We loved this hike, paced ourselves over 5 days. We took the sea plane in and out. it was worth every penny (about $700 for two people which includes pick up at a different location). Not only was it neat, it only took 40 minutes. we also were able to pack less than 40 pounds each, which included our alchohol. we were lucky and had no bug issues, but we made sure not to wear or bathe in anything fragrant, except DEET. We went through lots of ibuprofen, if you have something stronger, bring it. We also hammock camped, which was challenging because a lot of the birch trees are rotting and not sturdy. With that being said, we found sites that were good enough to hammock camp. One last suggestion, camp grounds closer to the ends fill up faster than the middle, it will benifit you to get there before others to get a good campsite, or you may have to share. You may have to share anyway.

How would I get over there? Any suggestions.

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

I hiked this trail from May 28th to June 1st of 2019. I went from Windigo to Rock Harbor. When deciding whether to take this trail or the Greenstone to cross the Island, my friend and I decided to take this trail because it sounded more interesting. We’d heard it was rocky and offered great views of Canada, both points were absolutely true. I have not taken the Greenstone before but I can say that taking this trail for 3 days was quite an experience and totally worth it to me. I believe the Greenstone is a continuous ridge whereas the Minong Ridge is quite segmented so there is a lot of up and down. It seemed that any point where you saw higher ground was where the trail was headed. The trail is entirely up and down and in that regard being called a ridge trail can be misleading; while it does follow ridges, the ridges are frequently broken up by streams cutting through the ridge and to get from one pinnacle to the next you are constantly having to move back down to lower elevations to cross the streams (and these areas can be muddy) followed by the scrambles back to get atop the ridge for a few minutes until you hit another gap in the ridge and have to start the process over dozens of times. We lost the trail a few times when in the wooded areas due to leaf cover and there are few markings of the trail on the rocky areas, all you can do are look for sections of rock with wear on them and rock stacks/cairns (don’t kick these down please, i get it when they are not necessary but it is the only way we were able to stay on trail in many instances because the path is nearly impossible to discern on rocky terrain and those kept us from getting lost more than a few times). As a wilderness trail you’ll only come across a sign every few hours. There are a few sections where you’ll be crawling up rocks because it gets pretty steep in places. Also bring a face net in late May/early June for the black flies in the interior of the island, you’ll be very glad you did as they love to fly into your nose, ears, eyes, and mouth. Also it can get down to the 30s at that time of year on the island so be prepared. The hike can be quite hard on your thighs as you’ll be doing a lot of uphill walking. The campgrounds along the trail had ample space at the time of year we went, we camped at North Desor the first night, after having gotten onto the trail at 2PM or so. We camped at Todd Harbor night 2, Daisy Farm on day 3, and Rock Harbor the final night. At Daisy Farm and Rock Harbor there were shelters, Todd Harbor had one shelter that was taken the night we were there. Decent water sources (deep streams with flowing water) can in sections be a few miles between so plan accordingly. The trail even by the standards of this island is remote. We would see sometimes 0, other times maybe 1 or 2 other groups of hikers per 10 hour day. The views of Canada were pretty great on some ridges, such as around the area you enter North Desor from. The general scenery was pretty nice too, but the flower blooms are less in May/June than they had been when I went in July of 2018. The most photogenic part of the island in my opinion is over by Scoville point (not on this trail) if you want to see peak Isle Royale scenery. There are some sections of trail where you’re quite likely to submerge your feet, there were at least 3 beaver dams we crossed which your feet will likely sink into, there just aren’t many spots that will support a person’s weight without your feet going in. So wear quick-drying shoes or ankle high waterproof shoes. If you go the waterproof route make sure no water gets in as it won’t dry out quickly. It was a fun and rewarding experience. I can’t speak to whether it is better or worse than the Greenstone, but it was quite enjoyable as an arduous wilderness hiking experience. Also note that the Greenstone is higher in elevation, when leaving the Minong trail we could see Canada from the Greenstone trail as well despite being further South.

