No visitor ferry service to Isle Royale for Summer 2020

Local News

Courtesy: Isle Royale National Park

HOUGHTON, Mich. (WJMN) – Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the State of Michigan, Isle Royale National Park is delaying its seasonal opening until further notice. In addition, the Ranger III, Voyageur II, Sea Hunter III, and Isle Royale Queen IV will not provide visitor ferry transportation this summer. Rock Harbor Lodge, including overnight lodging, dining, marina services, gift shops and stores, will remain closed for the season.

The NPS is working servicewide with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access. Our operational approach continues to be centered on examining each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and will be regularly monitored. As the NPS develops its phased approach, we will evaluate providing access to the park in late June/early July.  This decision-making process involves a number of factors, including:

  • The availability of personal protective equipment;
  • The number of EMS-qualified park staff;
  • The availability of emergency support services from other agencies;
  • The status of medical facilities in local communities;
  • Social distancing requirements;
  • State directives; and,
  • Guidance on park housing.    

While the park is closed, Lake Superior waters within the park boundary will remain open for fishing during the day. During the closure, all islands and the main island of Isle Royale and all facilities (docks, trails, visitor centers, campgrounds, shelters, outhouses, etc.) will remain closed and all overnight use is prohibited. No fuel is available. Any boaters fishing in park waters need to be self-sufficient.

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