Nov 8th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Travel

The UP Draws Seniors

Isle Royal is a gorgeous island that senior travelers will find located in the northwest  of Lake Superior in upstate Michigan. The island and the smaller islands and waters they encompass make up Isle Royale National Park.  Isle Royale is not small: 45 miles long and 9 miles wide, with an area of 206.73 square miles, making it the largest natural island in Lake Superior, the second largest island in the Great Lakes and the third largest in the US.

Isle Royale National Park, established on April 3, 1940, was designated as a Wilderness Area in 1976. Isle Royale is home to a population of moose and wolves.  These wolves are the sole predator of the moose, and moose represents ~90% of the wolves’ diet.

Our many national parks

Wolves and moose, the wild North Woods forest, ever changing weather and a cool climate, and the crystal clear waters and rugged shoreline of Lake Superior characterize Isle Royale National Park. 99% of the land mass is federally designated wilderness. The park encompasses a total area of 850 square miles including submerged lands which extends 4 1/2 miles out into Lake Superior. I discovered this list of our national parks and wish to share it with you.

Seniors Who Love To Hike

Isle Royale has 165 miles of scenic hiking trails and 36 campgrounds for backpackers, paddlers, and recreational boaters. There is excellent fishing, historic lighthouses and shipwrecks, ancient copper mining sites, and plenty of spots to observe wildlife. Roadless Isle Royale is accessible only by boat or floatplane. One of my daughters could make a trip out of just viewing lighthouses… she is dearly in love with them.

The UP

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula—the U.P., to almost everyone—extends from the Canadian border in the east to Wisconsin in the west. To the south lies the long oval bowl of Lake Michigan. Lake Superior, the deepest of the Great Lakes, pummels the peninsula’s rocky coast from the north.

This sparsely populated stretch of land was originally home of the Ojibwa peoples and later explored by Catholic missionaries. Its natural resources—iron-ore deposits, copper and almost endless stretches of forest—helped fuel America’s industrial revolution. Yet it is a place of pristine beauty. A four-day trip takes seniors to a historical park, a national lakeshore and Isle Royale, one of the most remote and stirring national parks.

Isle Royale’s physical isolation and primitive wilderness challenged human use for centuries; ironically today it has become the Park’s main attraction. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, senior 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.

So where can we stay way up here?

Rock Harbor Lodge provides senior visitors accommodations in this unique National Park. Located along the shore of Lake Superior, Rock Harbor Lodge has rooms with private baths, housekeeping cottages, and services include a dining room, snack bar, gift shop, dockside store, marina, rental motor boats, kayaks and canoes, guided fishing and sightseeing tours.

Near Rock Harbor you will find moose, wolves, loons, beaver, fox, and other small mammals and birdlife. Lake Superior and the inland lakes offer excellent fishing and photographic sites or for simply viewing pristine forest and waterways. Diving opportunities abound to many shipwrecks of Lake Superior. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the details you will need to make this an adventure and a memorable trip.  Enjoy the UP.  jeb

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