The Isle Royale area is similar to the Prince William Sound in Alaska.  Lots of wooded islands.   Royale is pronounced roi 'əl  not  roi əl ', with the accent on the first syllable.   Isle Royale National Park comprises about 200 islands.   Isle Royale is the largest of those islands in Lake Superior.  

If you ferry from the MN side, on the ship Wenonah, you do not need advanced reservations.  During the summer the Wenonah leaves 7 days a week around 9AM from Grand Portage, arrives at Windigo on the west wide of Isle Royale around noon, stays about 3 hours (Gilligan's island theme – a 3-hour tour) then heads back to GP.  (To pronounce ‘Windigo’, think of the Princess Bride movie, “Hello, my name is Indigo Montoya.  You killed my father.  Prepare to die.”   Windigo rhymes with Indigo.)  A very friendly older couple lives on the Wenonah.  It is their summer home, and on the way back they detour by his father’s fishery on one of the islands.  

There is another ship, The Voyageur II, that leaves Grand Portage 3 times a week and reservations are a must.  It travels around the entire park and drops passenger at scheduled trailheads and points. 

A southwest loop from Windigo to Feldtmann Lake to Siskiwit Bay to Island Mine to Windigo is approximately 30 miles.  The trails were filled with rocks and roots, roots and rocks, with the occasionally fallen tree, so you may find yourself looking down at the ground to avoid stumbling, which may take away from experiencing the beautiful scenery. Feldtmann Lake is beautiful and serene.  

Points to keep in mind: 

*   There are 2 places on the 40-mile long island with safe drinking water – Windigo on the west, and Rock Harbor on the east.  Water not obtained from the spigots at Rock Harbor or Windigo is considered contaminated with tapeworm and bacteria, so you must use a water filter or boil water.  A park ranger said iron tablets were not advised. 

*   Wear boots instead of shoes as footing is often difficult due to the roots and rocks and slanted mossy bedrock that may be slick after a rain. Use your Teva sandals at the campsite.  A park ranger said most trails on the island were filled with rocks and roots.  And due to the trampling down over time, the rocks and roots are becoming more and more exposed. 

*  Some trails grow thick with berries and other obstructions, so have long pants handy.

*  There are no predators (bears or poison ivy), so hiking is relatively safe.  Outside of the rocks and roots.


For good advice on hiking and paddling Isle Royale, go to this Michigan travel site: