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Isle Royale, Lake Superior and the Keweenaw Peninsula

Program Number: 1583RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/20/2014 - 7/26/2014;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Houghton, Michigan
Price starting at: $1,825.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: National Parks Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 18; 6 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 6 Dinners    

Experience the world’s largest freshwater sea and its island wilderness national park, along with Isle Royale’s geological sibling, the Keweenaw Peninsula. Isle Royale is an archipelago of 400-plus islands — 99 percent of them legally designated wilderness.




Highlights

• Learn about Isle Royale’s wildlife, including wolves and moose, on expert-led hikes and boat excursions.
• Delve into the island’s maritime history from lighthouses to shipwrecks and commercial fishing.
• Experience the interconnectedness of an island ecosystem and learn how it serves as a “laboratory” for environmental study.



Activity Particulars

Walking and hiking up to five miles a day. Ferry crossing from Houghton to Isle Royale takes six hours.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Houghton, 2 nights; ferry to Isle Royale, 4 nights; ferry to Houghton, departure.



Coordinated by Michigan Technological University.




Houghton

Situated on the hills bordering the beautiful Portage Waterway on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Houghton is a pleasant small town and the gateway to the unspoiled Keweenaw Peninsula, which juts into Lake Superior. The natural beauty of the surrounding area brings many hikers, campers, kayakers, sailors and other explorers to remote Houghton.



Accommodations
Houghton: Full-service motel. Isle Royale: Historical Rock Harbor Lodge.
Meals and Lodgings
   Super 8 Motel
  Houghton, Michigan 2 nights
   Rock Harbor Lodge
  Isle Royale National Park 4 nights
 Super 8 Motel
Type: Motel
  Description: Indoor pool, whirlpool and sauna (9am - 11pm), continental breakfast, walking path in front of motel along the Portage Canal, free wireless internet in rooms, and computer in front lobby
  Contact info: 1200 E. Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, MI 49931 USA
phone: 906-482-2240
web: Super 8 website - http://www.super8.com/hotels/michigan/houghton/super-8-houghton/hotel-overview
  Room amenities: Handicap accessible rooms available upon request.
  Facility amenities: Hair dryer, coffee pot, and microwave in lobby; can rent refrigerators and microwaves for room
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Handicap accessible rooms have roll-in shower and no bathtub
  Additional nights prior: Call for rates Make arrangements with motel in advance, subject to availability
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Rock Harbor Lodge
Type: Lodge
  Description: Rock Harbor Lodge provides overnight accommodations and meals for visitors to this unique National Park. Located along the shore of Snug Harbor, lodge rooms have private baths and open views of Lake Superior. Other facilities and services include a dining room, snack bar, gift shop, dockside store, marina, rental motor boats, kayaks and canoes, guided fishing, and sightseeing tours.
  Contact info: Isle Royale National Park
PO Box 605
Houghton, MI 49931 USA
phone: 906-337-4993
web: www.rockharborlodge.com
  Room amenities: Rooms have private baths and open views of Lake Superior. Note: There are no in-room telephones or Internet service; cell phone reception is undependable. Arrangements can be made through the Rock Harbor Lodge, however, for emergency telephone calls or email messages.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:00 PM EST at the Super 8 motel for group orientation session. You will be staying at Super 8 Motel that night.
  End of Program:
Ranger III returns to Houghton approx. 3:00 PM EST. You will be staying at Rock Harbor Lodge the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Road Scholar health & safety form, including emergency contacts.
  Parking availability:
Free parking will be available at the Isle Royale National Park headquarters (Isle Royale boat dock).
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Houghton, Michigan
  Nearest city or town:  Hancock, Michigan
  Nearest highway: US Highway 41
  Nearest airport:  Houghton County Memorial Airport (CMX), Hancock, MI.
  From End of Program
  Location: Houghton, Michigan
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Houghton County Memorial Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Copper Country Limo
phone: 906-482-4761
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$10.00
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

.25 

 

Distance:

 

8 miles

   

Call in advance for airport pick-up.

