrying a chord over, it can be taxing. Therefore, we are offering a face chord of wood to be delivered directly to the Island for you for an additional $100. Please let us know if you are interested in this option.