Isle Royale Part 10 Rock Harbor to Copper Harbor Aboard the Isle Royale Queen IV
Rock Harbor and Ferry to Copper Harbor
Summer road trip to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Isle Royale National Park and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Here’s our driving route for our entire road trip itinerary- Michigan Road Trip.
After setting up in the shelter at Rock Harbor we all decided to head down to the Greenstone Grill to eat an early dinner. We sat at the bar and filled up on cheeseburgers, fries, salad and iced tea and all were delicious. Rock Harbor was quite bustling compared to the other parts of Isle Royale and the harbor was filled with private sailboats and fishing boats docked at the pier. After eating we headed over to the 4.4 mile Scoville Point trail located near the lodge and took a leisurely hike, stopping to play in the water and look at the several beautiful scenic overlooks.
After the nice walk, we went to a ranger talk as the sun was starting to set. The talk was about the geology of Isle Royale and the ranger used Maya to play a part in his presentation. She liked being up “on stage” which knowing Maya didn’t surprise me at all. We also spent some more time with our hiking buddies and reminisced about our island adventures. The ranger talk was pretty crowded and we were again reminded how much busier this part of Isle Royale is. I am glad we got to experience the many different areas of Isle Royale as they all are unique and all wonderful and together made our trip special.
The kids and I headed to the shelter to get some sleep while the dads went to the Greenstone Grill to have a couple of beers. Our trip to Isle Royale had been memorable and I was grateful for having been able to experience wilderness in this way with the kids. They are growing up so fast and I really treasure this time with them. Waking up the next day we had several hours before we would catch the Isle Royale Queen IV so after packing up, we left our packs at the ranger station and enjoyed Rock Harbor some more. But first we had to add our own signature to the graffiti found in all Isle Royale shelters. By the way we asked someone at the ranger station first to make sure this was ok!
Our next stop was a visit to the park rangers so Maya and Garrett could pick up their Junior Ranger badges. We then walked the short trail over to the sea plane dock so the kids could swim in Tobin Harbor. We passed several of the Rock Harbor Lodge cabins. Close to the water with huge windows, these would be great to stay at if camping is not your thing! It was sunny and warm, an absolutely beautiful day with sparkling blue skies and the kids had a blast playing in the water.
Eventually it was time to leave as the Isle Royale Queen IV pulled up with ferry passengers to drop them off for their own adventures while ours was coming to an end. We loaded our much lighter packs onto the boat and climbed on board. We were lucky again as the wind was quiet and the water calm for our return voyage. We started the trip on the front of the boat where we could enjoy the warm sun and stay on beautiful Lake Superior as long as possible. Eventually the little ones grew tired and Maya went inside the cabin to take a nap.
We had spent 10 nights on Isle Royale and were grateful for every minute of it (even the rainy ones)! I would return to Isle Royale in a heartbeat as our experience had been one none of us will ever forget. Isle Royale is a National Park treasure for more than just its natural beauty or prevalence of wildlife although it has both. The gifts of Isle Royale are its isolation and the resulting tranquility of a truly wild place allowed to stay so. We knew we had experienced something really wonderful and Isle Royale will always hold a special place in my memory for allowing us to do so.
Such a beautiful place! I am more relaxed just from looking at the pictures. How long was the ferry ride over?
It is beautiful beyond belief and very relaxing. The ferry ride took about 3 hours each way. Happy travels!
Really enjoyed your trip report, which I found a link to on the IR forum. Your kids are troopers!
Thanks so much Amy!