 
Driving Directions
  East (Marquette, MI) Take Hwy 41 west and then north to Houghton. After passing the University complex and before the downtown district, take a right onto Lake Avenue.
  South (Rhinelander, WI) Take Hwy 45 north through Bruce Crossing to Hwy 26 north to Houghton. Follow Hwy 26 through Mass City, take a right and continue on Hwy 26 through Twin Lakes, Toivola, Painesdale, South Range and Atlantic Mine. Upon arriving at Houghton, you will see the Copper Country Mall and then Walmart on the right before coming to a traffic light intersection with Shopko and Econo Foods on the left. Go straight at intersection, stay in the right lane and you will come to a stop sign (see the Houghton lift bridge on left). Go straight onto Hwy 41 (Montezuma Ave.) and continue straight when Montezuma Ave. turns into College Ave. (rather than taking the left into the downtown district). Take an immediate left onto Lake Ave.
  West (Superior, WI) Take Hwy 2 east to Wakefield, MI; take Hwy 28 east to Bruce Crossing; take Hwy 45 north to Mass City and continue north on Hwy 26 to Houghton. See directions from locations South when you arrive at Houghton.
Equipment Requirements: See packing list.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival/Check-In/Orientation
(Sunday, July 20)

Note: Arrival of participants in Houghton, Michigan for check-in, orientation, and an introductory lecture on Lake Superior.



   
 Afternoon: Plan to arrive in Houghton by 3:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time) for motel check-in and Road Scholar program check-in. An orientation session begins at 4:00 PM EST. Meet your fellow participants and program staff.
 Dinner: There will be a group dinner following the program orientation session. Details will be provided at the orientation session.
 Evening: After dinner there will be a multi-media presentation by John and Ann Mahan (authors, photographers, and Road Scholar instructors) entitled "Lake Superior: Story and Spirit").
   
Accommodations: Super 8 Motel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: The Keweenaw Peninsula
(Monday, July 21)

Note: Two expert-led lectures in the morning, followed by an all-day tour bus excursion and special group dinner. The Keweenaw Peninsula is a geological "mirror-image" of Isle Royale National Park. It is also the location of the first, large-scale copper mining endeavor in the United States. The region is known for both its natural beauty and historical significance.



   
 Breakfast: At the motel, continental breakfast.
 Morning: Instructors John and Ann Mahan will discuss Isle Royale and Lake Superior geology, and island biogeography. Then depart for a bus excursion into the Keweenaw Peninsula.
 Lunch: Box lunch during the bus tour.
 Afternoon: Bus tour in the Keweenaw Peninsula; stops include Eagle Harbor Lighthouse and Museum, views of Lake Superior, Brockway Mountain, Copper Harbor, and Fort Wilkins Historical State Park. Return to Houghton after dinner.
 Dinner: A special group dinner at the Harbor Haus Restaurant in Copper Harbor.
 Evening: Return to Houghton by bus.
   
Accommodations: Super 8 Motel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Travel to Isle Royale National Park
(Tuesday, July 22)

Note: Excursion to Isle Royale National Park aboard National Park Service ferry Ranger III. Isle Royale is an archipelago composed of the largest island in Lake Superior, surrounded by over 200 smaller islands. It is one of the "crown jewels" of the National Park System and an International Biosphere Reserve. After dinner, participants will enjoy a special expert-led lecture about Isle Royale.



   
 Breakfast: At the motel, continental breakfast.
 Morning: Check out of the Super 8 motel. Drive your vehicle a few blocks to the Park headquarters to unload luggage and park in a secure lot (no cost). Those without vehicles will be transported to the Park headquarters. Board the National Park Service ferry Ranger III, and travel to Isle Royale. When you ride the Ranger III, you are on the largest piece of moving equipment owned and operated by the National Park Service and the largest passenger ferry providing service to Isle Royale National Park. The voyage to Isle Royale takes about 6 hours one-way. The Ranger III is 165 feet long and can carry 126 passengers. It operates out of Houghton, Michigan, in the Upper Peninsula.
 Lunch: Box lunch and possible programs on board Ranger III.
 Afternoon: Arrive at Isle Royale National Park and check into the Rock Harbor Lodge. Settle into your room and enjoy a bit of free time in the afternoon to take a short hike or relax and enjoy the view of Lake Superior from your room.
 Dinner: At the Rock Harbor Lodge.
 Evening: Group meeting followed by an evening program to be announced. This may be a multi-media presentation by Ann and John Mahan, a lecture by a researcher with the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Study, or by NPS interpretive Rangers.
   