EASY AND BEAUTIFUL!!!

hiking
bridge out
muddy
over grown
4 months ago

Great trail did with my scout trail and you get all the views amazing time when we went in august

backpacking
muddy
8 months ago

Awesome! Tough hike for a 65 year old but well worth it.

hiking
8 months ago

Tough trail with narrow planks over water. Very difficult in the rain.

hiking
8 months ago

The hike from 3 Mile is tough at first with so much uphill, but the view is gorgeous! A quintessential Isle Royal vista awaits.

hiking
8 months ago

5 stars, although the beaver dams really suck.

The Rock Harbor Trail along the Lake Superior coast is a rocky route with consistently beautiful views all around. The water sparkles under the sunlight and the waves provide a calming backdrop to a hike that can be a little busy during the summer with a lot of backpackers moving in all directions but still provides space for silent reflection. The trail does kind of move up and down following the profile of the rocky shore, but there is no significant elevation gain; the rocky terrain is instead the biggest challenge, taking a toll on your knees if you are backpacking with considerable weight. Threemile and Daisy Farm are both lovely backcountry camping sites. Even though they do fill up during peak season, individual sites tend to offer some privacy. Still, it is significantly busier down here than the northeastern part of the island where we first camped during our trip and you will see lots of groups at the end of the day. Multiple day hikes can be done from both camp sites, like Mount Ojibway starting at Daisy Farm. We spent our first 2 days at Lane Cove and then used this route to make our way back to Rock Harbor; personally I would highly recommend that approach for intermediate backpackers. Overall, the route between Daisy Farm and Rock Harbor is a great choice for backpacking along the shoreline of Isle Royale, experiencing the endless glory of Lake Superior.

The Rock Harbor Trail along the Lake Superior coast is a rocky route with consistently beautiful views all around. The water sparkles under the sunlight and the waves provide a calming backdrop to a hike that can be a little busy during the summer with a lot of backpackers moving in all directions but still provides space for silent reflection. The trail does kind of move up and down following the profile of the rocky shore, but there is no significant elevation gain; the rocky terrain is instead the biggest challenge, taking a toll on your knees if you are backpacking with considerable weight. Threemile and Daisy Farm are both lovely backcountry camping sites. Even though they do fill up during peak season, individual sites tend to offer some privacy. Still, it is significantly busier down here than the northeastern part of the island where we first camped during our trip and you will see lots of groups at the end of the day. Multiple day hikes can be done from both camp sites, like Mount Ojibway starting at Daisy Farm. We spent our first 2 days at Lane Cove and then used this route to make our way back to Rock Harbor; personally I would highly recommend that approach for intermediate backpackers. Overall, the route between Daisy Farm and Rock Harbor is a great choice for backpacking along the shoreline of Isle Royale, experiencing the endless glory of Lake Superior.

Hiked Windigo to Rock Harbor via Greenstone and other trails with stops in South Desor, Todd Harbor, McCargo, and Daisy Farm. We had a group of 9 and had a blast. Some of the campgrounds were busy but we met some great people. The trail is more difficult than most. We were there in mid August and I can count on one hand how many bugs we saw. Wildlife was abundant. Water was cold but swam at both McCargo and Daisy Farm which felt amazing. McCargo was my favorite campground. Wish there was more trash disposal sites along the way so plan on carrying it the whole time. We were blessed at McCargo to meet some people waiting for the boat that offered to take our trash up to that point...promised to pay it forward one day.

hiking
rocky
10 months ago

A good hike for those looking for a moderate challenge. Although the hike is short, it’s inclines make it somewhat of a challenge. The trail is lined with blueberries and thimble berries along the end of the trail. These provide motivation to reach the summit at Ojibway Tower. The trail has a good mixture of sun and shade and the view at its conclusion are spectacular.

