The three Thunder Bay Islands are just off the coast of Alpena: Gull island, Sugar island and Thunder Bay Island.

In 1840 there was a gill net fishery and in 1841 the first lighthouse was constructed. It was made of wood but re-built in 1857 with sturdier materials, and it still stands to this day.

The fishery was moved to Sugar Island, the largest of the three; at it's peak, the islands boasted a population of over 150 residents and a booming business.

Nowadays, only Thunder Bay Island is the only one that's inhabited...but not by many. All that's there is the lighthouse, an old abandoned houseboat, Coast Guard facilities, a dock or two and possibly a radio beacon.

If you can hitch a boat ride over to any of the three islands, do so. VERY historical, and Sugar Island is actually considered to be a "ghost town" area, since there are no more inhabitants. An excellent addition to a Michigan roadtrip.....without the road.