Accommodations: Rock Harbor Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Snug Harbor Area
(Wednesday, July 23)

Note: Participants will enjoy a guided hike or free-time in the morning. Expert-led lectures are scheduled after lunch and in the evening.



   
 Breakfast: At the Rock Harbor Lodge. Optional morning walk before breakfast.
 Morning: Options include a guided hike or individual free time (hiking, relaxing, canoeing, etc.).
 Lunch: At the Rock Harbor Lodge.
 Afternoon: "Flowers and More" program by John Mahan, followed by free time.
 Dinner: At the Rock Harbor Lodge.
 Evening: Group meeting followed by an evening program to be announced. This may be a multi-media presentation by Ann and John Mahan, a talk by wolf/moose researchers, a talk by NPS rangers, or other researchers.
   
Accommodations: Rock Harbor Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Edisen Fishery, Rock Harbor Lighthouse, Bangsund Research Station
(Thursday, July 24)

Note: Participants will enjoy a guided hike or free-time in the morning. After lunch, an excursion is scheduled aboard tour boat Sandy to visit a historical site and research station maintained by the National Park Service. An expert-led lecture is scheduled for the evening.



   
 Breakfast: At the Rock Harbor Lodge. Optional morning walk before breakfast.
 Morning: Options include a guided hike or individual free time (hiking, relaxing, canoeing, etc.).
 Lunch: At the Rock Harbor Lodge.
 Afternoon: Boat tour to Edisen Fishery (historical commercial fishery) and a hike to the Rock Harbor Lighthouse and the Bangsund Research Station for the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Study (where Rolf and Candy Peterson live and work in the summers).
 Dinner: At the Rock Harbor Lodge.
 Evening: Group meeting followed by an evening program to be announced. This may be a multi-media presentation by Ann and John Mahan, a lecture by a researcher with the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Study, or by NPS interpretive Rangers.
   
Accommodations: Rock Harbor Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Raspberry Island
(Friday, July 25)

Note: An expert-led lecture is scheduled for the morning, followed by an excursion aboard tour boat Sandy to an ecologically significant bog and barrier island. A special group event is scheduled for the evening.



   
 Breakfast: At the Rock Harbor Lodge. Optional morning walk before breakfast.
 Morning: Morning program by Ann Mahan titled "Human Connections with the Lake", followed by a tour boat excursion to Raspberry Island, with a guided hike through a bog and to a rugged outer shore.
 Lunch: At the Rock Harbor Lodge.
 Afternoon: A choice of optional activities to be announced, including a guided hike or another chance to hike or canoe on your own.
 Dinner: At the Rock Harbor Lodge -- the final group dinner together.
 Evening: Final group meeting and social time.
   
Accommodations: Rock Harbor Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Travel back to Houghton via Lake Superior
(Saturday, July 26)

Note: Participants depart Isle Royale National Park aboard National Park Service ferry Ranger III. An expert-led lecture is provided aboard the vessel, weather permitting, to reflect on the visit to Isle Royale.



   
 Breakfast: At the Rock Harbor Lodge. Optional morning walk before breakfast. Checkout of rooms -- luggage will be transferred from the Lodge to the Ranger III.
 Morning: Board the Ranger III for a return trip to Houghton. Possible programs aboard the Ranger III.
 Lunch: Box lunch aboard Ranger III.
 Afternoon: Arrive at the Ranger III boat dock in Houghton, Michigan at approximately 3:00 PM EST. Independent departures.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Lake Superior: Story and Spirit


Author: John and Ann Mahan


Description: Pictorial overview of Lake Superior by the program study leaders.



Superior Wilderness: Isle Royale National Park


Author: Napier Shelton


Description: Overview of Isle Royale natural history and ecology.



The Wolves of Isle Royale: A Broken Balance


Author: Rolf Peterson


Description: A long-term assessment of wolf-moose ecology, written by one of the world's foremost authorities on the subject. You will visit the Bangsund research station (home of Rolf and Candy Peterson) during your stay at Isle Royale.



A View from the Wolfs Eye


Author: Carolyn Peterson


Description: A woman's perspective of life on Isle Royale and beyond.





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