500,000 acres. This remote National Park is a 45-mile-long island in the northwest corner of Lake Superior, 50 miles from the Michigan shoreline. It’s wild, roadless, and accessible by boat or floatplane. The park is open to the public only from mid-May through mid-October each year.

Ninety-nine percent of the park consists of designated wilderness. Terrain is often rocky, with low ridges, and there are several rivers, a number of inland glacial lakes, and some bogs and swamps. The island is forested with hardwoods and conifers. Wildlife includes moose, timber wolf, and fox.

Activities: The main activities available here are hiking and backpacking, with a network of about 170 miles of trails. Included are the 40-mile Greenstone Ridge Trail and the 26-mile Minong Ridge Trail. Difficulty ranges from easy to strenuous.

Off-trail travel is difficult and not recommended. Canoeing is possible on inland lakes, but canoes must be transported to the island. Fishing is another option here. Hunting is prohibited.

Camping Regulations: A free permit, which may be obtained from any ranger station, is required in order to camp in the backcountry. Reservations are not available. A number of designated camping areas are found throughout the park, but it’s also possible to camp where one wishes.

Campfires are permitted at some but not all established camping areas, and prohibited elsewhere. A stove should be brought for cooking. Pets are not allowed.

For Further Information: Isle Royale National Park, Houghton, MI 49931; (906)482-0984.

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