The Mount Rose Trail is actually very short. It may be a half mile to the top. The problem is that it's a trail and a trial to the top. You climb about 300 feet up. There are numerous steps on the way. The trail is paved and there are two resting areas with overlooks. Just getting to the first overlook provides a wonderful view over the bay and out towards Isle Royale. From the top, you can see nearly 100 miles. Don't ask me to prove that it's 100 miles. There are no objects visible to identify the distance.
Once your on top, the stockade ground is below. Be sure to take the park brochure with the drawing of the stockade, so that you can 'see' the many buildings that used to fill it's interior.
The best way to hike the portage is to travel one way only. This requires a vehicle with a high center, preferable a 4X4 and a friend or two, who don't want to hike the trail. Actually, there are several ways to see the trail.
1) Cross country ski in the winter
2) Start in the middle and do the upper section, 9.2 miles (14.8km) roundtrip.
3) Start in the middle and do the lower section, 7.2 miles (11.6km) roundtrip.
4) Start in the middle and do one-way on the lower section, 3.6 miles (5.8km).
5) Start at Partidge Falls and do the entire trail one-way, abt 9.5 miles (15.2km).
As I started out, my preference is #5. Get someone to drive you out the Partidge Falls Road (unimproved, bumpy, can be impassable at times). You'll see Partidge Falls, which is a beautiful falls. It is one of many, and you'll soon see what most portages were about. It's about a mile (1.6km) to Fort Charlotte. Here the trail begins.
This way is easier, because, it's downhill, mostly. The first half is relatively level. We travel between the ridges and on the higher dry ground. You will come to the beaver dam. Here, the beaver have built their dam using the base of the trail boardwalk for bracing. Their pond spreads northward for quite a distance. The beaver house is visible and so may the drainpipe that has been installed to keep the water level down. Otherwise the beaver would continue to increase the dam, until it topped the trail.
Once we cross the road (Old US 61), the trail points downward. The surface is rocky and you need to watch your step. Image walking this trail as a voyeguer with an 80 pound pack of furs on your back. Oh-- that's two packs, each weighing 80 pounds. Depending on the day and the time of year, you may meet a canoe company coming home from a trip through the boundary waters. They'll be carrying their packs and canoes. The voyaguers could leave their canoes at Fort Charlotte. Of course, they had so many packs of furs that they might make 9 or 10 roundtrips before they were done.
Hike the Grand Portage trail north to the Canadian/US border. The deep canyon view is breathtakingly beautiful. It is a long hike but it is well worth it at least once in one's lifetime. You can start at the Grand portage Monument or take a back road to roughly cut the distance in half. Start at the map point where VI incorrectly shows the location of the Grand Portage National Monument. The Voyagers made this hike fully loaded with goods on their backs.
Ojibwe Indians (the original settlers), French and English fur traders flourished here. From 1778 until 1802, welcomed by the Grand Portage Ojibwe, the North West Company located their headquarters and western supply depot here, at the Grand Portage Monument on Lake Superior for business and a summer rendezvous.
Annually there gathers at community of Grand Portage and the National Monument the Voyaguer's Rondezvous and the Grand Portage Pow-wow. They are held on the dame day.
While Hiking on trails around Grand Portage watch out for wild animals, bears love the dumping grounds across highway 61 so Beware!
Eat before you go if you must.
Bring plenty of water to drink.
Run into any Moose? Quickly take your photo and get the heck outta there, as they may charge you.
A Superior Wilderness
Isle Royale’s physical isolation and primitive wilderness has challenged people for centuries; ironically today it is the Island’s main attraction. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, you can experience the island through hiking, paddling the inland waters, exploring the rugged coast, or diving into the shipwrecks.
Favorite thing: Grand Portage was the official release site for a commemorative postage stamp because the Grand Portage (community) Post Office is also the offical Post Office for Isle Royale (the island). Isle Royale National Parks office is in Houghton, Michigan and therefore, does not use an island address. It's a bit confusing, especially since the island is only a summer residence, full island boat service is only provided by the Sivertson boats (Voyaguer) which sails from the Grand Portage dock, and there are no permanent residents on the island.