A royal experience on Isle Royale
Three generations canoe, camp, hike and fish together
Thursday, June 05, 2014 8:51 AM
My daughter Catherine and son-in-law John asked me to join them on a canoe trip across Isle Royale, the largest island on the largest lake in the world. The main island in the Isle Royale archipelago in Lake Superior is over 40 miles long and about five miles wide. There are over 50 lakes on the main island.
Author Ken Koscik and his party paddle along the shore of Ryan Island on Lake Siskiwit, the largest island on the largest lake on Isle Royale. PHOTO BY KEN KOSCIK
I eagerly joined them and my grandson Aaron, his girlfriend Kristin, my granddaughter Andrea, and her boyfriend Stan. Three generations on one trip. We took three canoes, a Minnesota III, a Minnesota II and an old Minnesota Whitewater II.
I had been to Isle Royale one other time. It was with a group from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Friends of the Arboretum. Seeing wild flowers and a diverse plant and animal environment was the main attraction for my fellow travellers and I. We took the boat from Hancock and explored the Rock Harbor side of the park. The only way to get to the island is by boat or seaplane. You can take a long boat ride from Hancock or Copper Harbor, Michigan, or a shorter boat ride from Grand Portage, Minnesota.
This trip with my daughter and family would include canoeing, camping, hiking and fishing. Isle Royale National Park is primarily a hiking and backpacking destination, but kayakers and canoeists also enjoy the challenges of paddling in and around the park.
I have gone canoe camping more than 70 times in Ontario, Canada's Quetico Provincial Park and many times more in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness over the last 45 years. I looked forward to comparing those experiences with our trip to Isle Royale.
The entirety of Ken Koscik's account of his week-long Isle Royale trip appears in the June 2014 print edition of Silent Sports. To order a copy, call 888-706-4045 or subscribe online here.