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. Don’t forget your passport or enhanced driver’s license for crossing the international border.

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.