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Book Online or call VRBO Booking Assistance: 888-829-7076
Book Online or call VRBO Booking Assistance: 888-829-7076

Exclusive Island Getaway """

Bedrooms 2
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 3 nights


About the property

Experience Charity Island in total comfort. A 400 acre wildlife preserve with 4 miles of pristine, undeveloped shoreline. Charity Island is a nature lovers paradise complete with a mature hardwood forest canopy covering most of the Island and a night sky unblemished by artificial lights. Charity Island lodge can accommodate up to six guests with a master bedroom and a spacious loft that has four beds. Propane refrigerator, range and lights allow for quiet living. Our water system is an NSF approved system that draws water from Lake Huron and is filtered and treated with Ultraviolet light and stored in an elevated storage tank for continual water service to the Kitchen and bathroom. Charity Island Lodge also has a generator and is completely wired as any cottage on the mainland. Charity Island Lodge is the only cottage on Charity Island with the exception of the historic Charity Island lighthouse, see ( Dinner tours are often held at the lighthouse and lodge guests are always welcome to join in. Seven miles from the closest land, you will feel the isolation as you watch the dinner tour boat depart Charity Island as the sun begins to set and the spectacular sunset sky begins to unfold. Whether you like hiking, fishing, recreational boating, bird watching, night sky watching or just chilling out on a secluded island beach, Charity Island Lodge will be your new favorite destination in Northeast Michigan. Travel to and from Charity Island can be arranged to accommodate your schedule most time beginning mid April to late October. There are no stores or restaurants on the Island so come prepared. Most of our guests find three or four nights to be the optimal stay unless you are bringing a boat and intend to partake in the legendary fishing around the Island. Lastly, mosquitos and black flies can be bothersome on the hottest days with no breeze. We do have a screen tent for these days. We also have two kayaks for exploring the 4.5 miles of shoreline on these calmer days.

Dean P. Wiltse
Member since: 2015
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 18, 2018

About Dean P. Wiltse

As owner and operator of a very busy restaurant and brewpub in Oscoda Michigan since 1979, we began looking for a quite escape where one could regroup and recharge far from the madding crowd. Born in Northeast Michigan, I grew up with a deep love of all things outdoors. Birdwatching, hunting, fishing, canoeing, boating and a love of the natural environment are all part of my life's endeavors. Oh, did I mention the love of great beer and wine also? lol

Dean P. Wiltse purchased this cottage in 2007

Why Dean P. Wiltse chose Au Gres

As fate would have it, my brother and his wife, Bob and Karen Wiltse, purchased the 400 acre Charity Island in the middle of Saginaw Bay in 1992. Bob and Karen built an inland marina and planned to sell a few exclusive lots and preserve the rest of the Island including the lighthouse tower and lighthouse keepers home. Soon thereafter, the Nature Conservancy got involved and the Island was purchased and placed into public ownership managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Bob and Karen kept the lighthouse property and a total of four parcels were left in private ownership. In 2007 Charity Island Lodge was constructed and the lighthouse keepers home was rebuilt. In the end, we got the dream getaway we worked a lifetime for and Charity Island got a couple of stewards to make sure she preserved in her natural and glorious condition.

What makes this cottage unique

Located in the middle of Saginaw Bay, at the mouth of Lake Huron, Charity Island is over eight miles from the closest points of land. Charity Island was named for it's safe harbor in the middle of what can on occasion be an angry sea. When spending the evening on Charity Island, there is nowhere else in the State of Michigan where you may be further than seven miles from the next human being. Passing freighters, a brilliant night sky, lapping waves and the comfort of knowing you are truly getting away from it all makes this property a one of a kind in Michigan.


Au Gres Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 1:00 PM / Check-out: 11:30 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • pets considered
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Lake View ...
  • Lakefront ...
  • Water View ...
  • Waterfront ...
  • Dining Area
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • photography
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • snorkeling/diving
  • swimming
Island Tips Emergency service is a long ways away so advise children to avoid dangerous and risky activities. If enjoying the Lake on floats, beware of offshore winds that get stronger the farther out you go. The water in the elevated storage tank has been filtered and sanitized and is safe for washing dishes, showering and brushing your teeth. Bottled water is advised for drinking. The beauty of the water tower is that you do not have to run the generator most of the time. It is nice to run the generator and water pump for showers but remember to go outside and shut off valve going up to the elevated tank or it will overfill and you will not realize full water pressure. When using the water tower only, the toilet will take 3-5 minutes to fill. Sometimes the low pressure causes it to not fill in which case we use the water pitchers to fill the back of the tank. The gas lights give off a lot of heat and are nice to use when there is a little chill. For a night light, us


4.4/5 -
(5 traveler reviews)

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Exclusive Island Getaway
average rating of 4.4 based on 5 reviews

Very secluded, rustic setting with private rocky beach out in the middle of Saginaw Bay.

