Traveler EdgeIsle Royale National Park
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Last Update : 2008/6/20
Currently 7 visitor(s) on-line
Total visits in past 24 hours : 963
Isle Royale National ParkVisits :
   How to Get Here  |  Rock Harbor Lodge  |  Copper Harbor  | 
   Scoville Trail  |  Suzy's Cave  |  Animal, Plant, Rock
Location: Michigan, Great Lakes, USA Mid West

   : City   : National Park   : National Monument / Miscellaneous

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Isle Royale is a very special place. Remote, isolated and natural might be the most frequently use words to describe the island. It is north of Michigan, east of Minnesota and it took 3 to 7 hours to reach by ferry, depending on departure/arrival site and type of boat. The original natural environment and ecological system is well preserved and protected in the island. There is no road or automobile. You have to rely on your feet or boat to move yourself. There are all kinds of animals living in the island: looms, foxes and naturally balanced eco-system of mooses and wolves. It is probably the least frequently visited national park and it only opens in summer.

I guess that they applied the strategy of high cost to limit the visitation. Ferry fare is $50 one way. There is only one lodge on the island and the rate runs from $150 to $300 per room. Lunch is $15 and dinner is $30. Park also charges usage fee of $4 per adult per day.

Is it worthwhile ? Everybody who has been there wishes to go back in the future.

The experience is very unique. Other than the clean and clear lake and magnificent shoreline, the most precious thing is the animals and ecological system. We picked up blueberries while hiking and listened to the howls of unknown animals and looms. Although we didn't see any moose, we did see a fox walking leisurely in front of us. It was quite a different experience while hiking in dusk. There was no human beings around and the animals were making all sorts of sounds. Even though I was all by myself, yet I didn't feel lonely.

The park has minimum facilities. There are two visitor centers. One is in Rock Harbor (south eastern corner of the island) and the other is in Windigo (west). The only lodge and restaurant is in Rock Harbor. The park has camping gounds. Please refer to this link for more details : Camping and Hiking. Please contact the park if you plan to do camping.
Park Summary
Park Rating
Overall
Rating : 4  (1 votes)
Convenience
Rating : 1  (1 votes)
Physical Demand
Rating : 4  (1 votes)
Family Activity
Rating : 2  (1 votes)
What does the rating mean ?I want to rate for this park
Park Geography

Nearby City(Definition of Driving Distance and Time)
City, StateDistanceDrive Time
Grand Portage, MN22 miles2:00
Copper Harbor, MI56 miles4:30
Houghton, MI73 miles6:00
Minneapolis, MN426 miles8:54
Chicago, IL465 miles9:30
Detroit, MI600 miles11:00
Cleveland, OH758 miles13:39
Bismarck, ND828 miles14:42
Nashville, TN943 miles17:00
Washington, DC1123 miles19:00
New York, NY1216 miles20:04
Nearby National Park(Definition of Driving Distance and Time)
National ParkDistanceDrive Time
Voyageurs424 miles8:30
Cuyahoga787 miles14:00
Mammoth860 miles15:51
Theodore Roosevelt958 miles16:28
Badlands972 miles16:37
Mt Rushmore1048 miles17:57
Smoky Mountain1049 miles18:49
Jewel Cave1068 miles18:31
Wind Cave1070 miles18:44
Shenandoah1090 miles18:47
Fort McHenry1126 miles18:55
Devils Tower1130 miles19:05
Congaree1263 miles22:13
National Park Service Website
http://www.nps.gov/isro
Weather Forecast
Monthly AverageJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temperature (ºF)141622374758646354453119
High Temperature (ºF)212430455869747363543725
Low Temperature (ºF)7814293748545345372613
Precipitation (inches)3.71.92.52.23.23.83.33.93.42.33.73.3
Snowfall (inches)45.72825.36.61.800002.126.241.9
Rainy Days7.14.55.55.16.36.65.96.65.545.96.6
Activity Suggestion
T Refer to this link for Rock Harbor related activities : Rock Harbor.

Hiking : The least expensive and most reliable way to move around. The island is about 40 miles long, less than 10 miles in width. The park map has identified the location of trails. Most people took the Scoville Point trail (4.2 miles round trip reaching the east point of the island) or Suzy's Cave trail (3.8 miles round trip). The distance does not seem to be challenging. However, each trail will take you at least 3 or 4 hours. The trail to Mt. Franklin (10 miles round trip) will take one full day. There is an overlooking point where you can see north side of the island and Canada shoreline.

Canoeing : Bring your own or rent from Rock Harbor Lodge. Most people use canoe to reach trail heads on the other side of the island. However, I did see people doing sea kayaking around the island. However, I don't know how far can they reach.

Boat Tour : Somewhat expensive. However, the water taxi can help to transport you to a far point in the middle of teh island for you to hike all the way back to Rock Harbor. Sunset tour and lighthouse tour also seemed to be interesting. We didn't try though.

Berry picking, mushroom picking (if you know and dare), lake stones picking (beautiful, but not allowed to carry out of the park), identify animals and see if you can find a fox, moose or even wolf (nobody has ever seen one in summer), stargazing, fishing.
Discussion Area - Isle Royale
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