itinerary help

Questions about how to get to the island and where to stay near points of departure.

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itinerary help

Post by budy8890 »

My friend and I will be arriving via Voyageur III Friday August 21st. We are in our early 60's and can't hike very fast or too far each day. Can't decide between these 2 itineraries or if there is a better one!
Itnerary 1:
Depart boat hike to 3 mile
Sat hike to DF
Sun take Voyageur II to Windigo WC
Stay 3 nights WC and do day hikes in the area
Wed take Voyageur II to RH
Thursday to Lane Cove
Friday LC back to stay at RH Lodge
Sat depart for Houghton

Itinerary 2:
Depart boat hike to 3 mile
Sat hike to DF
Sun DF to Windigo WC via Voyageur II
Monday Voygeaur II to McCargo
Tues McCargo to Moskey
Wed Moskey to DF
Thurs DF to 3mile
Fri 3 mile to RH lodge
Sat depart for Houghton

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

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Re: itinerary help

Post by dcclark »

Welcome to the forums!

Both of your itineraries look very roundabout to me. Taking the Voyageur to Windigo and back again takes up a lot of time that you could spend sitting around and enjoying the scenery, or doing dayhikes, or having fun in Rock Harbor. Itinerary 2 is a bit better (especially because you get to see McCargo and Moskey), so if you have to choose one, I'd pick #2.

But my real advice is: Spending two full days on a boat just to spend a night in Windigo isn't worth it. Everything is beautiful! So, just pick one end (probably the east/Rock Harbor end) and take your time seeing that area instead.

This could let you hike all the way to Moskey Basin under your own steam (if you do 3 Mile, Daisy, then Moskey, you'll never do more than 4 miles in a day).

I also wouldn't worry about a Lane Cove side trip. I suspect you would find it to be a very difficult 7 miles, two days in a row. Lane is nice, but places like Moskey are nicer.

Great options that you could add on while staying in Rock Harbor:
* Day hike from Rock Harbor up to Mt. Franklin to get a taste of the Greenstone without having to go up and over it to Lane Cove.
* Rent a canoe and check out Tobin Harbor.
* Take the Sandy on some of its day trips to the Edison Fishery, Raspberry Island, or Passage Island.
* Go to some ranger programs.

No matter what, you'll have a great time!

Side note: I think you must be coming over on the Ranger III (not Voyageur), if you're planning to leave from Rock Harbor for Houghton. The Voyageur goes to Minnesota, not Michigan.

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Re: itinerary help

Post by budy8890 »

Yes the Ranger! Thanks for your input!

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Re: itinerary help

Post by Bobcat1 »

I agree, there are lots of things to do on the eastern end. But, unlike ddclark, I think spending a couple days riding and sightseeing on theVoyager is a great way to see a lot of the island, especially if that is your goal more than racking up lots of miles. I like your plan 2 because you do a little more hiking, but be warned, McCargoe to Moskey is crossing several ridges and that is not a particularly easy hike. If you get tired, you can always stop at the Lake Ritchie campground, which is a bit more than two miles short of Moskey Basin.
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Re: itinerary help

Post by Midwest Ed »

Given your preconditions, I agree with the spirit of dcclark's advise. It's important for you to know that even though the park asks for your itinerary when you check in and start, you can alter the itinerary at any time. There are 2 trails from Rock Harbor to 3 mile. One to the north along Tobin Harbor is smoother and easier than the one to the south along the Rock Harbor Channel. Both offer a great experience but each is different. I'll go against common suggestions and say you take the harder Rock Harbor trail, staying at 3 Mile your first night. This will give you a much better idea, early on, of what your capabilities and limits are. On your way back to Rock Harbor take the easier Tobin Harbor trail.

It looks like you have 6 nights available. I think you can have a wonderful experience if you divide those nights up with just 3 Mile, Daisy Farm, maybe Moskey Basin and Rock Harbor. In order to get a more fully rounded Island experience you should include a trip up to and maybe along the Greenstone Ridge trail. When you first get to 3 mile and feel in good shape, I suggest your 2nd day to Daisy Farm but take the slightly longer route up to the Greenstone Ridge (especially if its a clear day). It's only a couple of miles longer than the direct shoreline route. Or maybe you get to this on your way back. The panoramic views from up there are great. Going to Moskey Basin would be out and back. Some people have the desire to avoid any back tracking but I find that the views and experiences in the opposite direction are very different. Also be aware that this 4.5 miles will test your thighs due to the more than usual small ups and downs. It's not terrible. Just slow down a bit and Moskey Basin is worth it.

Lastly, If you find yourself wanting to be back in Rock Harbor sooner than expected know that 1) there is a one night limit at the campground and 2) the Stoll trail to Scoville Point is very highly rated. It has 2 routes out and back that merge in the middle forming a kind of figure 8. It's 4 miles out and not difficult. You could easily spend a whole day doing it.
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