My wife and I are experienced backpackers, but this will only be our second trip to the Island since 2012. Also...we are planning on bringing our 20 month old son!!
We are planning on going the week of July 10th. Wanting to minimize time on the boat, we are thinking about taking the Sea Hunter out of Grand Portage since it is only 1.5 hours to Windigo. Our campsite plan is: 1st night hopefully in a shelter at Windigo, 2nd and 3rd night at Huginnin Bay, and 4th night back at Windigo (since Windigo only has a three night max stay, wish I could stay all 4 there).
We like this because it is minimal miles and close to the ranger facility in case of some unforeseen emergency with the little one. We took Voyager II in May 2012 and it was a very, very rough boat ride. My wife doesn't want to take the little guy on that boat...anyone think the Sea Hunter is any better?
What do you all think? Any tips from anyone who has brought a small child to the island? What do you think bugs will be like? Any other suggested minimal mile routes?
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I would be prepared for significant skeeters and flies, although they should be getting a little better by then. But you never know. I always bring a headnet (even though I don't think I've ever used it on I.R.). Being on the lake, Huginnin will likely be better than Washington Creek.
Have you checked into the camper cabins at Windigo? That would allow you to stay there all 4 days. Other than that, your plan sounds like the best option. Nothing better at the other end, since both Rock Harbor and Three Mile have 1 night limits.
At Huginnin, site #1 is definitely the nicest, although it is also farthest from the outhouse, which may be a consideration with a toddler.