Isle Royal National Park, Michigan

Isle Royal is the largest island in Lake Superior, located near the Canadian border. Although we accessed the island by sea plane departing from Grand Marais, Minnesota, the island is technically part of northern Michigan. It is an UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve and due to its remote location, the landscape is pristine. Indigenous people including the Chippewas inhabited the island dating back to 3000 BC and were the first to mine the large quantities of copper on the island. Wildlife on the island include timber wolf and moose, but previously prior to destructive hunting, Canadian lynx and caribou also inhabited the island. These animals crossed the ice bridge to reach the island. The notoriously harsh weather in the region has caused a multitude of shipwrecks, including the famous America wreck in 1928. Thankfully, all of the passengers and crew were rafted to safety, but the boat remains in the water completely vertical.

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As mentioned above, we took a sea plane from Grand Marais to Isle Royal. Because of COVID, none of the ferries were running, making sea plane or private boat the only way to access the island. Ironically, the sea plane only cost $90 more than the ferry and had way better views. We spent the day strolling around the island’s lakeshore. We ran into a cute fox on the trail to the campgrounds. We also hiked to another overlook before hanging out on the docks. We even saw a water snake swimming across the water’s surface. Ewww!

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