Island Conditions as of 5/16/13
The snow is gradually leaving and the inland lakes are opening up. South facing slopes are 25% or less snow covered, while north facing slopes are starting to see more bare ground. As conditions improve standing water will be common. More »
Natural Features & Ecosystems
Lake Superior has shaped Isle Royale's rugged rocky shore and created its isolation. Crossing the lake was not easy for the island's first visitors. They were hunter-gatherers that came for copper, maple sugar, game, fish, and berries for thousands of years. North Shore Ojibway not only utilized the island's resources in prehistoric time, but were part of fishing and mining booms of the 1800s as well. Although the establishment of a national park in the 1930s brought about modern ties to the state of Michigan, historic bonds were to the north, and many descendants of Isle Royale's original Ojibway visitors still reside in the Grand Portage and Thunder Bay areas today.
Did You Know?
Isle Royale’s inland lakes are home to an amazing diversity of invertebrates. Freshwater clams, sponges, bryozoans, snails, and insects exist in an abundance of forms and in huge sizes not seen since the late 1800’s.