Isle Royale is located in the northwest corner of Lake Superior,
approximately 53 miles north of Copper Harbor, Michigan.
Lake Superior is the world's largest body of fresh water and is well-known
for it's sudden, unexpected changes in weather and it's sometimes violent
storms. Although it's not common, there were reported 100 mph wind gusts
and 30+ ft waves at the time the ore-carrying freighter, the Edmund
Fitzgerald, sank near White Fish Point.
The average surface temperature of Lake Superior normally does not
exceed 50 degrees farenheit.
The Island is accessible only by boat or floatplane.
Isle Royale is approximately 45 miles long and 8.5 miles across at it's
widest points and contains roughly 165 miles of trails.
The island's length is actually situated from southwest to northeast,
however, most people usually refer to the southwest area as the west end of
the island and the northeast area as the east end of the island.
Isle Royale National Park is actually an archipelago, which is basically
defined as a grouping, or a chain of islands. The island most people refer to
and visit just happens to be the largest island in the archipelago.
Isle Royal National Park covers an area of 850 square miles which is
approximately 571,790 acres. There are 539,282 acres under federal
control, while the remaining 32, 508 acres are non-federal. The total land
area of the park is 133,782 acres, of which 132,018 acres are designated
The two largest animals on the island are moose and wolves. Visitors who
have the opportunity to observe a wolf on Isle Royale should consider
themselves lucky because the wolves tend to stay away from people as much
The natural isolation provided by Lake Superior allows scientists to get a
rare look at the interaction of the moose and wolf population on the island.
Isle Royale has been the backdrop for many scientific studies of moose and
wolves because the animals can be observed in their natural environment
and are free from human interaction and the presence of outside predators.