Local library sponsors family free day on the Ranger III

HOUGHTON — Inclement weather threatened parts of the event, but the skies cleared just in time for families to celebrate the end of summer on the Ranger III for Family Free Day.

The Portage Lake District Library and Isle Royale National Park sponsored the free event. Three different activities provided residents and visitors with an opportunity to learn about the 59 year-old vessel.

“It’s a 165-foot passenger vessel that travels to Isle Royale twice a week and we also give an occasional cruises down the Portage Canal,” said Park Ranger Lori Honrath. “It was built in 1957 and commissioned in 1958 specifically for Isle Royale to provide logistics for the National Park Service and the island.”

After a presentation at the library, families boarded the boat for a tour, given by the Ranger’s crew. Participants learned about the 6 hour trip to Isle Royale, how the Ranger III runs and the history of the vessel. Finally, those who were able to reserve tickets set sail on a short cruise around the canal.