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Isle Royale NP: Ishpeming Trail

Trail Details

County
Houghton
Regions
Western Upper Peninsula
Latitude
N 48° 00' 5.40"
Longitude
W 088° 54' 32.40"
Distance
7.3 miles
Trail Type
Foot path
Terrain
Greenstone Ridge, Malone Bay
Difficulty
Moderate to difficult
Nearest City or Town
Houghton
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Ishpeming Trail winds from Malone Bay Campground to Ishpeming Point on the Greenstone Ridge, ascending three major ridges along the way. The steady climb makes this 7.3-mile hike more difficult than most trails on the Island but it provides access to Malone Bay, a wonderful and scenic place to spend a night or two.
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Description
Ishpeming Trail winds from Malone Bay Campground to Ishpeming Point on the Greenstone Ridge, ascending three major ridges along the way. The steady climb makes this 7.3-mile hike more difficult than most trails on the Island.

Ishpeming Point, which to the Ojibway Indians meant "heaven," is the second highest point on the Island (1377 feet). The views are uninspiring, however, because only the west end of Siskiwit Bay is visible through the trees. From this point, Lake Desor and Hatchet Lake campgrounds, both approxi­mately 4.0 miles away, lie to the west and east, respectively.

On a narrow bridge of land between the Malone Bay and the Siskiwit Lake is Malone Bay Campground, one of the most beautiful in the park. On the bayside there are smooth pebble beaches to comb and views of the long reefs that separate the bay from Lake Superior as well as Isle RoyaIe Lighthouse (1875) on Menagerie Island. The campground features five shelters, group and individual campsites, pit toilets, tables, and a dock. A ranger is stationed there for the summer, and the latest weather report is posted on his cabin. Siskiwit Lake is known for its wide variety of sport fish, including brook and lake trout.
Amenities & Services
Camping
Difficulty - Moderate
Foot Path
Trail Guide

The Ishpeming Trail is covered in Isle Royale National Park: Foot Trails & Water Routes by Jim DuFresne. To order the 184-page guide to the wilderness island, Click Here.

Facilities

Shower tokens, clean towel, and bar of soap can be purchased at the camp store at Rock Harbor or Windigo. Some backpackers like to book a room for their final night at Rock Harbor, either at the lodge or in one of the housekeeping units that can be shared by six people and feature small kitchenettes. For reservations, contact the park concessionaire, Forever Resorts (866-644-2003 or 906-337-4993 in summer; www.isleroyaleresort.com).

Supplies

In the Upper Peninsula, on the way to Isle Royale National Park, the best place to pick up equipment is Downwind Sports which has two stores at 514 N Third St. in Marquette (906-226-7112) and 308 Shelden Ave. in Houghton (906-482-2500). Once on the island, information, maps and backcountry permits can be obtained from the Rock Harbor or Windigo Visitor Centers at the foot of the ferry wharf. There are also small stores at each entry port with limited and very expensive supplies.

Hours & Fees

Isle Royale National Park opens April 16 and closes on Nov. 1 to all visitors for the winter.  The park has a entrance fee of $7 per person per day or an annual pass for $60. You can pay the entrance fee once you arrive at the park or in advance at at pay.gov  and avoid congestion and long waits on the island. All park visitors who plan to camp overnight at campgrounds or cross-country sites are required to obtain a camping permit. This permit can be obtained free of charge at the visitor center at Windigo or Rock Harbor when you arrive or on board Ranger III on the way to the Island.

Directions

From Ishpeming Point, the halfway point between Lake Desor and Hatchet Lake along the Greenstone Ridge Trail, the Ishpeming Trail departs for Malone Bay, a one-way hike of 7.3 miles. You can also reach Malone Bay via the Voyageur II which runs from early May to late October. From late May to late September, it departs Grand Portage Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 7:30 A.M. (Central Daylight Time), stops at Windigo, and overnights at Rock Harbor Lodge. The following day, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, it departs from Rock Harbor at 8 A.M. (Central Daylight Time) for Windigo and Grand Portage, stopping at Malone Bay along the way.

Information

Call the Isle Royale National Park headquarters in Houghton (906-482-0984) or check the Isle Royale National Park website (www.nps.gov/isro).


Geo-referenced maps from MichiganTrailMaps.com range from $1.99 to $2.99 each.

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