About the Tour

The Lake Superior Circle Tour is a 1,300-mile route around the world’s largest freshwater lake, taking travelers past soaring cliffs, sand beaches, dazzling waterfalls and northern forests.

It includes the rocky North Shore of Minnesota; the rugged and remote coast of northern Ontario; the Pictured Rocks, beaches and waterfalls of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan; and the Wisconsin shore, marked by sand and sea caves.

Lake Superior can be – and has been – circled by just about any mode of transportation, from bicycle to sailboat. We’ve heard of kayakers who spent months paddling the entirety of the shoreline and a motorcyclist who completed the circle (legally) in just 21 hours. Motorists can do the full tour in a week, but we recommend two weeks or more to savor the sights and experiences.

Just how big is Lake Superior? So big that its 3 quadrillion gallons could cover both North and South America under a foot of water. Read more Lake Superior facts.

Here’s just a sampling of the things you might see on the Lake Superior Circle Tour:

  • Waterfalls – Kakabeka Falls in Ontario stands 131 feet tall, while Michigan’s Tahquamenon Falls spans more than 200 feet. There are dozens more to explore.
  • Beaches – from sand to cobblestone.
  • Local, state and national parks – everything from smaller shoreside favorites like Duluth’s Brighton Beach to Ontario’s sprawling Pukaskwa National Park.
  • Storms – marvel at the power of the wind and waves, especially when the gales of November come ’round.
  • Festivals – celebrating everything from blueberries to blues music.
  • Northern lights – if you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this phenomenon, you’ll never forget it.
  • Ships – from 1,000-foot ore boats to pleasure craft.
  • Lighthouses – some still function as aids to navigation, while others have been converted into museums and even bed-and-breakfasts.
  • Wildlife – bears, moose, eagles, deer, foxes and more.
  • History – museums, historic forts, repurposed buildings and much more.
  • Islands – Isle Royale has a mystique all its own, and the Apostle Islands of Wisconsin are protected as a national lakeshore. There are dozens and dozens more islands along the shore.