A Hike at Rabbits Back Peak

To most, it’s just a hump in the landscape on a Lake Huron Bay just outside of the city of St. Ignace in the village of Evergreen Shores.  To many who live here, it’s much more….It’s a history, a story of a time gone by, an era when this intriguing rock was a well-known landmark, a kind of “castle rock” of its day. It was a nickle climb, so they say. The land is populated by small two tracks, a reminder of a time that it was being developed for a campground but never really got off the ground.  It is full of majestic cedars and many varieties of evergreens and rock ledges as well as hidden cement footings that hold stories of a previous life in a bustling harbor town.

Towering over the Mackinac area, it offers a 365 view although the ancient cedars are starting to block some of the wide open view of years past.  It is the highest point in Mackinac County, 30 feet higher than the famous “Castle Rock” on I-75.

The “Peak” holds stories of years gone by.  Many Native Americans have their own stories and beliefs of what the landmark really holds, some believe it is a sacred ground and holds sacred bones of early settlers. You can see the area that once was the bustling “Trading Post” where a small tourist shop on Mackinac Trail marks the original (or close to) position of this place where the voyagers met and traded their goods and stories.  A spot identified from Lake Huron as “between” the towering two peaks (Castle Rock and Rabbits Back Peak). See the a story below from “Chief White Wolf”.

I remember as a teenager, new to the area, climbing this rock and thinking it was the coolest place I’d ever been.  I’ve climbed many times since then and this climb was with a non-profit group that we work with, The Great Waters Center for Lifelong Learning, most of the group are newer to the area and had only ever wondered what that hump represented.  A local Native American historian accompanied us to give the group the history of the “Peak” through his eyes.

As we stood atop the peak, an eagle soared over the cedars, the setting sun shed a late afternoon glow on nearby Mackinac Island and the St. Ignace harbor, the smell of cedars filled the air and fall was upon us.  There was no better place to be on that day.  All is good in our U.P.          Rabbits Back Peak

The Rabbits Back

Woods, Historic of Mackinac

Here is a rock of peculiar shape about three miles from the point where the Indians gathered in 1680.  Here, it is said MANABOZHO, the Great Hare, who was a Huron Deity, once gave a Huron the gift of Immortality tied in a bundle, enjoining him never to open it; The Indian’s wife, however, moved by curiousity, cut the string, and the precious gift flew out.  Ever since then the Indians have been subject to death.

MANABOZHO was a Diety to all of the tribes in the Lakes’ Superior and Michigan region, and our local tribesman say that he was usually in the form of a Great Hare, and was very kind to the Indians, but as the Indians began waring and adopting the ways of the early traders, he became so grieved that he turned himself to stone. Ever after those who had heard of his wonderful works, have in sorrow or want, gone to this spot and laid gifts around him, and they claim wonderful healings and other supernatural benefits from this great stone rabbit.


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