View topic - Our 1st canoe trip! (with kids) - Isle Royale

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PostPosted: August 14th, 2015, 1:18 pm 
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Joined: August 7th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1018
Location: Duluth, MN USA
We haven't canoed much for a while - but our kids (3 and 6) have grown too big to carry in a backpack, so we went canoeing this summer on Isle Royale (after a short swamper trip in the BWCAW). The closest mainland is Canadian -prominent landmarks are Mt. McKay, Sleeping Giant, and hills on the Black Bay Peninsula.

Isle Royale offers fantastic canoeing! We spent our time on the NE part of the island, which is mostly a series of deep bays, connected by portages. There is a string of interior island that bisect the middle of the island, which are also connected by portages, but we only portaged over to one of these (they seemed much like Superior/Quetico, and we wanted to spend our time on the big lake).

Pros:
Beautiful coasts on par with Pukaskwa
Diverse scenary (bays, wave beaten coastline, bogs, cliffs, maple ridges)
Large, clean, bug proof shelters - we never pitched a tent
Perhaps the best lake trout fishing on Lake Superior?
Unique faunal ecology - lots of moose. Snakes (garter and red-bellied), loons and snowshoe hares were all more common than the mainland. The island lacks bears and many other mammals found on the mainland.
Lake Superior
a rich cultural history

Cons:
motorboats and sailboats on the lake
quite a few people - the campgrounds had a communal, European feel - which could be a pro - it's just not something I am used to.
a little more expensive than the mainland because of the ferry (canoes cost $40 to ferry from Grand Portage)
Fires are discouraged - but allowed on grills

Circumnavigating the island is doable if you're patient and confident in open water.


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