These Isle Royale Photos Are Sure to Inspire Your Next U.P. Getaway

Today, Michigan landscape photographer Joshua Nowicki shares some photos from a recent trip to Isle Royale. We’re sure his experience will inspire you to add the Upper Peninsula to your Pure Michigan getaway bucket list! 

Several weeks ago, I was invited to photograph a family wilderness program for the Isle Royale Institute (a partnership between Michigan Technological University and Isle Royale National Park).  It was my first trip to the island, and I was incredibly excited. I was delighted to discover that my expectations for the trip were far exceeded.

Sitting on the bow of the Isle Royale Queen IV and watching Copper Harbor, Michigan disappear into the distance as my cell phone signal faded filled me with joy.  As we moved further out into cool air of Lake Superior, a beautiful white all-encompassing fog surrounded the boat adding to the sense of adventure.  Approaching the island, even before I could see the land, there was a warmth in the breeze and a soft sweetness to the air.  As the island appeared out of the fog, the sky began to clear, and the air warmed.

Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photography

Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photography

After disembarking from the ship, we received a short humorous and very informative introduction to the island from park ranger, Lucas Westcott.  Upon setting foot on land, I was struck by the beauty and wealth of wild flowers; a gorgeous layer of orange, yellow, purple and white blanketed sections of the landscape.

Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photography

Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photography

On my first evening, I went for a walk along the Rock Harbor Trail and saw numerous loons, squirrels, and rabbits.  Additionally, upon turning a corner in the trail, I found myself standing within 30 yards of a cow moose and calf.  At night, I enjoyed listening to the sounds of nature and I could even occasionally hear moose walking through the woods near my tent.  I saw more moose on Isle Royale than I have in all of the trips that I have taken to the Upper Peninsula.

Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photography

Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photography

The Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Study is followed around the world, and I delighted in a trip to Bangsund Cabin to meet Rolf and Candy Peterson.  Standing in the Museum of Pathology and listening to Rolf discuss the project was a surreal experience I will always treasure.

Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photography

Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photography

A short walk from Bangsund Cabin, leads to the Rock Harbor Lighthouse which is open to the public as a museum.  The tower of the lighthouse also provides visitors with a magnificent view of Rock Harbor and Lake Superior.

Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photgraphy

Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photgraphy

The number of amazing experiences I had are too numerous to write about in one blog post. Some of the additional highlights of my trip were:

Hiking along the Greenstone Ridge and enjoying the fantastic view of the island and Sleeping Giant Provincial Park in Canada from the steps of Mount Ojibway Tower.

Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photography

Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photography

Marveling at the view of the night sky.  I have never seen the Milky Way so clearly and was even fortunate enough to see both the Milky Way and Northern Lights one evening.

Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photography

Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photography

Waking early to watch the sunrise over the forest.

Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photgraphy

Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photgraphy

Walking through sections of white spruce and balsam forest covered with Old Man’s Beard Lichen.

Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photography

Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photography

Having the rare opportunity to watch a group of pelicans fly over the island, finding greenstones along the beach near Rock Harbor Lighthouse (all stones were left at the beach as per park guidelines), sitting and watching hummingbird moths busily flying from flower to flower, watching curious squirrels explore our camp, and meeting park superintendent Phyllis Green and discussing how a trip to Isle Royale is an incredible place for a family adventure…just to name a few!

Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photography

Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photography

If you love hiking and camping, Isle Royale is an absolute paradise where you can enjoy the uninterrupted beauty and sound of nature.  However, if camping is not for you, you can experience the island from the comfort of the Rock Harbor Lodge.  There are a variety of trails that are easy to access from the lodge or by water taxi.

Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photography

Photo courtesy of Joshua Nowicki Photography

I look forward to my next trip to explore more of this beautiful national treasure.

Joshua_NowickiJoshua Nowicki is a St. Joseph, Michigan based photographer specializing in landscape, nature, architecture, and food photography. His photos can be viewed online on Facebook or his website.

Pure Michigan July 2014 Facebook Photos

Time flies when you’re having fun in the sun in Pure Michigan! August has arrived and summer is still in full swing.  Our fans have been out enjoying the long days and warm weather with watersports, hiking and biking, visits to Michigan’s many fairs and festivals and more. We wanted to take a look back at some of our favorite photos from July. Below is a gallery of just some of the stunning photos that our Pure Michigan Facebook community shared with us last month. See more on the Pure Michigan Flickr page.

Which fan photo from July is your favorite?

Twelve Amazing Instagram Accounts That Will Make You Want To Visit Michigan Immediately

We are continually blown away by the phenomenal photographs our Pure Michigan Instagram fans share with us each and every day! Our fans have quite the knack for capturing stunning Pure Michigan moments. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing way to spend your mid-afternoon brain break or searching for some inspiration for your next summertime getaway, these 12 amazing Instagram accounts will make you want to plan a trip to Pure Michigan immediately.

Instagram user @tony.bennett [Photo captured near Detroit, MI]tony.bennett Detroit

Instagram user @NeilWeaverPhoto [Photo captured at Little Presque Isle in Marquette County]@neilweaverphoto Little Presque Isle Lake Suprior

Instagram user @ExperienceGrandRapids [Photo captured near the Blue Bridge in Grand Rapids, MI]experiencegrandrapids claywol

Instagram user @oni_one_ [Photo captured at Miner's Castle near Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore]Oni_one_ Miners Castle

Instagram user @DiscoverHolland [Photo captured at Windmill Island Gardens]discoverholland

Instagram user @satcheldog [Photo captured along Lake Superior near Sault Ste. Marie]satcheldog Hemlock forest UP

Instagram user @tototoophoto [Photo captured in Grand Haven, MI]tototoophoto grandhaven

Instagram user @mikeconnick [Photo captured at Sable Falls]sable falls mikeconnick

Instagram user @SouthHavenCVB [Photo captured in South Haven, MI by @mckarly13]mckarly13 southhavencvb

Instagram user @danfreiphoto [Photo captured on Mackinac Island]mackinac island danfrei

Instagram user @leighannarbor [Photo captured at Burton Memorial Tower in Ann Arbor]leighannarbor BuronMemorialtower

Instagram user @AwesomeMitten [Photo captured at Comerica Park in Detroit]AwesomeMitten tigers

Have you captured a fantastic Pure Michigan moment recently? Follow us @PureMichigan on Twitter or Instagram and share it using #PureMichigan. For more fan photos or Pure Michigan getaway inspiration, like us on Facebook or visit our Pure Michigan Flickr gallery.