Join Naturalist Journeys for a North Woods nature tour to Isle Royale, an island archipelago in Lake Superior, and a true wilderness gem. There are no cars allowed to cross to the island, and everyone must come ashore by float plane or boat. There is just one lodge on the main island, where this tour stays, and miles of beckoning trails. Isle Royale National Park and the Rock Harbor Lodge staff provide a host of interpretive programs; we can choose from these and our own inspirations. Owner Peg Abbott has a long history with Isle Royale, first visiting it with her Michigan high school biology class during this same week in the early fall. It seemed a great choice for an anniversary tour.

Far away from the rest of the world, enjoy an immersion in North Woods nature. At one time, two miles of ice covered this island, set in the largest freshwater lake in the world. The park is now recognized as a Biosphere Reserve, a pristine example of Northern Biome forests, bogs, lakes, and island shorelines. Its rock spine is ancient, and scored by retreating glaciers, some 10,000 years ago. This nature tour spends four nights on the island, and our price includes the round-trip ferry from Grand Portage, Minnesota, a route that lets us see the island’s northern coastline in its entirety. This is an active trip, with chances to hike and paddle (canoe or kayak), yet return to pleasant accommodations and dining at day’s end. Hikes can be gentle or challenging; with two leaders we give you options to fit your energies each day.

This Northwoods tour accesses Isle Royale via Minnesota, enjoying the bonus of fall migration as it reaches its peak on the coastal ridgeline above Duluth. Hawk Ridge has a professional staff monitoring the migration and we are sure to see a variety of species, hopefully catching some “waves.” Warbler migration, here and on the island, can be good, too.

Tour Highlights

  • Witness hundreds of raptors on Hawk Ridge above Duluth
  • Travel north along Lake Superior's stunningly scenic coastline
  • Cross Lake Superior's ocean-like waters to Windigo and Rock Harbors of Isle Royale
  • Relax for five nights in lakeside accommodations on Isle Royale, one of the most remote of our national parks
  • Visit Grand Portage National Monument
  • Immerse yourself in Northwoods ecology, with iconic species like Beaver, Moose, and Common Loon
  • Celebrate with a final night at the historic Naniboujou Inn

Photo credits: Banner: Moose by Sandy Sorkin; Grey Wolf by Greg Smith; Lake Shore, Naturalist Journeys Stock; Common Loon, Naturalist Journeys Stock; White-throated Sparrow, Naturalist Journeys Stock; Sunset, Naturalist Journeys Stock; Happy Hikers, Naturalist Journeys Stock; Moose Antlers, Naturalist Journeys Stock;