This looks pretty simple on paper. I imagine, weather dependent, W Chicken to Lane Cove could be a chore. Since I have yet to see the topography of the island I am just guessing Greenstone from WC to LC and especially Greenstone to LC and back will be steep. (???) So 13 miles could seem like 20? It is not beyond our capability to hike for 8+ hours in a day, but I'd rather not. I figure WC to LC should be a casual 8 hours. If it takes ten, okay. But 8 seems to be a high estimate - maybe. Like I said, I don't know the terrain.
I've heard mixed answers on water availability. Will I be able to water up along this route? I have no desire to drink Lake Superior water. And I do not want to put LS water through my filter then use it inland.
Questions: Does my plan look sound? Is there poison ivy on the island? Ticks? And any other advice? I'll get a map since the NPS map seems to be useless. Any advice on maps? I'll only carry a compass.
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Get the standard NG/Trails Illustrated map. Not a bad idea to have a compass but if you follow the map and pay attention at trail intersections then you likely won't use it. I don't know about poison ivy, I think there is but I have never seen it. That there are no ticks that like humans on the island is my understanding, and my experience.
Lastly, why on earth would you NOT want to filter and drink Lake Superior water? It is some of the greatest water you will ever drink. Carefully scooped you can filter Superior water all week without having to clean out your filter. There's just very little particulate in it to be filtered. I would absolutely recommended drinking water from Superior over any other source on the island or almost any other place in the midwest for that matter. That certainly includes the treated stuff from the spigots at Windigo and Rock Harbor. The water from the inland lakes is fine (save for any late summer blue algae restrictions at Lake Ritchie) but they do tend to clog the filter sooner than Superior.
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No water sources from WC to LC.
Am curious about your aversion to Lake Superior water. I'd much rather source from it vs an inland lake or stream. Could be a challenge if you're set on this--e.g. you may be hiking back to a beaver pond at Lane Cove.
Yes, the climb out of Lane Cove is steep with some switchbacks. Slippery when wet. A few hundred feet vertical.
Get the Nat'l Geographic Trails Illustrated map--it's the standard.
No ticks (well lots of moose ticks, but they don't bother humans).
No poison ivy (some have reported, but questionable, if there's any there it's extremely rare).
Have a great trip!
I know 8 hours is a stretch for 13 miles, just thought I would toss it out there for comment. We do 15 in six on most day hikes - with stops etc.
It looks like going from McCargoe Cove to Lane Cove I have the option of going north around Chickenbone. Does it matter mileage wise either way?
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Which way around Chickenbone: the mileages on the Nat Geo map make it look like McC to Your Cove is 2.6 miles SHORTER if you take the east chickebone (northern) route. I've gone both ways in the last 13 months, and might prefer that route on aesthetic grounds as well.
Another warning about mid-june: it is never, ever dark. If you'r enot skilled at sleeping in broad daylight, bring eye shades or a buff not soaked in deet.