Road Scholar (Elderhostel) Courses--

"Isle Royale and Lake Superior"

John & Ann Mahan, Instructors


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Beginning in 2002, John & Ann Mahan have been instructors for Elderhostel (now called Road Scholar) courses at Isle Royale and Houghton, MI. In these week-long "Isle Royale and Lake Superior" courses, the groups experienced the world's largest freshwater sea and its island wilderness national park.

Isle Royale National Park encompasses an archipelago of approximately 400 islands, 99 per cent of which is legally designated wilderness. It is the site of the world's longest running wolf/moose study, and many other scientific inquiries into how the natural world works.

Recent Courses: In 2018, we led 3 MTU Isle Royale Road Scholar courses,
sponsored by Isle Royale Institute.
Photos from these 2018 courses are now online --
see below for links to these and to previous courses.


Upcoming Courses: In 2019, we will lead 3 Isle Royale Road Scholar courses,
sponsored by Isle Royale Institute:

June 16-22, July 14-20, and July 28-August 3, 2019

For more information (and to sign up),
visit the Road Scholar website,
or feel free to contact us.

For a brief description of the course,
scroll down page past the photo links.



To view photographs from a course, please choose by dates:


"Isle Royale and Lake Superior" -- begins at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan, with a multi-media program about Lake Superior, and a day-long field trip to the tip of Michigan's rugged Keweenaw Peninsula: taking in scenic vistas of rock-bound coastlines, sand dunes, waterfalls, a historic fort, and lighthouses while learning about human and natural history.

On Tuesday, we experience Lake Superior's open horizons as we journey to its largest island aboard the National Park Service's 165-foot ship Ranger III. On Isle Royale, lodging is at Rock Harbor Lodge, overlooking Lake Superior.

In the following 4 nights and 3 days, boat trips and guided hikes take participants to Rock Harbor Lighthouse, a historic fishery, the wolf-moose research station, offshore islands, a bog (with carnivorous plants), and coastal hikes. Some participants canoe in peaceful Tobin Harbor.

The Mahans present multi-media presentations and give talks on geology, island biogeography, flowers and other plants, and human connections with the lake. Other experts also give talks, including researchers from the Isle Royale wolf-moose study.

On Saturday another Lake Superior open water crossing on the Ranger III returns us to Houghton and the closing of the course.

These are always groups of congenial and adventurous people, and we all have a great time together. We celebrate our shared adventure with these images from the trips.