Isle Royale National Park Greenstone Ridge Trail

Houghton, Michigan

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Go high above this tiny Lake Superior island for solitude, views, and one of Michigan’s most incredible ridge hikes. Lake Superior acts like a 31,800-square-mile moat that keeps the sightseers away—this island park gets fewer visitors in a year than Yosemite gets on a busy midsummer day. One 7-hour ferry plus a 42-mile trail equals zero crowds. The precious few who make it here and actually go backpacking rightfully target Greenstone Ridge, the backbone of the island and home to its highest landmark, 1,365-foot Ishpeming Point. Thanks to boat-only access, the Greenstone Ridge Trail, which bumps along the view-draped spine of Isle Royale National Park, dishes up Alaska-style solitude. Jump in at either end (mapped here done west to east, Windigo to Rock Harbor) and emerge having snarfed thimbleberries by the handful, swum in remote lakes, and walked grassy heights with lookouts sweeping to shores 50 miles distant.
Backpacker The National Parks Coast to Coast

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Backpacker The National Parks Coast to Coast

by Ted Alvarez (Falcon Guides)

Go high above this tiny Lake Superior island for solitude, views, and one of Michigan’s most incredible ridge hikes.

Lake Superior acts like a 31,800-square-mile moat that keeps the sightseers away—this island park gets fewer visitors in a year than Yosemite gets on a busy midsummer day. One 7-hour ferry plus a 42-mile trail equals zero crowds. The precious few who make it here and actually go backpacking rightfully target Greenstone Ridge, the backbone of the island and home to its highest landmark, 1,365-foot Ishpeming Point.

Thanks to boat-only access, the Greenstone Ridge Trail, which bumps along the view-draped spine of Isle Royale National Park, dishes up Alaska-style solitude. Jump in at either end (mapped here done west to east, Windigo to Rock Harbor) and emerge having snarfed thimbleberries by the handful, swum in remote lakes, and walked grassy heights with lookouts sweeping to shores 50 miles distant.

© 2016 Ted Alvarez/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Houghton
Distance: 42
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 4-5 days
Season: Go in mid-August through September to catch the first blush of fall color and skip the park’s legendary mosquitoes and blackflies.
Local Contacts: Isle Royale National Park, (906) 482-0984; nps.gov/isro
Local Maps: Take the ferry from Grand Portage to Windigo, on the southwest end of the island. The Western trailhead begins at the visitor center.
Driving Directions: Directions to Isle Royale National Park: Greenstone Ridge Trail

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Apr 2018