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A Placed Called: Isle Royale National Park | Duluth Pack

A Place Called: Isle Royale National Park

Thousands of devoted hikers and campers have discovered the rare beauty, which is Isle Royale. Isle Royale National Park, located in the northern regions of Lake Superior, is known for its abundance of moose, crystal clear water, robust forestry, and rugged shoreline. Being one of the few island national state parks, it gives off an atmosphere of solitude and a sense of disconnection from the outside world. This island is 45 miles in length, 10 miles in width, and surprisingly has 165 miles of hiking trails that offer spectacular views of Lake Superior and the natural environment all around.

Before it was known for being a hiking destination, ancient copper miners made the island a center of commerce for trade goods. The deep roots of Isle Royale start with the Ojibwe Indians, who were the first to habitat the island and mine copper. Moreover, the Ojibwe name for Isle Royale is “Minong” which translates to “a good place to copper” or simply “the good place”. The island of Isle Royale and its 400 smaller segments were first designated as a wilderness preserve and then established as a national park in 1940 (National Parks Reservation).

Isle Royale is one of the least visited national parks, reaching only 17,000 visitors each year, which makes it the perfect adventure for people looking for a hidden gem. On this island, you get the opportunity to witness wild animals in their natural habitats, go fishing in the crystal-clear waters surrounding the island and have time to relax and reflect in almost complete solitude. Because of its location and terrain, it has become a destination for hikers and campers of all sorts. Along the 165 miles of hiking trails, there are 36 campsites where visitors can set up camp and rest during the night in between day-long adventures. If you are not the camping type, there are also lodging options at the Rock Harbor Lodge and the Windigo Camper Cabins. The average visitor stays at this national state park for 3 – 4 days. Visitors often end up visiting more than once because there is just so much to see that you cannot see it all in one visit.

Isle Royale can only be reached by ferry or seaplane, taking a minimum of 3 hours to reach the island’s main entrances, located at Rock Harbor and Windigo. There are multiple departure points on the shores of Lake Superior in Minnesota and Michigan. Some cities you can depart from include Grand Portage, MN, and Houghton, MI. Click here to see all visitor transportation options. You can visit this island from Mid-April to the last day in October, with the peak season being from late-July through mid-August.

Due to the current pandemic, all ferry services to this national park will not be providing visitor transportation. However, Isle Royale seaplanes are operating, which fit four passengers at a time. It might be a bit too late to plan a trip for the 2020 season, but you can plan a trip and think ahead to next summer! Isle Royale is a great trip for any couple and family looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. To see the beauty of Isle Royale for yourself, watch the Isle Royale National Park Experience by Pure Michigan at this link or go to National Park Service to plan your trip to Isle Royale today.

If you are planning on taking a trip soon, make sure to check out the Duluth Pack website for all your traveling needs. Some products of ours that could be helpful on any hike are The Deluxe Roll-Top Scout Pack, the Wanderer Pack, or one of the many Fanny Packs within our selection.

Happy traveling, friends!