Join Naturalist Journeys for a North Woods nature tour to Michigan's Isle Royale, an island archipelago in Lake Superior, and a true wilderness gem. Cars are not allowed to cross to the island, and everyone must come ashore by float plane or boat. There is only 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 offer a host of interpretive programs; we can choose from these and our own inspirations. Naturalist Journeys' 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.

Far 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 a Biosphere Reserve, a pristine example of Northern Biome forests, lakes, bogs, and island shorelines. Its rock spine is ancient, and scored by retreating glaciers. This nature tour spends four nights on the island, and our price includes the round-trip ferry from Grand Portage, Minnesota, a route that allows us to see the island’s northern coastline in its entirety. This is an active trip, with chances to hike and paddle, then return to pleasant accommodations and dining at day’s end.

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

Tour Highlights

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

Photo credits: Banners: Moose by Sandy Sorkin; Hiking Isle Royal by Peg Abbott; Waterbirds on Isle Royal by Peg Abbott; 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;