Michigan – Isle Royale National Park

One of the most isolated of the national parks in the United States is Isle Royale. Much closer to Canada than the US, fifty miles out in Lake Superior, Isle Royale is as far as you can get in Michigan from Detroit. All cars are banned and, instead of freeways, 166 miles of hiking trails lead past windswept trees, swampy lakes, and grazing moose.


Isle Royale National Park is open from mid-May until the end of September. Aside from other tourists, the only traces of human life you will see are ancient mine works, shacks left behind by commercial fishermen in the 1940s and a few lighthouses and park buildings. Trekking, canoeing, fishing, and scuba diving among shipwrecks are the principal leisure activities here.

Camping in the park is free, but visit the park headquarters in Houghton before you leave the mainland, for advice on water purity and availability; mosquitoes can be a menace and temperatures can drop well below freezing even in summer. You can also stay in a self-catering lodge or a more expensive lodge room. The lodge might be able to offer you canoes and motorboats on rent.

Isle Royale is unusual among national parks in that there are no roads on any of the islands. However, there are 165 miles of foot trails, most of which are relatively easy to hike. Ferries leave from Copper Harbor in Houghton and Grand Portage in Minnesota. If there are enough people in your party, it may be economical to charter a plane from Isle Royal Seaplane Service in Houghton.

Michigan Information

Comprised of two peninsulas as well as Lake Michigan, the second largest of the five Great Lakes, the State of Michigan is the eleventh biggest state in the USA. Bordered by Canada and the US states of Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and Minnesota, Michigan has four of the five Great Lakes. Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Erie, and Lake Huron, along with Lake St. Clair present Michigan with the longest freshwater shoreline water in the world. Lansing is the state capital while Detroit known as the car capital of the world is the largest city.

While car manufacturing and agriculture are the thriving industries, tourism is also one of the top money churning sectors. Hunting is the prime attraction as more than half the land in the state is covered by forests. The water bodies that surround Michigan deck the landscape with vast stretches of beaches all providing abundant opportunities for water sports. Nature lovers are bound to be thrilled with the forest landscape with rarest of rare trees and animals, beaches and lovely zoos. The Detroit Zoo has the distinction of being the first zoo in the country to display cage less, exhibits, enabling animals greater liberty to roam.

Another big draw is the numerous historical locations such as museums (Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village), historical sites (Motown Historical Museum) and art galleries (Detroit Institute of Arts), etc. For the contemporary tourist, find some stunning casinos, resorts, and restaurants.

Be it the thrill of water sport in pristine waters or the vast expanses of flawless greenery, there is no place like Michigan to experience the simple yet rare pleasures of life.

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