Isle Royale National Park

Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park is maybe one of the least visited national parks in the U.S., but definately the most revisited. Isle Royale is actually an island and wilderness archipelago located in the middle of Lake Superior, 45-mile long and 9-mile wide.

Isle Royale sunset over rock harbor

Miles of trail wind through forests an hug the shoreline, climb steeply to ridgetop views, and descend into wetlands. 99% of the park´s land base is designated wilderness that beckons you to explore. It is one of the best national parks outside of Alaska to see the northern lights.

isle-royale-national-park northern lights

For sure one of the best National_Parks for enjoying the wilderness. Moose have become one of the iconic mammals of Michigan´s National Park, but you can see wolves all over Isle Royale too.

To get an overview, have a look at the Isle Royale Map

Things to do at Isle Royale National Park

  • 1. Fishing – with a multitude of reefs and bays along Lake Superior and its numerous island lakes and streams, Isle Royale provieds varied opportunities for recreational fishing. A Michigan fishing license is requiered for fishing in Lake Superior, but you can do without on Isle Royale´s interior waters.
  • 2. Paddling – the park provides numerous lakes, bays and islands with miles of waterways for experienced kayakers and canoeists. A U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floating device is mandatory. You find boat rentals at Windigo and Rock Harbor.
  • 3. Diving – if you are an experienced scuba diver, you can explore the shipwreck sites. Dive permits are required and available at Houghton, Rock Harbor, or Windigo.
  • 4. Hiking – day hiking is an excellent way to explore the National Park. It´s rocky and wild, just the way hiking should be. Hiking trails greatly vary in length, between 0.4 and 42 miles.
  • 5. Top attractions are: Rock Harbor, Scoville Point, Windigo Visitor Center, Greenstone Ridge Trail and the Rock Island Lighthouse.

What is on your Summer Bucket List ?

isle royale moose and calf

How to get to Isle Royale NP?

The island isn’t easy to get to. The only way to reach the island is to take a seaplane or boat. Ferries depart from Copper Harbor and, Houghton in Michigan, or Grand Portage, Minnesota.

Where to stay on Isle Royale?

Either in a tent, at one of the 36 wilderness campgrounds, a boat, or stay in comfort at the amazing Rock Harbor Lodge – this is up to you.

The Midwest is home to many spectacular National-Parks, State Parks, National Monuments and historical sites.

Middle Islands Passage isle-royale-national-park

Image source: National_Parks_Gallery, public domain