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Isle Royale NP: Tobin Harbor Trail

Trail Details

County
Houghton
Regions
Western Upper Peninsula
Latitude
N 48° 08' 32.28"
Longitude
W 088° 30' 0.00"
Distance
3 miles
Trail Type
Foot path
Terrain
Tobin Harbor
Difficulty
Easy
Nearest City or Town
Houghton
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Although the 3-mile Tobin Harbor Trail rises and dips a little, it is a wide, dry, and easy path to hike. Many hikers view the trail as a more scenic alternative to the stretch from Rock Harbor Lodge to Three Mile Campground. That's debatable, but both should be experienced and can be as a great day hike out of Rock Harbor. When combined with the Rock Harbor Trail, this trail becomes a 6.5-mile loop with almost all of it overlooking water.
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Description
Although Tobin Harbor Trail rises and dips a little, it is a wide, dry, and easy path to hike. Many hikers view the trail as a more scenic alternative to the stretch from Rock Harbor Lodge to Three Mile Campground. That's debatable, but both should be experienced and can be as a great day hike out of Rock Harbor.

When com­bined with the Rock Harbor Trail, this trail becomes a 6.5-mile loop with almost all of it overlooking water. You can also  shortened this trek to 3.8 miles by cutting over at Suzy's Cave.

Pick up the trail from the paved path that leads to the housekeeping units and a spur to the seaplane dock on Tobin Harbor. Three miles later, at the junction with the Mount Franklin Trail, you can head north on the Mount Franklin Trail and reach the Greenstone Ridge Trail (1.5 miles) and then the view point on Mount Franklin (1.8 miles).

Tobin Harbor Trail is also part of one the most popular drop-off hikes on the Island. The Rock Harbor Lodge runs a water taxi that can drop off day hikers, as well as backpackers, at the start of the Lookout Louis Trail. It's a 10.4-mile day hike that starts with a panorama view from Lookout Louise and then continues with the Greenstone Ridge Trail, the Mount Franklin Trail and finally the Tobin Harbor Trail back to Rock Harbor.
Amenities & Services
Camping
Difficulty - Easy
Foot Path
Trail Guide

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

Isle Royale Cover

Facilities

There are no campgrounds along Tobin Harbor but two are close. Rock Harbor Campground is near the trailhead and Three Mile Campground is a 0.5 mile side trip from the west end to its location on Rock Harbor Trail.

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).

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

The Rock Harbor Lodge runs a water taxi that can drop backpackers and campers off at the start of the Lookout Louis Trail. It's a 10.4-mile day hike back to Rock Harbor that combines the Greenstone Ridge Trail, the Mount Franklin Trail and the Tobin Harbor Trail.

Contact the Rock Harbor Resort (866-644-2003 or 906-337-4993 in summer; www.isleroyaleresort.com) to find out current schedule and costs of its water taxi service.

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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