"Middle Islands Passage, Isle Royale National Park, 2015." by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Isle Royale

Windigo Area Guide

brochure Isle Royale - Windigo Area Guide
Isle Royale National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Isle Royale National Park Windigo Area Guide A Portal to Wilderness A warm breeze blows through the maples and birches, a splash echoes across the water as a cow moose wades into the protected harbor, an osprey circles overhead. This is the edge of Wilderness. Welcome… A Community Carved from the Wild Step one hundred years into the past and imagine living in this isolated outpost year round. A community of 135 worked and played on the island’s west end; although the forest has grown and hidden much of the evidence, a discerning eye may discover remnants of the people who once lived here. The Wendigo Mining Company operated from their headquarters, which was located just behind the Windigo Visitor Center, from 1890-1892. Workers and their families braved the isolation and long winter months in hopes that a workable deposit of copper would be found - it never was. After these few brief years this Members Only If you wanted to visit Windigo in the early 1900s, you needed to carry a membership card! The Washington Club, a group of Duluth businessmen, used this area as a private retreat. They relaxed in their club house, the former headquarters for the mining company; and tried their luck hunting caribou and other game. They A Guiding Beacon Captains navigating the western passage around Isle Royale must have breathed a sigh of relief after passing the warning light of the Rock of Ages Lighthouse, a double flash every ten seconds that could be seen for almost 20 miles. bustling mining company port and the small settlement of Wendigo fell silent, ending the last attempt to mine copper from Isle Royale. The network of old mining roadways stretching between Huginnin Cove and Lake Desor now serve as pathways into Isle Royale’s Wilderness. As you follow these trails, you walk in the footprints of those who came before. Look carefully, rusty nails, rotted timbers and broken clay pipes all have stories to tell: stories of those who called this place “home” in a time not so long ago. even had white-tailed deer imported to the island! The deer and caribou are gone and so is the club. Only the building’s foundation, beside the present day Windigo store, remains. Among the most remote life stations on the continent, the light was “home” to keepers who lived there for months at a time, protecting vessels from the dangers of the surrounding shallow reef. The light’s second-order Fresnel lens was the largest sized lens used on the Great Lakes. View this magnificent lens at the Windigo Visitor Center. It was relocated to Windigo in 1985 when the Coast Guard installed a new battery-powered solar beacon. No Moose Allowed! Isle Royale supports a large population of moose. In 1995 an amazing 2400 moose were estimated to be on the Island! Near the Windigo Store, you can witness the effect that these large herbivores have on the Island’s vegetation. A fenced-in exclosure, installed in 1979, was designed to keep moose out. The difference between the “moose-free” exclosure and the surrounding forest landscape is dramatic. While current populations of moose are smaller, they still continue to have enormous impact on the Island. Windigo Area North Minong Ridge Overlook 3 Miles One Way Huginnin Cove 9.4 Mile Loop Huginnin Cove ong Min 3.1 Trail West Huginnin Cove McGinty Cove 3.3 Huginnin Cove Campground East Huginnin Cove Trail Lake Superior Windigo to North Desor Campground 12.9 Miles e Ridg Trail eek n Cr ngto hi Was 6 0. 6 0. Beaver Island Beaver Island Campground ton hing Was bor Windigo to Feldtmann Lake 8.5 Miles Windigo to Island Mine Campground 6.9 Miles Moose Exclosure Self-Guided Nature Trail 1.2 Mile Loop il ra eT ak L n ldt Fe n ree Windigo Feldtmann Lake Trail Windigo to Overlook 1.8 Miles One Way Har il Tra G 0.3 SeaPlane Landing Area e idg eR n sto 0.3 Washington Creek Campground n ma Grace Creek Overlook Grace Creek Gas Campground (Individual Only) Visitor Center Campground (Individual & Group) Store Trail Overlook Dock 0 1/2 0 1 Mile 1 Kilometer Discoveries Await The southwestern end of Isle Royale National Park offers a variety of activities designed to enhance your park experience. Drop by the Windigo Visitor Center to view displays, browse publications, receive your backcountry permit, check the interpretive program schedule, or have your questions answered. Explore the trails, relax on the deck of the Windigo Store or take a dip in the often chilly, but refreshing waters of Washington Harbor. Short Trips Grace Creek Overlook 3.6 mile roundtrip This scenic trail skirts the Washington Harbor shoreline through the boreal forest, thick with lichens, and then cuts inland. As the trail climbs higher, forests of mature hardwoods give way to an open ridge top. Follow the ridge then turn on the small spur trail leading to a rocky outcropping for a view of the Island’s interior and Lake Superior’s Grace Harbor. Follow the Feldtmann Lake Trail which begins near the main dock. Return to Windigo by retracing your steps. Windigo Nature Trail 1.2 mile loop Explore the varied forest environments of Windigo as you stroll along this gently rolling trail. Traverse fern-filled cedar lowlands, wander through hardwood forests of maple and birch and watch for evidence of wildlife in the boreal forest. Pick up a trail guide at the Visitor Center to deepen your understanding of this diverse area. Minong Ridge Overlook 6 mile roundtrip For those who seek adventure, the Minong Ridge offers a challenging trip. Although the entire trail stretches 26 miles to McCargoe Cove, the day-hiker can experience a portion of this rugged trail. Beyond the Washington Creek and Huginnin Cove trail junctions, the route drops into marshes rich with signs of beaver and moose. The route becomes rocky as you climb through a pine forest. Follow the ups and downs of the ridge until the forest opens to a spectacular view of flat-topped Pie Island and the rest of the Canadian shoreline. Huginnin Cove Loop 9.4 mile roundtrip Follow this picturesque trail which weaves over ridges, through wetlands and along the Lake Superior shoreline. At the trail junction beyond the bridge over Washington Creek, choose either fork. Travel through planked cedar swamps, discover the remnants of an historic mine exploration site, watch for wildlife near beaver ponds and enjoy the views of Canada from the rocky cliffs and cobble beaches. Bring along a day pack including lunch, a day’s supply of water, and rain gear on this all day adventure through Isle Royale’s Wilderness. Other Adventures Trail begins up the hill past the Visitor Center. Washington Harbor Canoe or Kayak The calm protected waters of Washington Harbor are ideal for a leisurely paddle. Head out to Beaver Island, explore Washington Creek or just cruise along the shoreline. Opportunities for wildlife viewing abound as mergansers, otters and moose all reside in the harbor. Canoe and kayak rentals are available at the Windigo Store. EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA 07/05

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