Located in northern Michigan and surrounded by Lake Superior, Isle Royale National Park is a world of its own. Brimming over with natural beauty, the park is both a peaceful and adventurous place to visit throughout the year. At Isle Royale National Park, you can enjoy camping, fishing, and even scuba diving. You're certain to leave with incredible memories.
Must-Do Hikes in Isle Royale National Park
Day hiking is one of the best ways to truly take in the beauty of Isle Royale National Park. The park features several hikes of varying lengths, so hikers of all skill levels will find a trail that suits them. Hikes are available in the Rock Harbor and Windigo areas of the park. Rock Harbor is located on the north-east end of the park and is accessible via the Isle Royale Queen IV ferry. Windigo is located on the south-east end of the park and is accessible via the Seahunter III ferry and Isle Royale Seaplanes.
1. Rock Harbor Trail
Set out from one of the Isle Royale National Park cabins and dive into nature. One of the park's most popular trails, Rock Harbor Trail is 11mi. long and offers scenic views of Lake Superior. The first 7mi. are the most picturesque and the least strenuous, while the final 4mi. are slightly less scenic but will give you a better workout.
2. Tobin Harbor Trail
Hikers seeking an easy trek will appreciate Tobin Harbor Trail. This wide 3mi. long trail has beautiful views of the lake and connects with other trails for those who wish to hike longer distances.
3. Feldtmann Ridge Trail
10mi. long, and providing views of Lake Superior's islands, Feldtmann Ridge Trail is another of Isle Royale National Park's most popular trails. Halfway through the hike, you'll find a fire tower which you can climb to get an even better view of your surroundings.
4. Island Mine Trail
Just under 5mi. in length, Island Mine Trail will transport you back to the park's historic past. The area's mining history is showcased by the many mining artifacts dotting this easy trail.
Best Outdoor Adventures in Isle Royale National Park
Isle Royale National Park is a dream for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. Lake Superior provides a playground for water sports, boating, fishing, and scuba diving. Meanwhile, along the lake's shores, the lush foliage, numerous camp grounds, and idyllic trails provide the perfect backdrop for exploring the park. There are many hotels near Isle Royale National Park from which you can easily access all the park has to offer.
1. Canoeing and Kayaking
The park's many miles of waterways make it ideal for a day of canoeing or kayaking. Just be sure to note that canoes must be at least 15in. wide, and sea kayaks rather than recreational kayaks are strongly recommended.
2. Ranger Programs
Get a more in-depth experience of Isle Royale National Park by participating in one of the many ranger programs. Park rangers offer guided outdoor tours that will give you insights into the park's history and take you to hidden spots you might not find on your own.
3. Scuba Diving
One of the park's unique activities is scuba diving in the clear waters of Lake Superior. The lake's long history has made it the site of many shipwrecks, which scuba divers can explore. Just bear in mind that the lake is cold at all times of year, and it's easy to get lost among the shipwrecks, so the activity is recommended for more experienced divers.
Best Family Activities in Isle Royale National Park
Isle Royale National Park offers plenty of activities that families can enjoy together. Stay in one of the Isle Royale National Park cabins and head out for a day of backpacking, fishing, or boating.
1. Camping and Backpacking
There are 36 camp grounds located in Isle Royale National Park, and they are all accessible by watercraft or on foot. The camp grounds feature tent sites and outhouses, and some also have picnic tables with views of Lake Superior. You can spend several days in the great outdoors by backpacking from one campsite to the next.
2. Boat Tours
One of the best ways to explore the park and its surrounding waters is by boat tour. MV Sandy Tours offers several tours from Rock Harbor, including the Raspberry Island Sunset Cruise, on which you can glimpse the Canadian shoreline and take in the stunning sunset over Lake Superior.
Isle Royale National Park's location makes it perfect for anglers of all ages. Fishing can be done from the shore or on a boat, and many species of fish abound. A Michigan fishing license is required for everyone over the age of 17.
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