Stretching to the northeast point from Rock Harbor, Isle Royale the hike to Scoville Point travels through a small swampy area on the Stoll Memorial Trail before following the rocky shoreline out to the end of the point. From here you have sweeping views of the coastline and the string of islands dotting the offshore area.
We visited Isle Royale during the summer of 2023 and explored this part of the island while camping in Rock Harbor. If you are visiting the Lodge or Campground here, the Scoville Point hike is the best day hike.
In this article, you can find general information about the hiking trail, what to expect at Scoville Point and suggestions on how to make the most of your time on Isle Royale.
Quick Look at the Scoville Point Hike
Distance: 4.7 miles Elevation Gain: 200 feet Difficulty: Easy/moderate
The Stoll Memorial Trail (or Stoll Trail) to the historic Scoville Point, Isle Royale is an easy to moderate loop trail that follows the shorline from Rock Harbor. The Rock Harbor Trail winds along the coast with incredible views of the smaller islands spotting the area off the coast of Lake Superior before reaching the point. Backtrack for a short distance before following the loop portion back towards Rock Harbor.
This is the best day hiking trail on Isle Royale if you are basing yourself in Rock Harbor. The trail gains very little elevation but some of the trail surfaces are rocky with uneven footing. If you decide not to hike the full distance out to the point, there are several options for making this a shorter loop.
Map of the Hike to Scoville Point
General Information on Hiking on Isle Royale
Isle Royale is one of the more challenging parks to visit as you can only get there by ferry, seaplane, or private boat. The National Park Service has updated information on how to get to Isle Royale. Most people who visit Isle Royale stay for several days and either base themselves in one location and hike from there, or backpack around the island.
Most of the hiking trails on Isle Royale are flat with small ups and downs. Trails are consistently rocky and present challenging footing, so make sure to wear hiking boots or shoes with ankle support.
Isle Royale is remote with few facilities and very little cell service. When hiking here, be prepared to take care of most situations on your own.
There are both wolves and moose on the Island. While we saw lots of evidence of moose we did not see either during our visit. Follow the park service guidelines and stay far away from moose on the trails.
There is limited potable water on the island. Once you leave the ferry harbor, you will need to treat you own water. Be prepared with a water filter, boiling, or iodine tablets.
Looking for more suggestions check out :Things to do on Isle Royale.
Details of Hiking the Scoville Point Trail
We did the full Stoll Memorial Trail as a loop on the second day of our visit to Isle Royale. On the first day we hiked the 3 mile trail as an out and back hike, and while we enjoyed this, the Stoll Memorial Trail to Scoville Point was our favorite.
We did this hike as a group of 6 with friends. Start the hike right at the Rock Harbor Lodge. Signs will lead you through the lodge and the trail quickly leaves behind the harbor and passes through a small swampy area. In a short distance, the trail leaves the swamp and follows along the shoreline.
As you continue further along the trail you will alternate between the forest and exposed areas of rocks and low bush blueberry plants and huckleberry. The further along you go on the trail, the rockier the landscape and you will eventually reach exposed rocky areas.
Finley and I were the only ones who decided to hike the full distance out to Scoville Point. Scoville Point offers excellent views and we encourage you to make the full hike. From here you will have views of Tobin Harbor. If you decide not to hike all the way to the end, there are several places you can turn around a make this a short loop.
Once you reach the end of the point, turn around and retrace your steps before picking up the loop. Following the northern part of the trail, you will pass several copper mines. You will also follow along the
One of the best parts of this hike is that you will find informational signs give general information about the history, geoglogy and nature on Isle Royale.
Making the Most of Hiking in Isle Royale
Unlike so many other National Parks that have crowded hiking trails, Isle Royale is uncrowded and perfect for disconnecting. Below are some general suggestions on making the most of your time while hiking on Isle Royale.
Best Time to Hike
The best time to hike to Scoville Point is during the late summer and fall months when temperatures are comfortable and after the spring bugs calm down.
Since the trail rarely gets crowded, you can hike the trail at any time of the day although early mornings and late afternoons are lovely. We were there in the middle of the summer and saw only a few other people during the hike.
What to Wear and Pack
The weather on Isle Royale (like everywhere) can change suddenly. Temepratures tend to be cool throughout the year and often rainy so it is best to hike with layers and pack a raincoat. Since all the trails on Isle Royale are remote, make sure to pack the essenial items.
Common Questions about Hiking to Stoll Point
How long is the hike to Scoville Point?
The hike to Scoville Point is approximately 4.2 miles round trip. Depending on your pace and the time spent taking in the views, it usually takes around 2-3 hours to complete.
Where does the Scoville Point trail begin?
The trailhead for Scoville Point is located near the Rock Harbor Lodge area in Isle Royale National Park. Look for trail signs or ask park staff for directions from the lodge.
Is the Scoville Point trail difficult?
The Scoville Point trail is considered a moderately easy hike, suitable for hikers of various skill levels. It includes some elevation changes and uneven terrain, so wearing appropriate hiking footwear is advisable.
Can I swim or picnic at Scoville Point?
While there isn’t a designated swimming area at Scoville Point due to the rugged shoreline, you can enjoy a picnic at one of the scenic overlooks along the trail. Swimming in Lake Superior is possible but may be quite cold.