Living in the Light

The aurora borealis shimmer above Isle Royale National Park


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Nestled between the Upper Peninsula and our maple-leafed neighbor to the north is Isle Royale, Michigan’s largest island. This sylvan gem rests on northern Lake Superior, boasting breathtaking views of the water, over 165 miles of hiking trails, and enchanting inland lakes. The Isle Royale National Park was established in 1940 and has since housed 36 campground sites. Some are accessible only by canoe or kayak, cajoling inhabitants to paddle their way through time.

Most curious about the island, however, is the phenomenon known as “aurora borealis,” or the Northern Lights. At any location on Isle Royale, soft streaks of greens and reds and purples can be visible in the night sky almost year-round. Caused by the interaction of particles from the sun with atoms in the upper atmosphere, aurora borealis appearances can last anywhere from 10 minutes to four hours — a capricious, solar-powered symphony in our own backyard. 


The Isle Royale Line, 14 Waterfront Landing, Copper Harbor; 906-289-4437; isleroyale.com
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