Voyagers & Isle Royale


Voyagers National Park is located in northern Minnesota, close to the Canadian border.  My family used to travel to northern Minnesota every summer to fish, boat, and enjoy the lake life, so I was pretty excited to make a trip back.  In a way, it felt a little bit like going home.  One of my favorite parts about exploring Voyagers was having the opportunity to slow down and take in the park at a more leisurely pace than we usually do.

Voyagers National Park is comprised of multiple lakes and forested regions.  Kabetogama Lake is the area we decided to explore, and after some research, we decided the best way to see it would be by canoe.  We rented a canoe from Arrowhead Lodge, which was located right on the lake.  We canoed to an island a bit off shore, “docked” our canoe, and walked around a bit.  After a while the sky started to get dark, so we decided to head back, and made it back just in time for it to start raining.  Canoeing was a fun adventure; however, I won’t disclose how many times we almost tipped over while trying to take a few pictures 😉.

Following our canoe adventure at Voyagers, we drove to International Falls, MN.  We debated crossing the border into Canada, but decided to just go have some pizza instead.  After dinner we walked around some shops downtown and then stayed a night at a local hotel.  The next day we were headed up the North Shore of Lake Superior!

Isle Royale

The next day we made our way up the North Shore and stayed at Caribou Highland Lodge, which was just south of Grand Portage, MN.  This was a cool, rustic lodge in the middle of the wilderness.  We enjoyed an evening full of our favorite things: live music, happy hour, nachos, lawn games, campfires, and s’mores.  Early the next morning we would be headed on a ferry boat to Isle Royale National Park.  Pro Tip: Royale is pronounced “Royal.”

Isle Royale is not a very well-known, mainly because it is off the beaten path.  This park sees as many visitors annually, as Yellowstone does in one day.  If you want to visit this park, make sure to plan accordingly as the ferry only travels from roughly mid-April to the end of October.  Our ferry ride out to Windigo was very smooth, with clear waters and sunny skies.  The ride back was basically the opposite, but I guess it’s quite common to have that experience.

Once we arrived to the park, we went on a ranger-guided nature walk, learning about the history, vegetation, animals, and some different climate changes the park has gone through over the years.  We learned that there are 14 wolves and 2,000 moose on the island (unfortunately none of which we saw).  Surprisingly, the moose arrived to the island by swimming, where as the wolves arrived by walking across the ice in the winter.  Another fact we learned was that the red berries on the island are edible, and the blue berries are poisonous.  We also spent time at two different ranger talks, one of which educated us on “A day in the life of a moose.”  Fun fact: a moose eats around 8 bathtubs full of vegetation (berries and leaves) per day!!  Overall, we had a fun day exploring this cool little island of a park.

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