Isle Royale Nat Park - Sunset on the Lake

Isle Royale's physical isolation and primitive wilderness challenged human use for centuries; ironically today it has become the Island's main attraction. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, visitors come to experience this island park through hiking its trails, paddling its inland waterways, exploring its rugged coast, or venturing into the depth of its shipwrecks.

A densely forested, wind-lashed island wilderness in the northwest corner of Lake Superior, Isle Royale National Park offers outstanding backcountry recreation and rich human and natural history. The island itself is a jigsaw puzzle of land and water, a complex topography that attracts kayakers, canoeists, divers, and anglers, as well as long-distance hikers.

A giant, jagged seam in the enormous crease left in the earth as glacial ice retreated some 10,000 years ago, Isle Royale is the largest island in the world's largest freshwater lake. Native Americans dug copper here 3,000 years ago. Later French, English, and Americans trapped a wealth of furs. During the 19th century's "copper fever," mining companies sank shafts in the bedrock'left behind are more than 1,000 mining pits. Commercial fishing supplanted mining in the early 20th century, until the park was established in the 1930s.

Three distinct forest types including a remnant of ice-age boreal woodlands grow on an island just nine miles wide and 45 miles long. A century ago, lynx and caribou were the dominant mammals. Today, these species are extinct, replaced by wolves and moose, which only arrived here from the mainland in the 20th century.

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Isle Royale Nat Park - Sunset on the Lake
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