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Hike & Hydrate: Isle Royale's Greenstone Ridge Trail and the Keweenaw Brewing Company

Hike & Hydrate

Welcome to our weekly series Hike & Hydrate! We'll exploring some of our favorite hiking in the Upper Peninsula and following them up with a visit to some local breweries and watering holes.

Hike: Greenstone Ridge Trail and Isle Royale National Park

Just a short 8 hour boat ride from Houghton lays a remote wilderness that every hiker should visit at least once: Isle Royale. This National Park is a hikers dream with beautiful views, abundant wildlife and feeling of solitude that is hard to find in this increasingly busy world.

We'd recommend taking Ranger ferry from down town Houghton, and then diving in to a backpacking trip along the Greenstone Trail. This trail follows the spine of the island and offers incredible views of Lake Superior and the Canadian shore to the north. You can choose your own adventure with how fast and far you want to go, and what other destinations you want to see on the island, but we'd suggest giving yourself at least 3 days to really get into the island life.

If you have time, traverse the length of Greenstone all the way across the island to the small town of Windigo, and then hike back along infamous Minong Trail for a full value experience.

Keep your eyes open for moose as you hike. Isle Royale boasts more moose per mile than anywhere else in the world. If you're lucky, you might even spot a wolf. These predators are famous on the island and their interactions with the moose have been studied for over half a century.

If you need inside information on planning a trip to Isle Royale, stop by our Houghton store or give them a call. Many of the staff members have a deep knowledge of the island and would be happy to help you plan your dream trip.

Mother and daughter hiking on Isle Royale

Loon at sunset in Lake Superior on Isle Royale

Directions to Isle Royale

Ferry boats leave the mainland at Houghton and Copper Harbor Michigan, as well as Grand Portage Minnesota. You can also catch a sea plane to the island from Houghton and Grand Portage.

Personally, we're partial to the Ranger III ferry out of Houghton. It's an iconic part of the Isle Royale experience (and the dock is only a few blocks away from our store)

Moose on Isle Royale
Boardwalk Trail on Isle Royale
View from the Greenstone Trail on Isle Royale


Hydrate: Keweenaw Brewing Company, Houghton Michigan

After spending a few days in the wilderness, what's the one thing you want when you get back to civilization? A drink.

The Keweenaw Brewing Company, or KBC to the locals, is the perfect spot to quench your thirst after some hard miles on the trail. Take a seat on their deck and enjoy the views of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge and Mont Ripley across the canal, or grab a spot on one of comfy couches inside and rest those weary legs. And while you're there, make you sure you stop by the store, we're only a few doors down the street.

Check out their website for the most recent taplist.

Down Wind Sports owner Arni Ronis enjoying a pint on the deck at the KBC