“A ridge-spanning hike along the entire length of Isle Royale National Park.
— samh Haraldson
Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Isle Royale is closed to the general public from approximately Nov. 1 through Apr. 16.
The Greenstone Ridge
Trail is a 40-mile-long path that extends from Windigo Harbor and the Windigo Ranger Station on the island's western end, east across Isle Royale, to Rock Harbor and the Rock Harbor Lodge.
The trail follows the top of Greenstone Ridge
, a low ridge that forms the east/west spine of the island and surmounts Mount Desor, the highest point of Isle Royale. In addition, you'll appreciate the lack of mosquitoes at these higher elevations.
Hikers may see signs of the wolves and moose on Isle Royale, although scarce and shy, the woodlands that adjoin the trail are their habitat. The Greenstone Ridge
and its Trail are both named after Chlorastrolite (Greenstone), a local semi-precious stone that is the state gem of Michigan. Greenstone can be seen in various locations on Isle Royale, including shoreline pebbles.
Low volumes of visitors and difficult access allow for great solitude. High-quality trails and robust infrastructure make for very comfortable and pleasant camping. Mosquitos and heat are the drawbacks. Balance the pros with the cons and make a visit to one of America's most unique National Parks - you won't be disappointed.
Flora & Fauna
The island is primarily boreal forest with the top of the ridge showing "balds" with exposed bedrock and a few scrubby trees, blueberry bushes, and hardy grasses.
Animal life on the island includes moose, eastern timber wolves, snowshoe hares, red foxes, beavers, red squirrels, ermine, mink, muskrats, several species of bat, eastern garter snake, painted turtle, and northern redbelly snake, six species of frogs, and three species of salamander also live on the island.