Hi, My wife and I completed the Circle Tour this summer. We started in Duluth on July 18, 2011, and drove counterclockwise around the lake and ended the tour in Duluth on August 9, 2011.
We were disappointed in the Minnesota government shutdown, which radically changed our plans, however we managed okay.
Highlights include Keweenaw Peninsula; Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan; Wawa and Nipigon, Ontario; Grand Marais, Minnesota; Gooseberry Falls State Park and many other places.
Our favorite campground was Birchwood RV and Tent Park in Nipigon-Red Rock, Ontario. This is a small family-run campground and café. They serve mostly homegrown organic foods. Cinnamon buns and pies are wonderful!
The folks in Copper Harbor, Michigan, were very friendly.
We would like to spend more time in Grand Marais, Minnesota. The city-owned-and-run campground was very nice and one could walk downtown. We were there during the Fishermen’s Picnic weekend and were treated to fireworks on Saturday night that rivaled big town celebrations.
Ontario offered many surprises for us. The drive along the Trans Canada Highway was beautiful and some of the small towns were a delight to visit. Gas prices were quite high though. We recommend the boat tour through the Sault Ste. Marie Locks. Very interesting, picturesque and informative. The tour starts in Sault St Marie, Michigan.
We also recommend a side trip to St. Ignace, Michigan, and a short ferry ride to Mackinac Island.
Black flies are a problem in June and July, however we only had minor problems with them since it was the end of the season for those pesky bugs.
We took the Agawa Canyon rail tour from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. It is an all-day train ride through some beautiful areas. The trip is bit long, but the scenery is well worth the ride. Very comfortable coaches and there is a dining car. Some of the beautiful lake views are a bit hindered by trees blocking an open view.
All in all we had a wonderful time and could have spent more time on the tour.
We had planned to spend a few more days on the North Shore and had reservations, but they were cancelled by the Minnesota government shutdown. Traveling along the North Shore without campground reservations in the summer is risky. We were traveling with another couple and we ended up being 30 miles apart for three nights due to lack of campground sites available.
Ted Dewing, Sequim, Washington