Chickenbone W. vs. Lake Ritchie

Questions about trails and campsites on the island.

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Tortuga
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Chickenbone W. vs. Lake Ritchie

Post by Tortuga » Thu May 25, 2017 10:53 am

I'm headed to the Island next week, and my official plan was to go from Hatchett to W Chickenbone. But I've heard a lot of positive feedback about Lake Ritchie, which isn't a huge walk past Chicken Bone. Is anyone passionate enough about one or the other to convince me which one to pick? Either way the next day is to Moskey.

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Chickenbone W. vs. Lake Ritchie

Post by Donk_67 » Thu May 25, 2017 6:20 pm

I stayed at W. Chickenbone on my first trip. Had a nice campsite on the lake, but imho, W. C. Isn't anything special. Ritchie has always intrigued me the two times I've hiked through, but coming from Moskey, it was always way too soon to stop. If you're feeling good on the hike from Hatchet, go for it.

Btw, looks like I'll be at 3 mile at the same time as you and be heading back to Copper Harbor on the 9th. Too.

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Re: Chickenbone W. vs. Lake Ritchie

Post by Midwest Ed » Thu May 25, 2017 11:05 pm

I think both are above average campgrounds with a slight edge to Lake Ritchie. For me, the deciding factor would hinge on how tired and hungry I was, how bad the bugs appeared and which camp sites were available; although a little later at your next stop will most likely not improve the odds at a better site.

If Moskey Basin is definitely your next stop, the mere 2.5 miles the next day will almost guarantee you a shelter. You might even need to wait awhile until one clears out. :roll:
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Re: Chickenbone W. vs. Lake Ritchie

Post by Tom » Fri May 26, 2017 6:54 am

I'm inclined to agree with Midwest Ed; Lake Ritchie might have a slight edge, but it's very slight. If it were me, I'd take advantage of the "itineraries can change" policy for non-groups. If mosquitos had been active at other camps, play the wind: If it's windy out of the North, pick Chickenbone, as the breeze off the lake will keep the bugs at bay. If wind from the South, Ritchie for the same reason.
In a light rain, either camp is fine; but if the weather was stormy or had lightning, West Chickenbone would be a better place to ride out a storm in my opinion.


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Re: Chickenbone W. vs. Lake Ritchie

Post by Tortuga » Fri May 26, 2017 7:42 am

I figured it'd be a "play by ear" situation. If I'm not missing out on something just completely magical, I'll keep my planned itinerary. Looks like I have to walk through Ritchie anyway to get to Moskey, so I'll be able to check it out and see if it's on the agenda for next year.


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Re: Chickenbone W. vs. Lake Ritchie

Post by Tortuga » Fri May 26, 2017 7:48 am

Midwest Ed wrote:
Thu May 25, 2017 11:05 pm
I think both are above average campgrounds with a slight edge to Lake Ritchie. For me, the deciding factor would hinge on how tired and hungry I was, how bad the bugs appeared and which camp sites were available; although a little later at your next stop will most likely not improve the odds at a better site.

If Moskey Basin is definitely your next stop, the mere 2.5 miles the next day will almost guarantee you a shelter. You might even need to wait awhile until one clears out. :roll:
:lol: I usually start pretty dang early (7-8), and keep a pace of about 2mph. I have a feeling folks wouldn't be too happy to have me stalking their shelter at that hour :lol:

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Re: Chickenbone W. vs. Lake Ritchie

Post by jrwiesz » Sat May 27, 2017 4:00 pm

I would probably stay at Ritchie, which may have better odds of seeing moose?
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Re: Chickenbone W. vs. Lake Ritchie

Post by fonixmunkee » Mon May 29, 2017 12:30 pm

West Chickenbone will be buggy, regardless of the time of year. It will also be much busier.

Lake Richie isn't AS buggy as W. Chickenbone. You're often alone there, too. There's a slightly higher chance of seeing moose here, too.

The rocks at Lake Richie are a great place to sun yourself during the day, or relax and watch the alpenglow on the lake in the evening.
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