Isle Royale National Park
is located in the northwestern waters of Lake Superior
. While technically in Michigan
, the island is closer to Minnesota
. The park was created in 1940
. In 1981 it was designated an International Biosphere
Reserve by the United Nations
Isle Royale is home to moose and wolves, though both crossed over from the mainland in the 20th century. Animals like caribou, white-tailed deer, coyote, and lynx formerly lived on the island, but have not been seen in decades. Archaeologists have excavated primitive copper mines on the island that date human habitation back 4000 years.
Nine miles long and forty-five wide, the island is home to three distinct types of woodland. It's waters have seen ten major shipwrecks since 1877 - several of them accessible to scuba divers. The island also has four lighthouses -- three of them built before 1900 -- the oldest being The Rock Lighthouse, which was put into use in 1855.
Isle Royale is probably our most isolated National Park; vistors can only get there by seaplane or boat. For that reason it is also one of our most pristine.