My stepmom and I just completed the tour of Lake Superior. We traveled for six days last summer (2010) and five days this summer (2011).
In 2010, we started on Minnesota’s North Shore at Palisade Head. We went from there to Thunder Bay, Ontario. We drove to Sault Ste. Marie and then made a side trip to Mackinac Island from St. Ignace. After that, we drove to the Shipwreck Museum on Whitefish Point and to Au Train in the Upper Peninsula. The last part of our trip was from Au Train through Ontonagon to Bayfield, Wisconsin.
Favorite spots on the Ontario side included the Eldorado Beach B&B outside of Thunder Bay, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, a kid’s park dedicated to a book called Paddle to the Sea in Nipigon, and the locks at the Soo. In Michigan, we liked high tea at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, and the boat tour along Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (beautiful views). We liked Bayfield, Wisconsin, so much that we went back again in 2011!
In 2011, we started in Iron Mountain, Michigan, and drove up the Keweenaw Peninsula. We stopped in Houghton, Michigan, for tea and then on to Laurium/Calumet. From there, we drove to Copper Harbor for dinner at Harbor Haus. The next day, we spent some time shopping in Houghton and Hancock before making our way to Silver City. We spent the afternoon in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. The AmericInn in Silver City has property right along Lake Superior, so we enjoyed watching the sunset over the lake while sipping wine on a nearby picnic table. From there, we went back to Bayfield for a second visit to Maggie’s and the ferry to Madeline Island. The next day, we headed for Duluth, via Cornucopia, Wisconsin. We spent two nights in Duluth so that we could finish the journey up the coast of Minnesota, where the highlights included Gooseberry Falls, Split Rock Lighthouse and Betty’s Pies! We enjoyed the view from Palisade Head again before heading back south. We completed the tour on June 29, 2011.
We traveled clockwise for most of the trip. Pictured Rocks was the biggest surprise for us and probably where we took the most photos. Everyone was so friendly along the way, it’s hard to pick the friendliest. The docent in the Visitor Center in Iron Mountain was incredibly helpful, and a woman in the gift shop part of the Visitor Center in Two Harbors gave us a great pie recommendation (5-layer Raspberry from Betty’s).
Kris Uhler, Evanston, Illinois
Carolyn Coulter Black, Washington, Illinois