June 2020 First Timers w/Kids Itinerary #2

Questions about trails and campsites on the island.

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silvershamrocks
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June 2020 First Timers w/Kids Itinerary #2

Post by silvershamrocks »

Thank you all for the help with my pre-Covid itinerary plans. Our plan went to the trash with the ferry, water taxi, and cabin reservations cancelled. Fortunately for us, my husband did not give up on his dream, and the park has opened just in time. While at home together we have been practicing, hiking, planning, and researching to making this an incredible adventure. We are taking the seaplane out of Hancock RT with our 4 children, ages 19, 16, 12, and 8 (fingers crossed) this Sunday June 28- Sunday July 5 (morning flights scheduled). Our 4 day backpacking trip has turned into 7!

Original thought with revised itinerary was to do an end to end hike. However, after pouring over trip reports (I can't wait to add ours!) I realized this may not be the best route for our particular situation with the kids. Too much time on the ridge, not enough variety, lack of Superior campsites, some really long days etc..
We have created 3 ambitious loop itineraries with a ton of flexibility in mind. If we need to drop back or take a zero day somewhere, it's ok. I know there are good day hikes from MC, CH, and RH. Do people prefer LC right out of the gate, or at the end? Thoughts? Any other suggestions? Thank you!

Option#1
Day 1 RH-LC
2 LC-DF
3 DF-MC
4 MC-LR
5 LR-MB
6 MB-DF
7 DF- RH

Option#2
Reverses LC Day 6 MB-LC Day 7 LC-RH

Option#3
Day 1 RH-DF
2 DF-LR
3 LR-CH
4 CH-MB
5 MB-TM
6 TM-LC
7 LC-RH
Deb

20 RH-DF-MC-MB-DF-TM-RH

torpified
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Re: June 2020 First Timers w/Kids Itinerary #2

Post by torpified »

THEY ALL LOOK AWESOME.

Just my $.02:

McCargo -- which you see on itineraries 1 and 2 -- has a mine to explore, maybe a mile up the (open part of!) the Minong. Could be good for variety, and even the basis of a day trip, if it's your assessment that you can enjoyably travel between Moskey and McCargo in one day. (If you really want the experience of camping along an inland lake, another way to play it is to replace LR with WCB, and combo the short Mc-WCB (or WCB-MC) day with mine exploration.)

A reason to prefer Option #2 over option #1 is that you'll start out in shelters and with picnic tables, which is arguably a gentler introduction to camping life than tenting at a table-less site. The first part of the route is also flatter.

I am eagerly anticipating the TR!!!

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Ingo
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Re: June 2020 First Timers w/Kids Itinerary #2

Post by Ingo »

Agree about McCargoe and the mines. They're fun to explore and would be a great place to have a layover day.
I'd suggest having Lane Cove at the end of the trip. It's the hardest hike (coming out), your packs will be the lightest, and you probably don't want to start the trip with it not sure of everyone's abilities.
And don't forget to leave time for the Scoville Pt hike out of RH at the end!
79: worked RH, 01: BI-DB-RH, 02: MC-LR-WL-CH, 05: MI-CI-MB-DF-RH-TM-RH, 09: MC-BI-DN-RH, 11: WC-HC-WC, 12: MC-CB-HL-TH, 13: RH-PI, 14: BI-ML-CI-CH-MB, 16: RH-CI-TI-RH, 17: WI-IM-SB-FL-WC, 18: MC-PC-BI-DB-RH-DF

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Re: June 2020 First Timers w/Kids Itinerary #2

Post by Tom »

If this is your first time on the island, I'm inclined to recommend saving Lane Cove for the end of the trip. While that first day's hike shakes the legs and gets them ready, that following morning when you need to hike out of Lane Cove might sour the experience. Best to tackle that once you have your trail legs and the packs are lighter.
As for Option 2, just know that Moskey to Lane Cove would be a long day that you'd earn those trail miles.

As torpified said, they all look awesome. I might suggest a little zig-zag:

1 RH-DF (Nice intro the island, solid 'soft' camp to start. 7.1mi)
2 DF-MC (Up and over the ridge, great views, start to understand geology of N/S hillsides, take E Chickenbone trail 8.0mi)
3 MC-CH (Back over to another awesome camp. 10.6mi)
4 CH-MB (Hitting the trifecta of some of the best camp locations three days in a row 6.2mi)
5 MB-TM (If ever there was a time Threemile would be quiet... Covid is it. It's a very pretty camp. DF to TH would be your first backtracking on a trail. As an alternate, you could also hit DF again and use the extra time for a hike to the tower if you didn't get there on Day 1. 8.3mi)
6 TM-LC (You're lined up perfectly for the up and over. 4.6mi)
7 LC-RH (6.9mi)

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Re: June 2020 First Timers w/Kids Itinerary #2

Post by TopCarrot »

Moskey to lane cove Will be rough on the littles. I agree with Tom on the best three sites MC Ch Mb.
Lake Richie is way nice than either of the chicken bones
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Re: June 2020 First Timers w/Kids Itinerary #2

Post by Midwest Ed »

Your main decision to stay on the northeast end is the biggest winner. The campgrounds are "close enough" to each other that any of the zig-zag and back and forth can work out well for you. Know that since you are only 6 persons and not considered a "Group", you are then free to change your itinerary at any time and as much as you like. Any of the above itineraries will allow you to create a layover day or possibly not feel compelled to endure what some my feel like a death march. Don't try to experience too much or you might miss something great.

Almost everyone ends up with their favorite experiences with Isle Royale. Mine happen to be campgrounds on Lake Superior and afternoons on the sections of the Greenstone Ridge that are fairly clear of trees thus offering panoramic views (assuming the weather is clear). I know the section from Mt. Ojibway to Mt. Franklin qualifies. I don't know the current state of the Greenstone Ridge from Mt. Ojibway to Chickenbone Lake. It's been too many years.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013

silvershamrocks
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Re: June 2020 First Timers w/Kids Itinerary #2

Post by silvershamrocks »

Thank you all for the informative responses. Some of things you mentioned I never considered. Tom, we plan to use your optional itinerary, and save Lane Cove for last, or maybe just skip to give us more time to explore McCargoe Cove, and Rock Harbor. Chippewa was always on my wish list, and so excited we can add this to the loop! Looking forward to an amazing trip. Thanks again.


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Deb

20 RH-DF-MC-MB-DF-TM-RH

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Re: June 2020 First Timers w/Kids Itinerary #2

Post by Bobcat1 »

This year, the limit at Rock Harbor has been extended to 3 nights. So, if you are moving right along and get ahead of schedule, or you change your plans after starting, you can always head back to Rock Harbor. Lots to do there including the Scoville Point trail, Mt Franklin dayhike, ask the rangers if you can rent a canoe for a half day on Tobin Harbor, etc.
19 RH-ML-TI-RH by kayak
16 RH-DF-MB-TI-RH-3M-RH by kayak
09 RH-DF-MC-TH-HL-SD-WC
00 WC-IM-WC
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Re: June 2020 First Timers w/Kids Itinerary #2

Post by Midwest Ed »

Good to know about the increase to 3 for the Rock Harbor nightly limit. I'm now thinking of taking advantage.

Another sample modification to consider...
If you find yourself with extra day(s) remaining and you're "too close" to Rock Harbor, you can take the longer route from Daisy Farm to Three Mile via the Greenstone Ridge. Since this route in more of a trapezoid, it is only about 1 mile longer than the shore route.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013

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