The Deer Ranch in St. Ignace Is The Perfect Family Roadside Attraction
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is home to many family-friendly attractions that help break up long drives. One of the first ones travelers encounter after crossing the Mackinac Bridge and starting the journey on U.S. 2 (Top of the Lake Scenic Byway) is the Deer Ranch in St. Ignace. Home to a small herd of whitetail deer, the ranch offers the chance to feed and view one of Michigan’s best-known mammals.
The Deer Ranch first opened in 1950 and is believed to be one of the oldest live whitetail exhibits in North America. The Deer Ranch has grown over time to include whitetail, white whitetail, and albino deer. You can purchase feed at the gift shop and pet and photograph the deer as they come up to see you.
There are several enclosures for the deer, and some informational signs spread out to tell you more about fawns, bucks, and more. We were unfortunately just a few days too early for this year’s fawns and the chance to help bottle feed some babies! The grounds are incredibly clean and well-maintained and the paths are wide and mostly level. We found that most of the deer were more than happy to come get some food and have their picture taken. While whitetail deer are plentiful in Michigan, you don’t often get a chance to get this close for petting and feeding and seeing the white and albino deer is a special treat.
The gift shop is full of deer themed products and everything else you could want from an Upper Peninsula souvenir store. Staff is friendly and welcoming and full of knowledge. If you’re making the trip to the Upper Peninsula and have kids to entertain then the Deer Ranch is a perfect place to stop. Enjoy the photo gallery below from our visit.
The Deer Ranch is located at 1540 W. U.S. 2, four miles west of St. Ignace.