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Ferry or Plane or Both??

Colorado Springs, CO
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116 posts
19 reviews
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Ferry or Plane or Both??

I'm planning a trip to Michigan with a drive up to the UP for June 2011 and plan to go to Isle Royale NP. I've posted the full (tentative) itinerary on the general Michigan forum, but I wanted to see if I could get some advice on the Isle Royale portion of our trip.

My thought is to take the 3-hour ferry out of Copper Harbor to the Isle. However, I haven't decided if we will stay the night at the Rock Harbor Lodge OR take a one-way flight with Royale Air Service back to the UP the same day later in the afternoon. I don't really want to take the 6-hour ferry out of Houghton because of the time it takes to get there.

The issue I see is retrieving our car from Copper Harbor if we fly back into Houghton. Has anyone done either or both? What is the best option? Other options for seeing the Isle?

Colorado Springs, CO
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116 posts
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11. Re: Ferry or Plane or Both??

Thanks BayGuy! Good information to know. I'll check the hotels in Mackinaw City for those ferry ticket deals.

Pinnebog, Michigan
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12. Re: Ferry or Plane or Both??

Hi COfamily2004,

I have to agree with the majority of the posters here, that the three or four hours you will spend on the island it really won't be worth the expense and the time traveling on the ferry/plane. The only three things you could really go see in that amount of time are Tobin Harbor, Raspberry Island and Suzy's Cave and those would be hard given the age of your children.

If you want to spend an easy night in the "wilderness" with your children I would suggest the Porcupines Mt State Park or Craig Lake State Park where you can get a cabin with a wood stove you can cook on, dishes, table and bunks. All you have to bring in are sleeping bags, necessities and food. In the Porkies I would recommend either the Greenstone Cabin or Section 17 Cabin. These are approximately 1 to 1-1/2 miles hikes along the same trail. Section 17 is a little more secluded. This may be a little dangerous for small children because you are hiking along a river and there are steep drop offs, waterfalls and rapids. At Craig Lake you have the option of staying in one of two cabins or stay in a yurt. The cabins are a short hike in while the yurt can be driven right up to. The yurt at Craig Lake would be probably the most family friendly option. Be sure to bring warm clothing and insect repellent.

Colorado Springs, CO
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116 posts
19 reviews
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13. Re: Ferry or Plane or Both??

@ Robalooey...thank you for your input. I have decided not to go to Isle Royale this trip based on all the feedback I received. I have included a day trip to Porcupine Mtns State Park when we are staying in Houghton. Getting a cabin there sounds like a really fun adventure, but we won't have the time this trip unforunately. Maybe our next trip to the UP, we can go to Isle Royale for a few days and then stay in the Porkies for a few days too. Sounds like a beautiful area! Can't wait for our trip!

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14. Re: Ferry or Plane or Both??

I agree. We went to Mackinac this summer and had so much fun! We flew into the airport where a horse/buggy taxi picked us up and took us into town where we rented bikes. Such a neat place. My 12 year old loved it too. Can't wait to goback!

Ann Arbor, MI
Destination Expert
for Michigan, Ann Arbor
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15. Re: Ferry or Plane or Both??

Hi Robalooey,

I'm hoping you'll see this post in this thread and if not, I'll create a new topic.

It sounds like you know some details about the yurt at CLSP. We have it reserved next summer for 3 nights. My impression of where the yurt is versus our vehicle is that it is a bit too far to make trips back and for for food/trash storage, but maybe I'm wrong?

I have done backcountry camping in Alaska and out west so I'm clear on camping etiquette for grizzly country, but I can't find anything on CLSP's website that tell us what sort of precautions we need to take with our food/trash while at the yurt and no information came with the reservation. I'm wondering if we need bear barrels or rope to hang these things or is this over kill for this area?

Has anyone stayed in this yurt that can give me some of the practical details like this? If not, I guess I need to call the park to get the scoop.

Thanks much!

Minnesota
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367 posts
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16. Re: Ferry or Plane or Both??

It is a bit of a tourist trap over on Mackinack, but your 4 year-old will love it, and it's very beautiful. When we were there a number of years ago, we were able to rent a horse and buggy and go for a drive. How many people can do that in this day and age?

17. Re: Ferry or Plane or Both??

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