Isle Royale National Park   1 comment

Isle Royale NP 00Where Is It: From National Geographic:

Isle Royale is 56 miles from the Michigan mainland, 18 miles from Minnesota’s shore, 2 hours or 22 miles from Grand Portage. Airports: Houghton, Michigan and Duluth, Minnesota.

The Birth: This remote island was rumored to be rich in copper deposits in 1843, and miners descended on the island … and were all gone when the last mine closed in 1893. Tourism tried to take hold in the 1890s, but it was largely gone by the 1920s. It was then that Albert Stoll, a writer for the Detroit News, wrote articles about the island and began a movement to make it a National Park. Congress passed enabling legislation in 1931. Today, the Park is one of the least visited of America’s National Parks.

It Happened Here: Isle Royale is home to about one-third of the breeding common loon population in Michigan, where the species is listed by the state as threatened, and contains the only documented loon nesting areas on the Lake Superior shoreline.

Size: The Park covers 894 square miles … 209 of which are above water.

# Visitors: 16,663 visitors in 2012. Attendance peaks in July/August, and is inconsequential November – March.

Plants: From Wikitravel:

The island is mostly forested in a mixture of boreal and northern hardwood ecosystems, with a selection of conifer (spruce, fir, pine) and deciduous (birch, aspen, maple, ash) trees. Past human habitation has left some apple trees behind. Marsh vegetation is more common in the west, but found in low spots everywhere. A wide variety of orchids and wildflowers can be found throughout the island. Berries grow wild; blueberries can be found on open ridge tops, and thimbleberries (with maple-like leaves bigger than your hand; white flowers in early summer, red berries in late summer) grow seemingly everywhere.

Animals: From Wikipedia:

Isle Royale National Park is known for its wolf and moose populations which are studied by scientists investigating predator-prey relationships in a closed environment. This is made easier because Isle Royale has been colonized by roughly just one third of the mainland mammal species, due to it being so remote. In addition, the environment is unique in that it is the only known place where wolves and moose coexist without the presence of bears

There are usually around 25 wolves and 1000 moose on the island, but the numbers change greatly year to year. In rare years with very hard winters, animals can travel over the frozen lake from the Canadian mainland. To protect the wolves from canine diseases, dogs are not allowed in any part of the park, including the adjacent waters. In the 2006-2007 winter, 385 moose were counted, as well as 21 wolves, in three packs. In spring 2008, 23 wolves and approximately 650 moose were counted.

Choices:  Also from Wikipedia:

The park has two developed areas:

Windigo, at the southwest end of the island (docking site for the ferries from Minnesota), with a campstore, showers, campsites, and a boat dock.

Rock Harbor on the south side of the northeast end (docking site for the ferries from Michigan), with a campstore, showers, restaurant, lodge, campsites, and a boat dock. Non-camping sleeping accommodations at the park are limited to the lodge at Rock Harbor

Fees: $4 per person, per day.

Staying There: Campsites are available for no charge, but limit stays from 1 to 5 nights. Facilities vary by site.

Contact Info:

800 East Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, Michigan 49931-1896

(906) 482-0984

Current Issues: Two wolves were born here this year … bringing the island population to 10.

Don’t Miss This: From CNN Travel:

Stoll Trail. Named for journalist Albert Stoll, who campaigned to get the island’s preserved status, the 4.3-mile loop begins at Rock Harbor on the eastern side of the island and brings visitors to Scoville Point and back. The trail winds back and forth between forest and shoreline, offering stunning views of Scoville Lake, craggy bluffs and barrier islands.


National Park Service: Isle Royale National Park

Terra Galeria: Isle Royale

ABC 10: Wolf Management

Isle Royale Info

National Park Traveler: Isle Royale National Park

Posted November 18, 2013 by henrymowry in National Parks

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