Isle Royale National Park further delays opening, ferry service canceled for summer 2020
May 21, 2020 06:11AM
By Emily Bingham from mlive.com - May 20, 2020
Isle Royale National Park is once again delaying its opening date this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a release, the National Park Service announced that the remote Lake Superior park may open for the 2020 season in late June or July. No firm date was given.
Additionally, ferry transportation to the island has been canceled for the summer, and the island’s Rock Harbor Lodge will remain closed for the season.
For now, all Isle Royale islands and facilities, including docks, trails, visitor centers, campgrounds, shelters, and outhouses, will remain closed. Overnight use of the park is prohibited.
Liz Valencia, the park’s public information officer, said that if and when the park does open this year, visitors will have to arrive by their own boat, or possibly schedule transportation by seaplane, if services are available then.
“Social distancing on a boat would be really difficult; they’re not huge ferries anyway,” she said of the ferry operators’ decision not to carry passengers this summer.
Valencia said officials are continuing to assess the risks and safety guidelines for the park’s possible opening. There is a slim chance the park may remain closed for the entirety of the season, she said, but added that park staff is continuing to move forward with seasonal preparations in the hopes that the park will indeed welcome visitors this year.
“We really feel for all the visitors who were counting on going there this summer,” she said. “These decisions have been extremely difficult for all of us, and we understand it’s difficult for them, too. We’re trying to stay positive. The island will still be there next year -- that won’t change.”
To read the original story and see related reporting, follow this link to the mlive.com website. https://www.mlive.com/news/2020/05/isle-royale-national-park-further-delays-opening-ferry-service-ca...