Apple Island Tours


Apple Island Tours return on June 8 & 9, 2024!
GWHBS Members: Pre-register for your tour departure time May 1 – June 7!


Click Here to Register for Your Tour!


About Apple Island Tours

Apple Island Tours is an annual event during the second weekend in June by Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society (GWBHS), in partnership with West Bloomfield School District, Orchard Lake Schools, City of Orchard Lake Village, and West Bloomfield Parks. Tours begin at Orchard Lake Museum and include outdoor exhibits, volunteer island docents, presenters Genot (Winter Elk) Picor and Mi-kwan-dahn (Mike) Jewell, bus and boat transportation, and a self-guided island tour.

Apple Island, officially known as Marjorie Ward Strong Woodland Sanctuary, is a 37-acre island in the center of Orchard Lake. It is currently uninhabited by people and is kept as a nature preserve with several archaeological sites by West Bloomfield School District. The public can visit the island during the annual Apple Island Tours.

About the Trip: The tour begins at Orchard Lake Museum, followed by a quick bus ride to the shore (bus transportation provided by West Bloomfield Parks) and pontoon boat ride to Apple Island. The tour of the island is self-paced. Allow 3 hours for the round trip. Be sure to read our “Know Before You Go” flyer for information about weather/insect conditions on the island and the physical requirements of the tour.

Activities at Orchard Lake Museum: Orchard Lake Museum will be open during the event, with many fun outdoor activities, including: historical costume photo op, archaeology activity box, and old-fashioned games and crafts. Snacks will be available for purchase. The Museum gift shop will be open.

Tickets: Ticket donations: $25 adult, $15 child (ages 5-12), none under 5 years old. Tickets will be available for purchase at Orchard Lake Museum on a first come, first served basis during the event.

Advance Reservations: Members only, May 1 – June 7. For the first time, GWBHS members can purchase tickets and schedule their chosen estimated time of departure online! Must check in 15 minutes before planned departure time. Reservations are nonrefundable, except in the case of weather event cancellation. Individual level members can purchase one advance ticket; other membership levels
up to 6.

Support Apple Island Tours as a $500 gold sponsor, $150 silver sponsorship, or $50 Apple Island Champion. See details here.

Volunteers & Docents are needed! See what it’s all about in training sessions, at the Orchard Lake Museum! RSVP the day prior at or (248) 757-2451.

  • Second-grade student island and museum docents on Wednesday, May 8, 7 pm
  • Apple Island Tours volunteers and docents on Wednesday, June 5, 7 pm

Community Partners

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Past Events

View the 2021 Virtual Apple Island tour here.

2019 Apple Island Tours poster
2019 Apple Island National Register of Historic Places Celebration Program
The Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors explained the history of surveying during the 2017 Apple Island Tours on Civic Center TV.
2015 Apple Island Tours presenters
2014 Civic Center TV coverage of Apple Island Tours
2012 Apple Island Tours event images