Isle Royale, MI Kayaking & Camping
8 Days, 7 Nights
Rock Harbor, Isle Royale
Located 22 miles offshore in the world’s largest lake, Isle Royale is the most realistic sea-like destination for paddlers in the Midwest. The waters can be calm or challenging, offering both adventure and wild beauty as we paddle the southern shore and nearby Amygdaloid Island. From protected coves to exposure points, abandoned fishing villages to restored lighthouses, Isle Royale is a fantastic sea kayaking escape. You will also have plenty of time to relax and explore some of the many hiking trails found within the least-visited national park in the world.
Day 1: We'll meet in Grand Portage, MN to spend the night getting acquainted over dinner and spend the night at a local campground. We rise early the next morning to catch the ferry out to Isle Royale.
Day 2 -6: Upon arrival in Rock Harbor we will unload our kayaks and spend some time reviewing the basics of sea kayaking and refreshing our bracing and rescue skills. Some of the seas we encounter this week will be challenging and exciting, with swells that range up to six feet. From there, we will head out paddling our way around the island, exploring the many secluded bays and beaches. Over 200 smaller islands surround the main reach, from rocky outcrops hardly big enough for a gull's perch to the four mile long Amygdaloid Island. Like chips of a fallen star or shards of the moon, these tiny outcrops are out of reach for hikers and remain as the domain of paddlers. If time and conditions permit, we will make the crossing around the tip of the island and explore the southern region. Highlights here include the Edisen Fishery, Cemetery Island, and Lake Superior Maritime Museum found at the historic Rock Harbor Lighthouse.
Day 7: We pack up our gear and prepare to leave this beautiful island, returning to Grand Portage by ferry, to spend one last night at a local campground (we try to camp near some hot showers this night!), celebrating and enjoying the week's memories.
Day 8: Breaking camp a final time, we make our farewells and head home. Camping is primitive but comfortable at the five national park campgrounds. We ask that you participate in all camp activities, including cooking, washing dishes and setting up and breaking camp, in order to hone your wilderness camping skills and have the finest and most complete outdoor experience possible. **This itinerary is subject to change.
The main access point for visitors landing on Isle Royale is Rock Harbor. According to research Rock Harbor sits four miles from the northeastern end of the forty-five mile long island.
History Trivia: Two structures in Rock Harbor: The Rock Harbor Light and the Edisen Fishery are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.