June loop feedback

Questions about trails and campsites on the island.

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collin.rainey
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June loop feedback

Post by collin.rainey » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:34 pm

Hi everyone,

My wife and I are headed to IR for a pre-baby hiking adventure. We're moderately experienced hikers, confident in our fitness (we're adopting, so no pregnancy worries), but it's our first of what we hope to be many visits to IR.

Could I get some feedback on the trip we're planning in mid June?

Day 1: ferry into rock harbor, hike to lane cove
Day 2: lane cove to mccargo cove
Day 3: mccargo cove to Todd harbor
Day 4: Todd harbor to Moskey bay
Day 5: Moskey bay to Duncan bay (trail accessible?)
Day 6: Duncan bay to rock harbor and the ferry


Midwest Ed
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Re: June 17 loop feedback

Post by Midwest Ed » Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:25 pm

Hello Collin,

Welcome to the forums. Duncan Bay campground is only accessible via paddling or boat. Your itinerary has a couple of days that are fairly long by Island standards, 13.3m (Lane Cove to McCargoe Cove) and 15.2m (Todd Harbor to Moskey Basin). These stretches are doable (especially with lots of daylight in June) but I'm not sure how Isle Royale trails compare to your other "moderate" experience or what your preferences are for long days vs. "smelling the roses" (so to speak). There is typically just a few hundred feet of average elevation change in your routes involving the Greenstone Ridge but other areas generate a fair amount of up and down with little actual change in elevation, which can take its toll on your legs. I would consider leaving Todd Harbor out for this trip and also schedule a rest day (just in case you need it). There are many more camp ground options on the northeastern end than the southwest end so modifying your itinerary after a day or two is easily done. I'm sure you will get some alternate views and suggestions and I suggest reading some of the trip reports here that covered the same ground.
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Base654
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Re: June loop feedback

Post by Base654 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:14 pm

Welcome. I agree with Ed. 13miles/8hours= 1.6 miles per hour sounds like an easy day, but full strides don't come very often, some rocks require extra muscles (rarely used) to traverse and the trails are often slick. Any reasonably healthy person can do it, but you wont be looking around. There is one spot on the map that looks like a 300 foot straight shot, but it is up 50 down 50 up 50 then down 50 with the 300 mixed in (I found that with a kayak on my back) that is rare, but those lines aren't flat :-) The hike to Lane will give you the info you need to plan the rest of your trip. Keep in mind you are not committed to keep the schedule to set out with from the dock. I like to plan "what ifs?" from every campground, maybe I twist an ankle, maybe I find solitude and want to keep it. Todd is nice, but not spectacular and can be missed. Have fun. p.s. the trail map shows all the trails, no line = no access without bushwackin'.


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collin.rainey
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Re: June loop feedback

Post by collin.rainey » Sat May 20, 2017 2:24 pm

Thanks for the feedback! Re-thought a few things and have some more ideas. 6 day trips are tricky to hit the highlights. Trying to challenge ourselves a bit with at least one long day. Would appreciate any feedback you have:

Option A
Rock harbor to lane cove (6.9)
Lane cove to McCargoe cove (11.1)
McCargoe to Todd harbor (6.6)
Todd to moskey bay (15.3)
Moskey to 3mile (8.3)
3mile to rock (2.7)

Option B
Rock to lane (6.9)
Lane to Moskey (11.1)
Moskey to McCargoe (8.6)
McCargoe to Chippewa (10.6)
Chippewa to daisy farm (9.7)
Daisy to rock (7.1)

Option C
Rock to lane (6.9)
Lane to moskey (11.1)
Moskey to Todd (15.3)
Todd to McCargoe (6.6)
McCargoe to 3mile (12.6)
3mile to rock (2.7)

Thanks all!


Chorizo
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Re: June loop feedback

Post by Chorizo » Sat May 20, 2017 3:22 pm

I'd select Option A with the same reservations as above about that Todd Harbor--->Moskey Basin hike. It's doable but it will be quite a long hike and IR has very few flat steps.


Midwest Ed
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Re: June loop feedback

Post by Midwest Ed » Sat May 20, 2017 7:00 pm

As far as variations in the choices go, it boils down to Todd Harbor or Chippewa Harbor. Both are great.

I didn't check all your mileages but Lane Cove to McCargoe Cove is listed as 13.3 not 11.1. As Base654 noted, after your first day to Lane Cove you will have a better idea of what lays ahead. Because of weather or other reasons it's often suggested that a layover or zero day be scheduled. Fortunately, the northeast end of the Island has enough campgrounds that on the fly modifications are fairly easily implemented. Any of your options work. For example, if needed you could later decide to skip or add Todd Harbor or Chippewa Harbor.
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Re: June loop feedback

Post by torpified » Sun May 21, 2017 11:30 am

Dear Collin,

On the potential legs between Todd Harbor and Moskey Basin -- were you thinking of going via McCargoe or via Hatchet Lake? Given the rest of itineraries A and C, I think going via McCargoe would mean some (probably very pleasant!) backtracking along the Minong Ridge trail. Going via Hatchet Lake and the GRT would be a few miles longer than the TH-MB mileage (15.3) from the official atlas, which lists minimum trail distances between camps.

I walked all the trails in question last week. My 2cents: the backtracking option might be more aesthetic, but the stretch of the GRT between West Chickenbone and Hatchet Lake was Moose-a-rama! Daily mileages are personal -- as others have said, by that point in the trip, you guys will have a sense of what works for you. I'll also echo that there are MANY hours of daylight that time of the year; walking is a good way to use them up.

Have fun, please report back--and congratulations on the imminent addition to the hiking team!

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