Part 3- Isle Royale National Park: Lane Cove to Lookout Louise

Isle Royale National ParkIsle Royale National Park Greenstone Ridge Trail Part 3

Isle Royale National Park Part 3- Lane Cove and Greenstone Ridge Trail to Lookout Louise

Approximate miles hiked by Sophie and Dave- 15 miles

Summer road trip to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Isle Royale National Park and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Here’s our route- Michigan Road Trip- Summer 2012

We woke up to the sunrise over Lake Superior.  It was a beautiful morning on Lane Cove. I made Dave and I’s Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Italian Roast Coffee and Starbucks Hot Cocoa for the kids to have with our packets of oatmeal. Pretty soon we had almost the entire camp to ourselves as most everyone else packed up to continue their hikes. The only site still occupied was our neighbor in site 5. After checking out all the other sites we moved our camp to site 4 which had the easiest water access. The plan for today was that Dave and Sophie were taking the 15 mile round trip hike to Lookout Louise, the eastern most point of the Greenstone Ridge Trail.  I was hanging out with the other kids at Lane Cove all day for a day of play and relaxing. We planned the day this way to the satisfy the differing agendas of our group.  Dave and Sophie really wanted to push themselves hard and they also wanted to hike the entire Greenstone Ridge Trail. Maya and Garrett were just 9 years old and I knew we had many miles of hiking left during our trip and I didn’t want to wear them out. Naomi and I could go either way but she decided to hang out with the twins. By splitting up for the day we could all be happy. Yay compromise!

Dave and Sophie finished breakfast and packed a small bag for their hike with snacks, insect repellent and water and they were off to hike back up the Lane Cove trail we descended the day before. The kids and I played chess on Garrett’s Travel Magnetic Chess, read, played cards, fished, and walked around exploring the area. The weather was beautiful and warm.  So far we had been fairly lucky with the famous Isle Royale mosquitoes and biting flies.  While they definitely were around, they weren’t overly bothersome and the breeze from the water kept them pretty much at bay. We also were enjoying being serenaded by the sounds of calling loons as they roamed the bay. Have you heard this sound before? It was a first for me and I fell in love. Here is what a loon cry sounds like.

Loons at Lane Cove in Isle Royale National Park


Campsite at Lane Cove in Isle Royale National Park

Lane Cove in Isle Royale National Park

Over time several of the campsites filled but the camp is so spread out we each had our own space. Besides the most populated points on either ends of the island, there is no running water or bathrooms and each camp has a privy/outhouse to use. The privies on Isle Royale were exactly what you imagine of when you think of a privy- pretty gross but also pretty necessary. We also were using our Katadyn Base Camp Water Filter and it was working great.  It allows you to filter a couple of gallons of water at a time in 15 minutes or so.  Designed for larger groups, it worked great for us. After several hours, our hikers returned. Dave and Sophie had a great day hiking and brought back amazing pictures to show us.

Hike to Lookout Louise at Isle Royale National Park

Thimbleberries on Hike to Lookout Louise at Isle Royale National Park

Hike to Lookout Louise at Isle Royale National Park

Hike to Lookout Louise at Isle Royale National Park

Hike to Lookout Louise at Isle Royale National Park

Sophie Hiking to Lookout Louise at Isle Royale National Park

View From Lookout Louise at Isle Royale National Park

Sophie and Dave were starving when they returned from their hike so we started dinner.  On backpacking trips I use a Nesco Food Dehydrator to prepare food for our time on the trail.  While you can purchase packaged dehydrated foods at camping and sporting goods stores, I am picky when it comes to the food we eat and I also don’t like to pay the premium price of individual packaged meals so I prepare our meals and package them myself. They not only taste better and cost less, they leave much less package waste. This is always important, but especially on a backpacking trip where you will carry your garbage until you get off the trail. For all these reasons, we dehydrate our own meals and it is really easy to do! I have several backcountry cookbooks I use for ideas and then tweak the recipes to our taste. I really like Fork in the Trail: Mouthwatering Meals and Tempting Treats for the Backcountry by Laurie March and Trail Food: Drying and Cooking Food for Backpacking and Paddling by Alan Kesselheim. In the weeks leading up to a backpacking trip the dehydrator is going almost non stop at our house getting our meals ready.

For dinner that night I made spaghetti with meat sauce and garlic rolls. I had kept the garlic rolls frozen until right before we left so they were still fresh and tasted delicious.  For dessert we had instant chocolate pudding that I prepared with dried milk powder. Dave and I had carried a tiny bottle of wine so we enjoyed that as well. It was a wonderful dinner.  We then relaxed at camp the rest of the evening and enjoyed ourselves.

Naomi at Lane Cove in Isle Royale National Park

Maya and Dave in Lane Cove

Lane Cove in Isle Royale National Park

The sun started setting and we just enjoyed the view before heading into our tents for the night.  No doubt about it, the mosquitoes really come out at night so when the sun set we were chased into our tents to escape their attack. In fact, that night I woke up and when I looked through the screen the moonlight showed the silhouettes of countless mosquitoes clinging to our tent hoping for a snack. It was freaky!

Lane Cove in Isle Royale National Park

Lane Cove in Isle Royale National Park

Garrett in Isle Royale National Park at Lane Cove

Lane Cove in Isle Royale National Park

We settled in to read more from Stonehouse’s Haunted Lakes and again fell asleep listening to the sounds of the calm Lake Superior water and the many loons in the cove.  It had been another amazing day in Isle Royale and we felt very blessed to be there.

Have you ever heard a loon?  Were you as mesmerized as I am by the sound?

Happy Travels!



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I love to plan family travel adventures with our four kids. Encouraging time in nature, National Parks travel, backpacking and hiking are my passions and I love to write about them.