Newbie; Staying with family

Questions about equipment and supplies to bring on a trip (including reviews).

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vanvolkp
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Newbie; Staying with family

Post by vanvolkp » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:55 am

This is my wife and I's first trip to IR. As we are bringing two of our kids who are younger we have reserved one of the Rock Harbor Lodge cabins on Tobin Bay. However, I am not really sure what/how much we should bring with us (food, types of clothing, bedding, etc.). I know there are restaurants at the lodge, but would prefer to avoid this for the most part. I have not received much information with what is in the cabins, thus leaves me questioning what we need. We will be staying on IR for only 2 nights due to limited time for our whole vacation. Any other recommendations.

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DonNewcomb
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Re: Newbie; Staying with family

Post by DonNewcomb » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:31 am

We stayed one night in one of the cabins at Rock Harbor. I recall a pretty full setup as a modern efficiency apartment. There was a double bed, full bath & kitchenette. There was a kind of small alcove with bunk beds for two. I think there was some minimal utensils, cups, plates, silver, pots & pans. Linens were supplied. Unless you have special dietary requirements you could buy all the food you need at the store at RH but it will be way expensive. Clothing depends on the weather forecast but for sure, a light jacket and something for ran. Insect repellent might be in order. Don't expect phone or Internet altho they may have some WiFi at RH. I have some pictures around here somewhere.

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head2north
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Re: Newbie; Staying with family

Post by head2north » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:39 am

Explored Cabins in 2010 and would expect amenities to be of equal now. The following pictures are from Cabin 13 and I would assume all are as.
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head2north
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Re: Newbie; Staying with family

Post by head2north » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:40 am

The Fridge is of the smaller variety, but coolers are just fine for additional cool storage.
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Ingo
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Re: Newbie; Staying with family

Post by Ingo » Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:07 am

You'll need to bring pretty much all the food for what you plan to cook. There are a few groceries at the store, but not much. Think convenience store (at best). Good for snacks and drinks though :). Everything is more expensive because there's a 20% surcharge on everything, so you need to consider the trade-off of cost vs the inconvenience of hauling things like drinks and such. But the lodge will deliver everything to your cabin on a little tractor with a trailer, so you don't have to worry about that once you get there.

The restaurants are pretty good, considering there's no competition. There's the grill (burgers and sandwiches) and then the dining room (lake trout, steak, etc). While they're set up separately, it's really the same place, same kitchen, just different menus and hours. The lake trout is fresh caught there, and my go to splurge dinner--but they do run out from time to time. I find the grill to be reasonably priced for where it is (maybe $10ish for a good burger? don't remember exactly).

Weather will be cooler than you expect, especially near the lake. The forecasts will give you a rough idea, but it can vary a lot, so don't rely too much on them. Layers are good--a warm fleece and rain jacket at least, even if it's 85 when you get on the boat. Bring good hiking boots/shoes--the trails are pretty rocky once you leave the R.H. area. And bug dope!

Plan to at least hike out to Scoville Point (4 miles round trip). It's gorgeous and the trail is flat and fairly easy.

Have a great trip, I'm sure you'll love it!


Midwest Ed
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Re: Newbie; Staying with family

Post by Midwest Ed » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:50 pm

How much hiking are you and the family hoping to accomplish? As mentioned already the Stoll Trail out and back from Scoville Point is popular with Lodge guests. They even have 2 or 3 benches along the way for people to stop, rest and take in some views. There are actually 2 parallel trails go to Scoville Point. One is along the Rock Harbor Channel side while the other is on the Tobin Harbor side. They cross each other about midway out. The Rock Harbor side I think is a little more scenic primarily because some of it is at a slightly higher elevation thus creating better views. It is also a little more "rocky" and "rooty" (exposed tree roots) so the footing makes the going a little slower. I went out on one and back on the other.

Another great option for you to consider in order to see more of the Island's variety is to make use of the MV Sandy tour boat operated by the Lodge. Depending on the day you are arriving there will be different options. I refer you to The Greenstone, the official park annual newspaper. There are round trips to a variety of interesting places each offered 2 or 3 times a week.
1) Passage Island with a 1 mile hike to its old lighthouse
2) Hidden lake with a ranger guided 1 mile hike to Lookout Louise.
3) Edisen Fishery, Rock Harbor Lighthouse & a 0.5 mile hike to Bangsund Cabin (summer home of Rolf & Candy Peterson of the wolf/moose study)
4) Raspberry Island & evening sunset "cruise"

#2 and #3 also allow you to walk back to Rock Harbor if your up for it. You can also rent canoes or a small boat with outboard motor at the Rock Harbor marina.

An appropriately sized cooler with ice will get your hamburger, hot dogs or steak and eggs safely through the ferry ride. There are decent grocery stores in Houghton, Hancock and Calumet. There's also a Walmart in Houghton and not really much grocery selection north of Calumet.

As others have suggested, pack for cooler weather, multiple layers is best. Do take some good rain gear, at least a good light weight rain coat and brimmed hat. And if you want to stay active in spite of rain, take more than the usual change of clothes (especially socks).
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013


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vanvolkp
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Re: Newbie; Staying with family

Post by vanvolkp » Fri Jun 10, 2016 1:01 am

Thank you everyone for the replies. We will not be doing much hiking on this trip as our rock pickers are pretty young yet, but will be renting a boat for our full day so we can explore the surrounding area some. I am used to packing in food and supplies for adults as I have gone to remote fishing areas in Canada several times, but curious what was needed on IR and what actually was in the cabins. I have already planned on head nets for the younglings. I would hate for them to despise the wilderness due to a bad trip in which they only remember mosquitoes.

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DonNewcomb
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Re: Newbie; Staying with family

Post by DonNewcomb » Fri Jun 10, 2016 6:21 am

As I recall, a day's canoe rental was included in the price of the cabin.


Midwest Ed
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Re: Newbie; Staying with family

Post by Midwest Ed » Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:30 am

Maybe "rock pickers" is a a bit of a euphemism but just so you don't get in a jam, taking home Isle Royale rocks, most particularly agates and the much sought-after Greenstones, is now against Park regulations. I think the rental included in the lodging is a half day. Have a "Plan B" in mind for the boat rental. If the Lake is angry, the marina is reluctant to let their boats out. Tobin Harbor though is usually calm in that case and typically still available for canoeing. The Sandy tour to the Edisen Fishery is very interesting and requires very little walking if you skip the Bangsund cabin. I know your family will have a great time.

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Last edited by Midwest Ed on Fri Jun 10, 2016 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013


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vanvolkp
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Re: Newbie; Staying with family

Post by vanvolkp » Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:10 am

Haha, yeah rock pickers is a term for kids as they not only play with rocks, but also would be used for removing rocks from farm fields.

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