Isle Royale National Park in Michigan, USA is made up of Isle Royale, the largest island in Lake Superior, and about 400 smaller islands around it. Isle Royale itself is over 72.4 km (45 mi) long and 14.4 km (9 mi) wide. The total area of the park is just 2,320 km2 (894 sq mi), only around 23% of which is above water.
The largely unpopulated Isle Royale is a magnificent wilderness, offering visitors a uniquely authentic nature experience, as wildlife and vegetation is left to grow and prosper as it would in any unspoiled natural habitat. Strict protocols are in place to protect the environment.
The park receives approximately 18,000 visitors a year, less than many national parks receive in a day. This is a large part of its appeal – the rugged terrain is challenging but the tranquillity of the island offers restful sanctuary to enthusiastic explorers.
Wildlife watchers are in for a treat as the island has an abundance of land mammals, amphibians and birds. Moose, wolves, red foxes, red squirrels, snowshoe hares, otters, beavers, garter snakes, painted turtles, ospreys, songbirds, woodpeckers and eagles all call the island home. Hunting is forbidden, but fishing with a license is permitted in many of the inland lakes.
Visitors can explore the island on foot or by canoe and kayak. A huge network of trails lattice across the island, giving hikers full access to everything it has to offer. Isle Royale’s many rivers and inlets can be traversed by canoe, but the whole island cannot be seen this way.
On clear nights, avid stargazers are rewarded with exceptional views of the night sky and frequent glimpses of the majestic Northern Lights.