Zero day options: Todd Harbor or McCargo Cove and Why

Questions about trails and campsites on the island.

Moderator: MikeT

Post Reply
Mdskpr
NewbieCake
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2021 12:12 pm
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 1 time

Zero day options: Todd Harbor or McCargo Cove and Why

Post by Mdskpr »

I fly into Windigo on AUG 20 and depart Rock Harbor on AUG 27. My itinerary is: W>SLD>TH>MC>LC>RH. I have a zero day built in and am looking for a preferred zero day location: Todd Harbor or McCargo Cove...and why. All feedback from those who have been is greatly appreciated.
Last edited by Mdskpr on Tue Jul 12, 2022 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
Bobcat1
Bushwacker
Posts: 226
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:01 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 7
Location: Athens, Ohio
Has thanked: 30 times
Been thanked: 61 times

Re: Zero day options: Todd Harbor or McCargo Cover and Why

Post by Bobcat1 »

SLD-TH, while not overly difficult, is a pretty lengthy chunk of hiking, so I am assuming you are aware of that and ready for that. If it were me, I would take the zero at Todd Harbor, because of the much lower number of other hikers. McCargoe Cove seems to be a lively place in recent years, and often full or near full. If you are an extrovert and looking for socializing, McCargoe Cove might fit better. Both of these campgrounds have a community fire ring. McC has a dock where people tend to congregate. TH has a dock, but it's a bit away from the individual campsites and the one shelter. TH is gorgeous, and aligned well for sunsets if the weather's good. Swimming's good at TH which has a cobbled beach of sorts. McC has a silty muddy bottom with leeches, although this can be avoided by jumping off the end of the dock. Although there's debris on the bottom and it's not all that deep, and last time I was there a guy had to be evacuated because he sliced his foot open on something he hit jumping off the dock. If you want people-watching, there's certainly more of that at McC. Is the Voyager II ferry coming through on the day you will be resting at McC? If you hike fast enough that SLD to TH will be an average day for you, and then you start early, you can be in McC in less than three hours anyway so you'll have a lot of down time there - but get there ahead of the Voyager if you want a shot at getting a shelter. Just my random thoughts.
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
96 WC-FL-SB-SD-HL-CE-3M-RH
94 RH-DF-MB-3M-RH
92 RH-DF-LR-CW-HL-SD-IM-WC
S_R_L
NewbieCake
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2022 1:15 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 5
Has thanked: 9 times
Been thanked: 10 times

Re: Zero day options: Todd Harbor or McCargo Cover and Why

Post by S_R_L »

Second Bobcat1's thinking. If it were me I'd also stay at Todd for the seclusion aspect. 2 days into a trip I'd be happy to never see another soul, not have to listen to a group of 20+ people sit on the dock and chat all afternoon/evening.
Most of the shelters and the 3 individual campsites are set into the side of a hill at McCargoe so if your legs are tired it might be a drag to go up and down to the water repeatedly.
'22: RH-LC-DF-MB-CH-DF-3M-RH
'21: RH-DF-MB-MC-HL-Malone-SD-WC ~75 miles hiked including side trips.
'20: WC-FL-SB-IM-WC
'18: RH-DF-MB-ECB-DF-RH
'16: RH-LC-DF-TM-RH
'14: WC-HC-WC
Mdskpr
NewbieCake
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2021 12:12 pm
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Zero day options: Todd Harbor or McCargo Cover and Why

Post by Mdskpr »

Bobcat & S_R_L...thank you for your feedback. I'd prefer the solitude aspect and time to enjoy the island.
User avatar
Midwest Ed
IR Expert
Posts: 1325
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:25 am
Isle Royale Visits: 8
Location: Quad Cities, IL
Has thanked: 11 times
Been thanked: 54 times

Re: Zero day options: Todd Harbor or McCargo Cove and Why

Post by Midwest Ed »

I back everything from Bobcat. Todd Harbor is my favorite campground. As mentioned, just one shelter, but you should be able to use it your 2nd day there. Even though there is a dock, it is a small one with very shallow draft capability. Thus, there are fewer boaters than one might expect but you never know for sure. One thing about sharing a campground with boaters like this is you might be offered some Lake Trout :D

If you're feeling up to it there is a fairly easy bushwack (according to what has been reported by others) to a water fall a bit southwest along the harbor. I believe there is a thread somewhere here by the reporter.
SC-1759-Todd Harbor Water Falls.PNG
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013
Buckeye
NewbieCake
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 2:29 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 4
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 5 times

Re: Zero day options: Todd Harbor or McCargo Cove and Why

Post by Buckeye »

I agree with everyone on the Todd Harbor choice over McCargo Cove. Last fall McCargo was packed. We hiked on to East Chickenbone, even though we couldn't get water there (We carried extra water for the night). The hike from TH to LC will be a tough one at ~20 miles!
11 DF-WC-MB-TM-RH
14 CH-MB-DF-3M
18 CH-MB-MC-DF-LC
19 MC-MB-3M-RH
21 FL-SB-HL-EC-RH
Post Reply