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Isle Royale National Park has committed itself to providing many different campground experiences throughout the park. Many of these campgrounds are only for the canoeists or the kayakers. Some can be reached only by portage into the different lakes. Mike Tremblay has spent much time and research into each of the many campgrounds at Isle Royale and provides unique insights. We link up to his pages on the campgrounds at this time in appreciation for all the work he has already done.
Campsites for hikers are identified clearly on the island map that is given to every visitor to the island. These campgrounds are Chickenbone East, Chickenbone West, Chippewa Harbor, Daisey Farm, Feldtmann Lake, Hatchet Lake, Huginnin Cove, Island Mine, Lake Desor North, Lake Desor South, Lake Rickie, Lane Cove, Little Todd, Malone Bay, McCargoe Cove, Moskey Basin, Rock Harbor, Siskiwit Bay, Three Mile, Todd Harbor, and Washington Creek. Larger maps of the island with better trail identification can be purchased from the Island store or from the point of departure or click here for a larger view of the West End of the Isle, the Middle Section of the Isle, and the East End of the Isle.
It is important in planning your trip to consider at what campgrounds you will wish to camp, how far it will be between campgrounds, the difficulty of the trails that you will need to hike, and just how long you plan on being in the park. Upon arrival to the Isle, you will need to check in with the Ranger and plot out your itinerary so that the Rangers can help avoid overcrowding at certain campgrounds. While they encourage compliance to the itinerary you will pick, change of plans are allowed on the hike to accommodate the unexpected, which will almost always happen.
Campsites for the canoe and kayak visitor are also clearly identified on the island map. These campgrounds are Beaver Island, Belle Isle, Birch Island, Caribou Island, Duncan Bay, Duncan Narrows, Grace Island, Hay Bay, Intermediate Lake, Lake Rickie, Lake Whittlesey, Merrit Lane, Pickerel Cove, Tookers Island, and Wood Lake. Again the larger maps of the island are very helpful and give a much better idea of the true distances involved. Venturing out onto Lake Superior in a canoe or kayak ought always to be done by skilled boaters and with a plan in case the Lake turns bad. Maps and careful planning will make the water experience unforgettable and inspiring.
The camping experience is definitely different along the shores of Lake Superior compared to the experience of camping within the interior. Water sources are always a challenge whenever you move away from Lake Superior and you will need a way to purify the water, either boiling the water or using the water filters. The better the water filter the easier getting water will be. Make sure you examine several water filters before you go and make sure you understand how to work them. It will save lots of frustration. This is one item you do not want to skimp on.