Mar 17, 2008 at 9:36 am #1227862
I've been to Isle Royale in the past, and I still haven't found a reliable trail guide. Has anyone hiked the Greenstone/Minong trail on Isle Royale? I'm looking for some feedback…Mar 17, 2008 at 11:36 am #1424648
Scroll down a little. They have a map and chart section.Mar 17, 2008 at 11:39 am #1424650
While I haven't hike Isle Royal yet (this summer!) I have done a great deal of research about the park. I found the following guidebook to be very helpful.
Isle Royal National Park: Foot Trails and Water Routes
by Jim DuFresne.
In addition to the guidebook I found that having a good topo map (mine is from REI) helps a great deal with the planning.
I have been told by several people that the Greenstone Ridge is very easy. I am planning on hiking the Greenstone, Minong, and Feidtmann trails in 5 days. The guidebook I have suggests it would take 11-12 days. I figure with all the loops possible I’ll just cut the trip short if I’m not feeling up to it by not doing the Feidtmann Ridge trail.
I hope this was helpful.
By the way, what time of year where you thinking of backpacking the island?
ChadMar 17, 2008 at 11:40 am #1424651
Chad, thanks for the response. I'm planning on going some time Mid-Aug. U?
I'm surprised you found that guide book to be helpful. To each his own, I guess.Mar 17, 2008 at 12:14 pm #1424655
I'm planning on heading at the end of August.
I don't know why the guidebook wouldn’t' be helpful. It has every hiking trail and campsite on the island. Each section of trail has a well written description of the trail with distances between campsites. Shure the suggested days are short (8-12 miles) but it's not very hard to do the math.
The book also talks in detail about getting to the island, history, weather, bugs, animals, fish, and water sources.
ChadMar 17, 2008 at 5:28 pm #1424686
I have hiked a route on Isle Royale several times that is similar to what Chad describes. I hiked out of Rock Harbor to daisy farm, then headed north across the island to Mcargoe cove. From there I picked up the minong to windigo, and hiked back via the greenstone ridge. This hike is tougher than it looks on a map, as there is quite a bit of elevation change, and the terrain is rocky. In late summer the mosquitos and/or blackflies can be horrible. Also, the minong ridge is very dry, so make sure to fill up on water before covering the longer sections. The lean-to shelters at the more popular campgrounds are well cared for and very nice. The only problem I have had is people coming in on boats and staying there (they're not supposed to, but apparently the rangers don't care). Let me know if you have any specific questions about planning your trip, it sounds like a lot of fun.Mar 17, 2008 at 7:33 pm #1424699
@srparrLocale: SE Michigan
Check out this website: http://www.isleroyale.info/trips/ and read thru some of the trip reports.
The site doesn't seem to be maintained anymore (and no one can see to contact the gentleman who ran it), so another site was setup with good forum participation: http://www.isleroyaleforums.com
Lots of friendly people there who are willing to answer questions. The trip reports can be a wealth of information about trails and campsites. Enjoy your trip! Be warned though, many who visit will keep returning year after year after …Mar 18, 2008 at 9:05 am #1424755
I the end of August is a bad time for the bugs when is a good time?Mar 18, 2008 at 9:19 am #1424756
@garkjrLocale: Southwestern Ohio
As I recall from a couple of trips, mid or late August is a great time to go: warm days, cool nights, virtually no bugs, and the crowds are tapering off. Of course, where you're planning to go, crowds are never an issue anyhow.
I agree with what everyone else has said. I've never hiked the Greenstone down toward Windigo; I have done most of the trails on the "developed" end of the park. It seems strange, but the 6 or 8 miles per day recommendation is really pretty accurate. It's not hard walking, but it's very rocky and, for some reason, really eats up the time.
This is still about my favorite place to go.Mar 18, 2008 at 10:27 am #1424762
@dpnollLocale: Maroon Bells
My wife and I were there Aug 7-14 last year and had no problems w/ bugs. On the Minong for the most part you have to get water near the campsites and a few of those are a sharp descent from the main trail. Also, the Park is so gorgeous
that you may want to slow down to smell the roses and eat the
berries. As a rite of passage most of the rangers do the Greenstone in one day and last year two brothers ran it. We
will be back there in the future.Mar 18, 2008 at 7:36 pm #1424817
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
Join the Isle Royale forums. You'll get tons of info there. You can also read my trip report from my trip to the island on my Web site if you'd like.Mar 19, 2008 at 6:47 am #1424846
Sam I liked this part of your trip report: "ended up being the worst mosquitoes any of us had ever seen. "
My exact thoughts from my 2003 ISRO trip, which ended up being a mosquito feed-a-thon to rival the deepest of cambodian jungles. I think the bug season varies from year to year. Maybe because the weather on the island is constantly changing…who knows.Mar 19, 2008 at 9:29 am #1424866
Thanks guys. Two years ago, we went Mid-August and I didn't have any problems with bugs. But knock on wood, I guess…Mar 19, 2008 at 1:43 pm #1424917
This is defiantly going to be a trip to remember! I suppose as the trip approaches I'll get better information on how bad the bugs are.
Oh I forgot to mention I had a typo in my previous hiking plans. I would do the Greenstone Ridge and then the Feldtmann Ridge and then finally the Minong Ridge. If I'm short on time I'll drop the Minong Ridge for another trip.Mar 19, 2008 at 3:53 pm #1424933
Most of the time the bugs aren't really that bad. There are just a couple weeks during the heat of summer when they can really come out… and that just happens to be when I take trips there. I recommend you do NOT leave out the minong ridge. IMO it is the best section of trail on the island. There is a nice cooling breeze in the campgrounds on the north end, and the views across to canada from the bluffs are amazing. It also seems to be one of the least used trails on the island, so you get an awesome feeling of isolation. I would also make sure to take in the feldman(sp?) loop, which is your best bet for seeing wolf and moose activity.Mar 20, 2008 at 8:24 am #1424992
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
In terms of bugs, yes it is variant on a few factors. We were there during the first week of June (and being Minnesota boys knew that was like playing with fire). August will be just fine unless there's un-seasonably favorable weather conditions for a hatch.
When I go back to the Island I plan to explore the Minong and Feldtmann trails. The Greenstone was pretty and a really nice trail but it lacked in excitement and vistas.
One thing to point out is that on the Island there are wooden shelters (with bug screens) at many of the campsites. One could do an especially ultralight trip without having to carry a shelter with a little planning. Something to think about.Mar 20, 2008 at 8:31 am #1424993
With all this nice information I think I'll just do the Minong and Feldtmann Ridges instead of the Greenstone Ridge.Mar 20, 2008 at 5:17 pm #1425038
@dpnollLocale: Maroon Bells
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.