  • 4 of 5

Enjoyed a long weekend in a rustic cottage on the mostly deserted island. Cottage had all the amenities, but with electric generator and water tower it required some know-how to tend. Loved use of single kayaks for exploration of the coast and off road vehicle for runs to the lighthouse for sunset gazing. Brother of owner operates a dinner cruise to the island lighthouse and was on site for advice and supplies as needed. His knowledge of the island's history was impressive and added much to our appreciation of the site. For those who love secluded and quiet natural settings, it was an island paradise, with no large mammals to dodge. Birds, frogs, snakes, butterflies, and chipmunks added to the charm. Insects were ample, too, but winds off the lake kept them down. Watched meteors one night from the completely dark shoreline. Owner and brother were very friendly and responsive to any needs we had.

  • Submitted: Aug 14, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Definitely will plan a trip back in the future!

  • 4 of 5

My husband and I decided to take a 4 day getaway to the island. It was a great getaway. Loved our piece and quiet. We kayaked around the whole island. The bugs were a little buggie. But the water was nice and so was the weather. We will be back for sure. Thanks Dean! And thanks Bob for the ride back.

The Pridemores

  • Submitted: Aug 1, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Wonderful 4th of July!!

  • 4 of 5

We stayed the week of the 4th of July and had a wonderful time. The cabin is nice and clean. They took really good care of us....!!! We enjoyed trips to the light house and kayaking. The location is spectacular and the solitude was appreciated.

It's a nice getaway but make sure you bring plenty of bug spray and lots of books.

  • Submitted: Jul 13, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Cabin was gorgeous Dean and his brother Bob are great people

  • 5 of 5

From beginning to end everything was great beautiful sunrises sunsets beautiful water down at the harbor great fishing Dean the owner and his brother Bob that owns the lighthouse and Lodge where he has dinner cruises was wonderful to talk to and learn about the island got to help work on his bathrooms me and my three friends all in all we all enjoyed ourselves and I plan on going back with my wife soon if you like seclusion is the place to go very unique

  • Submitted: Jun 9, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Grand rapids, mi

Nothing Else Like It In Michigan

  • 5 of 5

Seclusion! You pretty much have an entire island to yourself. We didn't go off the beaten path that much since everything we wanted to enjoy was right outside the cabin in just 5 steps. Open water. We did a lot of floating around on rafts , snorkeling, and horsing around playing Frisbee, making up games in the water. The water depth was gradual and you really had to wade out there a long way to get even close to being neck level, so it was good for the kids.

There are only a few houses on the island and there were a few days where we were the only ones on the Island. It was a cool feeling.

We brought along a bass boat and went out fishing a few days ( we were there for 6 days) and caught some monsterous small mouth , as well as some nice walleyes which was dinner.

My favorite part was just sitting on the porch and looking at the horizon during the day and the stars and lights of the mainland at night , watching the boats and birds go by. Whether you are young or old , want to relax and read or go for a hike or a swim, there was something for us all.

You are kinda roughing it in a way. There was no TV or Internet. The only electricity was from a gasoline generator (which you do have to go out and fill yourself. They do supply the gas though) and some of the lights ran on propane as well as the fridge and stove, but when the generator is going its just like any other house you would be in that has regular electricity. There is a water tower that is filled by a water pump that draws right from Lake Huron . We cooked over the bon fire a few times to which was fun.

The cabin itself was very clean , nice and cozy. Beds were comfy. It was a perfect balance of comfort and rustic.

The island itself is mostly undeveloped which means it is raw wilderness. which meant that there were plenty of bugs and critters , but my girlfriend is the worst when it comes to those things and she dealt with it like a trooper.

The views were awesome. The sunsets spectacular. Tons of birds. It was a truly unique experience and we do plan to go back, shhhhh, probably without any kids the next time!

  • Submitted: Aug 1, 2015
  • Stayed: July 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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8 1


Nearest Airport
60 Miles
Nearest Ferry
10 Miles
Caseville, Michigan
Nearest Motorway
12 Miles
Car: not necessary


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $200
Property Damage Protection $99
Rnd trip Boat Transport $120

Transportation to the Island is from Northport Marina in AuGres Michigan. Guest needing transportation will select departure and return times. Inclement weather may cause delays or changes so a little flexibility in schedule is required. Season April 15th - October 30th. Website

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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