Isle Royale National Park

I had pretty much given up on the possibility that we would get to Isle Royale National Park. It is one of the 59 National Parks that just didn’t seem accessible for us.  It is a long boat ride from Michigan and we couldn’t get the trailer out there to stay overnight! Well, it turns out it is very doable from Minnesota. We had less than a 2 hour boat ride each way and got to spend about 4 hours on the Island. 

You can’t see much of the Island in that amount of time but we did opt to take a 6-1/2 mile round trip hike on Minong Ridge that left us on the trail all alone. (There are a few other shorter hikes and most of the day visitors chose those.) We got to a beautiful vista where you could see Pie Island and Canada in the distance. 

Our wildlife viewing was limited to a lot of moose prints and the work of some very ambitious beavers.

On the boat ride out to the Island we stopped at a very old cedar tree that the Ojibwa consider sacred – The Witch Tree.

The coolest part of the boat ride was definitely the SS Americana – a steamship that sunk in the early part of the century.  We were just floating on the water and the next thing you know it appears out of nowhere!

On the way back to Minnesota, we went by the Rock of Ages Lighthouse. It is still in operation today.

It has been brought up to date with modern equipment and no longer uses the original Fresnel Lense so that is now at the Windigo Visitor Center. The Lighthouse had been manned year round but now it runs on solar doesn’t need a Keeper. 

We had remarkably good weather for the day but this was how it looked on the back of the boat going home.

No stairs to wrap up with today – instead a highly stylized and edited photo of the Lighthouse and a cool bridge. It would have been nice to have a few more wooden “bridges” with all the mud we sloshed through on Isle Royale but I’m not complaining. 

Next up: Grand Portage National Monument