The largest island in Lake Superior and one of two parks not accessible by road, this least-visited park is a site of isolation and wilderness. It has many shipwrecks, waterways, and hiking trails. The park also includes over 400 smaller islands and the waters up to 4.5 miles (7.2 km) from the island. There are only 20 mammal species and it is known for its wolf and moose relationship.
2 mile trail back to the south side of the island from Greenstone ridge. Tough hiking on the northern half as you're traveling down hill for a while. I took this trial on my last day in Isle Royale and was moving quickly as I was ready to try and catch a ferry to leave. I recall this trail about midway became hard to identify. We ended up hiking 100 meters or so in the wrong direction at one point. I don't recall any water sources on the northern half of the trail but there is some on the southern half.
The southern half the 2.4 miles trail is pretty tough as it is coming off of Greenstone Ridge. Not the most scenic of the trails but it takes you to a nice camping area in Lane Cove. The camping area in my opinion is the highlight of this hike. You'll be right on the water with a chance to get into Lake Superior. (extremely cold water btw) The red foxes and squirrels in Lane Cove will steal your food so watch out. :)
I backpacked this trail from Mt. Ojibway to Lane Cove trail. (2.8 M) Near this intersection it is Mount Franklin. This lookout provided me my greatest memory of the entire trip to Isle Royal. It was between 10PM -midnight which I first saw the Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis. Simply unforgettable. As mentioned below, there is no access to water in this area so make sure you carry more than what you think you'll need. Enjoy.
1.7 mile hike from daisy farm camping area. The tower at the north end of the trial provides the longest and best views and a great place to have lunch. (by far the highlight of the trail. If I recall you can see the Michigan's Upper Peninsula from the tower to the south and Canada to the north. One of the highlights from my trip.
Trail is accurately described below. It's not the premiere trail of Isle Royal but a good place to start as it connects with the harbor and ferry. Daisy farms is a roughly 8 miles into this trial and is a great place to stop for the night. Backpacking isn't the only way to experience this trail as canoes and kayaks are available to rent and you can follow the trail on the water.
Rock Harbor Trail to Lake Richie is a great trek. Diverse terrain with beautiful views of Lake Superior, mossy forest views, wetland areas, and rocky bluffs. Lake Richie is a quiet lake where you can set up camp on one of the sites and relax on rock slabs at the waters edge watching Loon and duck.
The Greenstone Ridge Trail is the hiking spine of Isle Royale National Park. Spectacular views. Bring plenty of water as there is no access while on the ridge and if it is hot and sunny there is little tree shade so sunscreen and a hat are recommended too. We hiked it from East Chickenbone assent to Mt. Franklin where we exited via Lane Cove Trail the first day and Mt. Franklin Trail on day two.
Nice trail down to Lane Cove and Lane Cove camp which has five sites, all with a great view of the Lane Cove area of Lake Superior. Trail drops quickly from Greenstone Ridge with several switchbacks. Once off the ridge, there is diverse terrain with boardwalks through the wet areas. Moose use the trail too. Loon are plentiful on the water and call throughout the night. Great for sunsets.
Christine B. on Minong Ridge Trail
Tough trail. Lots of ridges, up and down and up and down.
beautiful trail that takes you right along Lake Superior. I would recommend this trail over the greenstone, as the Rock Harbor Trail is far more picturesque. Cairns on the rock faces help to mark the trail. Overall the trail is fairly flat and easy, with the exception of several rock faces which can become very slippery when wet. The rock faces are easy to traverse, but just slow movement a little as it takes more effort to keep balance.
Great place to visit. As the Nat'l Park's flagship park and as many visitors in one season as Yellowstone received in one day, Isle Royal is a great hike. If you are looking for campfires stick to the northern campsites and bring comfortable hiking shoes as much of the walking is done on slate rock.
I hiked this trail with my 19 year old son after we had come off a 3 day trek of the Rock Harbor Trail at the end of June 2014. It was exceptionally beautiful like the rest of Isle Royale. The end out at Stovall Point was not as easy to follow. I would rate this as a moderate trail and not easy because of the rocky nature of the trail. We passed an older obviously out of shape couple and they were way over extended. They did not come close to finishing it. I suspect they read that it was easy.