Did part of the loop as an out-and-back from Windigo to Feldtmann Lake. Nice walk along Superior moving into the forest. Feldtmann Campground pitch 2 has amazing views right on the lake. Saw moose and beavers on Feldtmann Lake

50 miles in 5 days with my 13 year old son.. moose loons beautiful scenery. Hike the green stone ridge north and was very rocky and rooty the south end was much more hike able. Overall trip claimed 17,000 feet in elevation. Lifetime of memories. Great trip, came in on the Isle Royale sea plane. 47lbs pack to heavy recommend cutting as much weight as possibles. Great people on the trail.

Amazing national treasure in the largest lake in the world. Fairly Rocky and rooty to the point where you should stop if you want to look around as not to fall. The views are pretty grand when you get them, plentiful campsites, many with shelters that have bug nets. I did a 7 day backpacking trip to the island and did 130 miles total, step climbs to and from lane cove if you plan on going there, but 4 total sites, all on the water.

hiking
bridge out
muddy
washed out
11 months ago

This is were we saw our first and second moose while visiting isle Royale! We only made it about 0.75 miles out and decided o turn around due to the trail being flooded but we were very satisfied seeing two moose in such a short distance!

GF and I hiked 114 miles over the major trails on IR in 5 days. GR is pretty much the premier hike on the island. It’s great because it provides some outstanding views (including from multiple fire towers) while actually being a very easy, gentle hike, with minimal rocks or roots on the path. Once you get up on the ridge it’s pretty flat actually. Consequently there are few options for water however, so be sure to look at the map to see how far you are from the next source and chug/pack accordingly. A few areas are very buggy, so pack your 100% DEET. This trail is far superior to the Minong Ridge, which is a far more difficult hike with few (if any) decent views. The Feldtmann Lake Loop has a lot more wildlife (moose, beavers, eagles, loons), so if you can incorporate that into your trek it would be worthwhile.

hiking
11 months ago

GF and I did 114 miles over 5 days covering the major trails on IR. We hiked Washington Creek to Siskiwit Bay counterclockwise on the Feldtmann Lake Loop in a day (20 miles), and the section to the Greenstone Ridge the next morning. This was our favorite day hiking due to outstanding views of Feldtmann Lake and Lake Superior, and because this trail had far more wildlife than we saw anywhere else on the island. The lake was populated by bald eagles and loons, and once we got up on Feldtmann Ridge we could see at least 6 moose swimming and frolicking in the lake. We then came face to face with 2 bull moose and a calf on the ridge itself, followed by a beaver dam where 3 beavers gave us quite a show. Siskiwit Bay campground was the most beautiful that we saw on the island, and because it’s far from the main harbors we were the only ones there. FYI the section from the campground to the GR along the Island Mine trail is very boggy because it has been taken over by beavers, but if you follow the guide posted at the campground you should be able to get through without getting your feet wet (you just have to step across stones and logs and stuff). The initial part of the guide is misleading though - stick to the trail and DO NOT walk along the beach until after you cross the bridge over the Big Siskiwit River, otherwise you will have to bushwhack through a huge messy bog to get to the bridge (or hike back quite a way).

hiking
11 months ago

GF and I did 114 miles across all the major trails on the island in 5 days. We did the Minong Ridge from McCargoe Cove to Washington Creek (29 miles) in one day. I would recommend this hike the very least of everything we did. Despite supposedly being a ridge trail, there are very few (if any) great views because as soon as the trail gets up on the ridge, within a minute it runs back down, totally defeating the purpose of climbing it in the first place. This happens over and over again, very frustrating! And the trail actually goes down the ridge on the inland side, so you don’t even get views of Lake Superior. That, combined with the fact that this is the most difficult trail on the island, makes it a total dud. Unless you are planning on trekking the entire island for the sake of doing so, I would find a different trail instead (Greenstone Ridge is much better). We did see a wolf in the Minong Mines section, which was some consolation.

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