The only visitors center for Isle Royale National Park on the mainland is in the town of Houghton, Michigan. This is also one of the three places to get commercial boat transportation to the island with Copper Harbor, Michigan and Grand Portage, Minnesota being the others. You can get brochures and maps of the park at the visitors center, pay any fees and inquire about transportation. This is one of the few centers I have been to with almost no nice displays about the area.
Please Note: The tourist season for Isle Royale is very limited. The commercial boats mostly run between 1 July and just after Labor Day Weekend (early September). After that take the seaplane or your own boat.
Access to the island is via the: Isle Royale Queen IV a 3 hour/56 mile trip from Copper Harbor, Michigan to Rock Harbor; Ranger III a 6 hour/73 mile trip (and a more scenic route); and the Voyageur II (2 hours) or the Wenonah (3 hours) for the 22 mile trip to Windigo. There are visitors centers at both Rock Harbor and Windigo. (Note that these times and distances are one way). There are meals and lodging only at Rock Harbor; but there are primitive campsites and overnight docking at various points on the island. One place not to miss, for me at least, is Ryan Island, which is the largest island in the largest lake contained on the largest island in the largest inland lake in the world. You can also get to the island by a 30 minute seaplane ride if you want to spend around $300 a person.
There are interesting underwater things to see here too.
There are 165 miles of hiking trails in the park.
Fondest memory: Ranger Katie was very nice, I also loved the view of Feldtman Lake from the Overlook on the hiking trail.
The scenery and dense wilderness are incredible. Moose and wolf packs have crossed the frozen lake and made their home on the island. The trails and campgrounds are clean and nicely organized.
Fondest memory: Spending time with my friends in such a great place.