The Susie Islands (the Susies) are a group of thirteen islands off the North Shore of Lake Superior near Grand Portage, just south of the Ontario border. Several of the islands -- like Francis and Lucille -- are named for members of the Falconer family who once lived here, mining copper ore during the early 1900s. The largest island is Susie, after which the chain is named.
Highway 61 provides a great view of the islands from a roadside overlook. Dotting the seemingly endless waters of Lake Superior you'll see these islands, and on a clear day in the distance you'll spot an island lighthouse and even Isle Royale, now a National Park famous for its long study on the interdependence of the wolf and moose populations.
In the isolation of these islands, a community of plants is found comprised of species that disappeared from the rest of Minnesota after the glaciers receded northward. Many of these plants are more typically seen in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. The Nature Conservancy and the Grand Portage Band of the Chippewa Tribe are working together to maintain the wilderness of the area will and its unique and unusual flora.