Itinerary Advice - Early May (First Boat?)

Questions about trails and campsites on the island.

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Hobbes
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Itinerary Advice - Early May (First Boat?)

Post by Hobbes » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:03 pm

Hi all,

Planning my first trip to IR in early May, maybe first boat. I’m an experienced hiker and backpacker, good fitness, but I wanted to see what folks think of this potential itinerary. Am I too crazy with my long days? My main rationale for the heavy miles is I like to stay moving and warm during the day. Have a good amount of experience at high latitudes and I’ve always regretted getting into camp too early in the day and getting cold.

Appreciate any insight and feedback! Thank you.

Day 1: Windigo - Feldtmann Lake 8.8 mi
Day 2: Feldtmann - Island Mine 14.6 mi
Day 3: Island Mine - Hatchet Lake 13.0 mi
Day 4: Hatchet Lake - West Chickenbone 7.9 mi
Day 5: West Chickenbone - Rock Harbor 14.8 mi
Day 6: Voyageur II to Grand Portage

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Base654
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Re: Itinerary Advice - Early May (First Boat?)

Post by Base654 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:18 pm

Welcome.

Your trip would normally be a good one. Some longer days, but your experience indicates that you could handle it. The concern is with winter blowdown. If it is heavy, you may have some struggles getting over and around things. I think the initial focus of the trail crews is around Rock harbor. I would think about having a couple of extra days available before having to get back to the real world in case you have to slow down.


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Re: Itinerary Advice - Early May (First Boat?)

Post by torpified » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:20 am

I took the first (tourist) boat out of Copper Harbor last year, and share your attitudes toward cold weather hiking strategies. I agree that the wildcard is deadfall. But one way to look at that is: the more time you spend struggling through blowdowns, the less time you'll spend shivering at camp!


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Re: Itinerary Advice - Early May (First Boat?)

Post by Kevinl » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:20 pm

I think it looks fine. Consider the blowdown stuff--it's a very valid concern but you should be able to climb around things. Bring lots of socks and maybe an extra pair of shoes because those things will get wet. I'll see you on the boat and maybe on some of those trails.

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Re: Itinerary Advice - Early May (First Boat?)

Post by Ingo » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:55 pm

I might suggest doing McCargoe from Hatchet (via Todd), instead of W Chickenbone. Gives you a shelter to dry out in for a night and all your sites are otherwise inland.
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Re: Itinerary Advice - Early May (First Boat?)

Post by Hobbes » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:58 am

Thanks all for the advice! Looking forward to it.

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Re: Itinerary Advice - Early May (First Boat?)

Post by Rafiki » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:42 pm

I like your hiking regiment. Looks good. If it were me I would not take the Rock Harbor Trail back on the final day instead I would take the Tobin Harbor Trail.
343.1 Miles Hiked: 2004 (3 Days), 2010 (11 Days), 2011 (13 Days), 2012 X 2 (8 + 12 Days), 2013 (9 Days [Paddling])


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Hobbes
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Re: Itinerary Advice - Early May (First Boat?)

Post by Hobbes » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:10 am

Thank you Rafiki. Is it a better trail in terms of conditions etc.?


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Re: Itinerary Advice - Early May (First Boat?)

Post by Tortuga » Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:25 am

Hobbes wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:10 am
Thank you Rafiki. Is it a better trail in terms of conditions etc.?
Agree with Rafiki. I consider Tobin to be more scenic and much less a rock/root/mud scramble. They are both fine but I would definitely choose Tobin if I could only do one.

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Re: Itinerary Advice - Early May (First Boat?)

Post by Rafiki » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:33 am

The Rock Harbor trail is a butt kicker. Although it does have a beautiful scenic look with Lake Superior coasting along side of it; the trail is very rocky and tiring on the knees after a couple of miles. The Tobin Harbor trail is smooth and has some overlooks to it. If you want the best of both worlds you could always cut down to the Rock Harbor trail half way through your hike back from the Tobin Harbor trail. Having done both though, I prefer the Tobin Trail, especially if I am doing a longer hike.
343.1 Miles Hiked: 2004 (3 Days), 2010 (11 Days), 2011 (13 Days), 2012 X 2 (8 + 12 Days), 2013 (9 Days [Paddling])

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