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Itinerary Feedback - 7/6-7/15 - [First time on IR]

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:18 pm
by brian_andrew
Hello all,

I sincerely hope this is the right forum to post a request for feedback, apologies if I've posted in the wrong spot. We are a group of four first-timers to Isle Royale and would really appreciate any feedback on our planned route.

Here's some basic info on our group:
People: 4
Experience: Varied, but one of our members is inexperience and a little worried about mileage.
Fitness: We all run and play sports regularly and are fairly fit people.
Travel: We are planning on the first and last days of our trip being spent entirely on travel (we live in N. Indiana) so our days actually on the island will be 7/7-7/14 (8 days).

7/7 - Take the ferry into Rock Harbor (from Copper Harbor) and then go from R.H. to Lane Cove [6.9 mi]
7/8 - Lane Cove to Daisy Farm [6.9 mi]
7/9 - Daisy Farm to Chickenbone W [7.9 mi]
7/10 - Chickenbone W to Hatchet Lake [7.9 mi]
7/11 - Hatchet Lake to Desor S [8.1 mi]
7/12 - Desor S to Island Mine [5.5 mi]
7/13 - Island Mine to Windigo [6.6 mi]
7/14 - Built-in extra day that we can take at any point on the trip to rest and do some day hiking
On July 15th we plan to take the ferry from Windigo to Rock Harbor and then the other ferry from Rock Harbor back to Copper Harbor.

We are definitely not trying to be ambitious as none of us has done IR before and we have a member who has very little backpacking experience. That being said, we would still be grateful if someone would confirm for us that this trip is very doable (even for fit, but inexperienced hikers).

We would also appreciate any advice on where to spend our extra day. Are there particular spots that are great for day hikes?

Thank you all so much for your help, we are so excited to a long trip together and make some great memories!
Brian (et. al.)

Re: Itinerary Feedback - 7/6-7/15 - [First time on IR]

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:14 pm
by The_Guy
That's a very do-able plan. If you stick to that schedule we'll cross paths somewhere between the 9th and the 10th as I'll be heading the opposite direction on the greenstone.
The heads up I'll give you is second hand info from others on here that the planks on the way to Lane Cove are currently submerged and people are bypassing over a nearby beaver dam.

Re: Itinerary Feedback - 7/6-7/15 - [First time on IR]

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:15 pm
by Tightlines01
Hello. Your route is very doable, no worries. The fact you've included a zero day for weather or rest is very good!

A couple of suggestions...
Day 1 consider a water taxi from Rock to hidden lake. You're already doing the Greenstone ridge trail might as well do the whole thing. If hiking from Rock day 1 take the Tobin Harbor. Very easy trail till the 3 mile junction. The climb to the Greenstone can be harder but doable.
Day 2 don't stop at the top of the Greenstone junction for a rest after climbing out of the switch backs, continue on .3 miles and take your break at Mt Franklin. Amazing view, one of my favorites.
Day 3. Take lots of water. None to be had once your in the ridge
Day 4 The hike down from the ridge is steep and rocky. Take your time
Day 5. The hike out of hatchet is the worst part.
Day 6. Simple pretty easy.
Day 7. Get an early start you may wish to check out Island mine and keep going to Washington creek. The water here is from a small stream and it can be slow running and a bit tannic at times.

For your extra day consider a trip to Higgins cove campground. Very beautiful.

Enjoy your hike.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Re: Itinerary Feedback - 7/6-7/15 - [First time on IR]

Posted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:21 am
by Base654
Sounds like a nice trip. you are leaving yourself plenty of time for side hikes or lazy departures. Keep in mind that your itinnery is not set in stone, you may choose to skip one of your stops and carry on to the next. your newbie shouldn't have any trouble, just make sure the boots are well broke in before leaving. That time of year you will have 10ish hours of day light and a lot of dusk. have fun.

Re: Itinerary Feedback - 7/6-7/15 - [First time on IR]

Posted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:17 pm
by torpified
layover day: maybe (7/9) walk the daisy farm - greenstone ridge - ojibway fire tower trail loop from Daisy Farm? That would give you a chance to see a nice stretch of the GRT (between the two Daisy Farm junctions) you might otherwise miss. And the next day you could go to Chicken Bone West via the Lake Ritchie and Indian Portage trails -- a little longer, but still < 10 miles all told, and arguably more interesting than the most direct way (my favorite stretch of which is the Daisy Farm trail, which you would have covered the previous day).

All that said, you can't go wrong. You'll have a grand time!

Re: Itinerary Feedback - 7/6-7/15 - [First time on IR]

Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:34 pm
by Midwest Ed
All good advice. It can't be over-stressed, especially for the newcomers to backpacking that appropriate foot wear that is well fitting and broken-in is so important. Nothing else is more likely to spoil the trip than severe blisters after the first day or two. Much of the Isle Royale terrain and footing can be very rough on feet. Make sure everyone pauses early and frequently to check for problems, then make adjustments and apply plenty of moleskin before the blisters form.