Isle Royale National Park

6 Best Hikes in Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale National Park Overview

Below you will find the 6 best hikes in Isle Royale National Park! Isle Royale is the largest island in Lake Superior at 45 miles long and 9 miles wide. You can reach the park by ferry from one of three locations: Houghton, Michigan; Copper Harbor, Michigan; or Grand Portage, Minnesota. There are no vehicles allowed on Isle Royale so you will either have to hike or take a boat to get to where you would like to visit. The park closes from November until mid-April.

Nearest Metro AreaThunder Bay, ON
Area Size571,790 acres
EstablishedApril 3, 1940
Hiking Trails165 miles

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Trailhead Traveler’s Recommended Best Hikes in Isle Royale National Park

1. Stoll Trail (Rock Harbor)

This trail winds its way between the forest and shoreline communities out to spectacular Scoville Point. You’ll pass craggy cliffs, harbor views, and ancient mines along the way. The trailhead is located next to the Rock Harbor Lodge.

  • 4.2 mile loop
  • 150′ elevation gain
  • Easy
Stoll Trail, Rock Harbor, Isle Royale National Park, Michigan
Stoll Trail, Rock Harbor, Isle Royale National Park, Michigan. Photo by Ken Lund
2. Windigo Nature Walk (Windigo)

Great introductory hike to the park. Be sure to grab a trail guide from the visitor center to deepen your understanding of the area and the local flora and fauna. The trailhead is located next to the Windigo Visitor Center.

  • 1.3 miles – Loop
  • 100′ gain
  • Easy
Welcome to Isle Royale National Park, Windigo, Isle Royale National Park, Michigan
Welcome to Isle Royale National Park, Windigo, Isle Royale National Park, Michigan. Photo by Ken Lund
3. Minong Ridge Overlook Trail (Windigo)

The Minong Ridge Trail is a 26 mile hike that runs parallel to the more popular Greenstone Ridge Trail. The trail is rockier and less maintained than its counterpart but the first 3 miles leads to an overlook in which you can see Canada’s shoreline on a clear day.

  • 6 miles – Out and back
  • 800′ gain
  • Moderate
Moose on the Minong Ridge trail. Photo by FlickNYC
4. Lookout Louise (Rock Harbor)

By taking a canoe to this trailhead, hikers can climb to this vantage point that offers some of the best views in the park. The trailhead can be best accessed by taking a canoe or kayak from Rock Harbor Visitor Center to Hidden Lake Dock.

  • 2 miles – Out and back
  • 300′ gain
  • Moderate
View from Lookout Louise
View from Lookout Louise. Photo by Ben+Sam
5. Feldtmann Lake Trail (Windigo)

It is 8 miles to Feldtmann Lake from Windigo but the first part of the trail (1.8 miles) is the best and can be shortened to make a nice day-hike to Grace Creek Overlook. The trailhead is located next to Windigo Visitor Center

  • 3.6 miles – Out and back
  • 200′ gain
  • Easy
Feldtmann Ridge Trail / Feldtmann Lake. Photo by FlickNYC
6. Suzy’s Cave (Rock Harbor)

Discover a wave-washed cliff and an inland sea arch, both formed by wave action some 4000 years ago when lake water levels were higher. The trailhead starts at the Rock Harbor Visitor Center.

  • 3.8 miles – Loop
  • 100′ gain
  • Easy
Suzy's cave
Suzy’s cave. Photo by coreyquick.

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Featured Image: Bull Moose in my way. Photo by Ray Dumas.

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