Isle Royale National Park, Michigan

The Isle Royale National Park is in Michigan in Keweenaw County and the closest city to the park is Thunder Bay, Ontario. The park was established in 1940 on April 3, attracts nearly 16,000 visitors annually and covers and area of roughly 893 square miles. The park contains forests with pines, spruces, and furs, aspens, oaks, birches, ash, and maple trees. The island contains only about 1 3 of the large mammals that the mainland has. The region is regarded for it's moose and wolf population. It is the only location where moose and wolves live in close proximity to each other without having bears. Canoeing, kayaking, and camping are popular activities for the park. It's not typical for National Parks to close for long periods of time but the Isle Royal National Park closes every winter from November 1 to April 16 due to the harsh weather.

Isle Royale National Park Info


Isle Royale National Park

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Summer 2019 Ranger at the Beach Programs for Kids

Join a park ranger at a local beach this July and August to celebrate summer, shorelines, the Ranger III ferry, and the Keweenaw Peninsula’s long-standing connection to Isle Royale National Park.

Isle Royale Wolf Population Update May 29, 2019

In late March, the NPS discovered a translocated wolf’s GPS collar transmitting a mortality mode signal.

Congratulations to the Summer 2019 Isle Royale Artists-in-

Isle Royale National Park is proud to announce the summer 2019 artists-in-residence. This year’s selections include Alex Braidwood (Ames, IA, Sound Ecology), Nathan Clark, (Vashon, WA, Fiber & Mixed Media) and Cecil Howell (Brooklyn, NY, Collage), along with four alternates, Harlan Butt (Denton, TX, Metalsmith), Elizabeth Rose (Philadelphia, PA, Printmaking), Nicole Simpkins (Minneapolis, MN, Mixed Media), and Elizabeth Ward (San Antonio, TX, Mixed Media). One past artist-in-residence, Keith Taylor (Ann Arbor, MI, Poetry & Prose, 1991), will be returning to assist with the Isle Royale Teen Artist Exploration in July.

More Wolves from Canada Transported to Isle Royale

Seven Canadian wolves, 3 females and 4 males, were translocated to Isle Royale National Park over the weekend by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) and the National Park Service (NPS). Fundraising by the National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation (NPLSF) and International Wolf Center (IWC ) allowed the agencies to move six wolves from Michipicoten Island Provincial Park where they have run out of caribou, their only large prey, before ice and wolf health deteriorated such that successful translocation would not be possible. Additionally, a black wolf was translocated from the Ontario mainland. International Wolf Center. Isle Royale National Park will issue a press release at the conclusion of this translocation effort.

Isle Royale National Park Photos

Hidden Bench - HBM!

RPahre posted a photo:

Hidden Bench - HBM!

Not too far from the lodge at Rock Harbor, you'll find this lovely bench and setting.

Lake Desor blues - HSS!

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Lake Desor blues - HSS!

Evening at our first campsite on Isle Royale.

Pasta with mushrooms and vegetables

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Pasta with mushrooms and vegetables

We rehydrated (separately) dried mushrooms and dried vegetables from the grocery, cooked spinach fettuccine long enough to get "pasta water," added powdered milk and some Parmesan cheese for a pseudo-cream sauce, and then combined ingredients. An easy backpacking dish!

Sides included an avocado and some surplus trail snacks. Dessert was a square of fancy chocolate and a little gin.

Being a father

RPahre posted a photo:

Being a father

I'm sure I'm breaking some Father's Day rules by posting a photo of myself, but this was taken on a recent backpacking trip with my eldest son. Generally speaking, he does our camp chores while I cook.

Forest transition - Explored

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Forest transition - Explored

Along the Greenstone Trail, as we ascend from the Lake Ritchie - Chickenbone junction.

Explored # 10 on June 17, 2019. Thanks, everyone!

First view of Siskiwit

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First view of Siskiwit

That's not the summit of Mount Siskiwit, but the ridge that the summit lies on.

Cresting the Siskiwit Ridge

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Cresting the Siskiwit Ridge

The end of a steep climb from the north end of the trail - the ascend on the south side is more modest. The summit isn't yet visible, but there are many great lunch spots here.

Siskiwit and Siskiwit

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Siskiwit and Siskiwit

This panorama was taken from the Greenstone Trail, on the high ground just below the summit of Mount Siskiwit. It made a great lunch spot.

You can see a large lake below, Lake Siskiwit. We would walk along its shores the next day on the way to Malone Bay.

You can also see an island in Lake Siskiwit, which is the largest island in the largest lake on the largest island in the world's largest lake. There's a pond in the island with a large rock in it, if you'd like another layer.

Todd Harbor Mine - HFF!

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Todd Harbor Mine - HFF!

One of several pits left behind from Euro-American copper mining at Todd Harbor. Most of these expanded smaller Ojibwe operations.

So Many Birches

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So Many Birches

The first half of day 2 entailed hiking through a lot of birch and birch-aspen forests, with some balsam fir and white spruces thrown in.

Mid to late afternoon was mostly soggy wetlands, beaver dams, and overflowing creeks. We overcame the challenges and dried out the boots in camp.

Headlands and islands

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Headlands and islands

Waiting for our boat to arrive at Malone Bay.

Todd Harbor blues

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Todd Harbor blues

Looking northwest to Canada - Sleeping Giant is visible on the horizon at center.

Dripping sap - HBW!

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Dripping sap - HBW!

Sap from a fresh-cut log catches some light on the Chippewa Harbor Trail.

Arriving at Todd Harbor

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Arriving at Todd Harbor

This view was taken from our campsite on Day 2. Though we didn't snag the lone shelter, we had a picnic table with the view, and a tent site inside a stand of trees close by. The sunset developed into something wonderful.

Shy Eagle

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Shy Eagle

One of a pair of eagles sitting on a nest on Isle Royale.

Turtle head

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Turtle head

Painted turtle portaging a carapace on the Indian Portage Trail leaving Lake Ritchie.

Contemplation on the Scoville Trail - HBM!

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Contemplation on the Scoville Trail - HBM!

Shortly after the Scoville Trail leaves Rock Harbor, it crosses a narrow isthmus for a view of some of the other islands in the archipelago. Isle Royale is not just an island but an archipelago of over 400 islands in the middle of Lake Superior.

Lake Ritchie morning

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Lake Ritchie morning

The morning view just before we headed up the Indian Portage Trail to the Greenstone Ridge again.

Isle Royale National Park

Morning at Lake Desor

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Morning at Lake Desor

The campsites at South Lake Desor have peekaboo views of the lake. That's not an IV in the background, but our water filter.

What wonders await

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What wonders await

Looking for the WIndigo dock on our trip up Washington Harbor on the southwest end of Isle Royale. She would be volunteering for the wolf-moose project.