Michigan's Remote and Wild Isle Royale National Park
It's hard to believe that Isle Royale hasn't always been wild. Native Americans mined rich veins of copper here for more than 1,000 years; their hand-dug pits show up throughout the park. More modern mining operations thrived in the 1800s, as did commercial fisheries. Tourism bloomed at the turn of the last century, with Great Lakes steamers serving island resorts complete with dance halls and bowling alleys. Rock Harbor Lodge is the only resort left today.
The Bangsund Cabin (left) reflects the changing tides of Isle Royale's history. The cabin's walls went up in 1926, and it got a roof in 1930-31 from newcomers Jack Bangsund and his nephew, Bill. Bill and his wife, Isabell, raised three children in the cabin in the 1940s. "Bill quit fishing in 1949; Jack died here in 1959," reads a sign at the cabin. "It has been the field base for wolf-moose research since 1960."
(A version of this story appeared in Midwest Living® May/June 2008.)