The Lake Superior Circle Tour is a never-ending adventure through a special corner of North America. Spanning five distinct states and provinces: Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Superior Country in Ontario, and Algoma Country in Ontario.
Covering about 1,300 square miles (2,092 square kilometers), this section of the largest Great Lake is home to breathtaking vistas and natural wonders. Some highlights of the Circle Tour route are ahead!
Best Places to Visit on Lake Superior
Let’s take a trip around Lake Superior’s most popular attractions.
1. A Historical Collection of Shipwrecks from the Great Lakes
The Shipwreck Museum, one of Michigan’s most visited sites, gives visitors on the Circle Tour a taste of the perils that befell those who sailed Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes of North America.
Experience this American Civil War–era lighthouse by climbing the 56 steps to the top of Whitefish Point Light Tower on a guided tour. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is a must-see on any Lake Superior Circle Tour, as it provides an educational and entertaining experience for people of all ages.
2. Tahquamenon Falls Recreation Area
This state park is not to be missed because of its nearly 81 square miles (130 square kilometers) of pristine, unspoiled forest. The park’s star attractions are the Tahquamenon River and its breathtaking waterfalls.
The Upper Falls is a raging torrent that plunges nearly 50 feet and spans over 200 feet, and there is a path that leads to observation platforms for it. The picturesque Lower Falls, an arrangement of 5 smaller cascading falls, can be reached at the end of a 4-mile (6.4 km) hiking trail along the river.
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The restaurant, brewery, and gift shop are all housed in reproductions of original logging camp structures. An ideal way to cap off a day in the park with delicious fare, refreshing drinks, and fond memories.
3. The National Lakeshore of Pictured Rocks
The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is located between Munising and Grand Marais, Michigan, and stretches along the coast of Lake Superior. More than 40 miles (64 km) of untouched shoreline and towering sandstone cliffs await you there.
Pictured Rocks, so called for the mineral staining that adorns the weathered sandstone cliffs, are a natural wonder sculpted by the unyielding force of Lake Superior.
4. State Park on Presque Isle
Presque Isle Park, a highlight of the Lake Superior Circle Tour, is often referred to as “Marquette’s recreational crown jewel.” This peninsula, which juts into Lake Superior, is home to unparalleled scenery.
A family picnic, say Circle Tour visitors, is the best way to take in all that Presque has to offer. Relax and take in the sights of spectacular pebble beaches, a lush forest, and more than one hundred different species of plants.
5. The State Park of Copper Falls
Copper Falls State Park is a must-see attraction not far from the Circle Tour. This paradise for outdoor enthusiasts is guaranteed to provide you with the experience of a lifetime.
Between swimming and camping, you can see canyons, streams, and even waterfalls, all of which will leave an impression on you that will last a lifetime. Copper Falls State Park, with its year-round trail system, is a great stop along the Lake Superior Circle Route.
6. Murals in Ashland
Ashland is the Historic Mural Capital of Wisconsin, and its downtown is plastered with murals that tell the story of the city’s colorful past. The colorful history of Ashland, Oregon, from the late 19th century to the present day is depicted in sixteen murals spread out over eight blocks.
Artists Kelly Meredith and Susan Prentice Martinsen painted “Women of Ashland” for the city’s newest mural. Explore Ashland’s past with a stroll or trolley tour through this must-see exhibition.
7. National Park of the Apostle Islands
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore has 12 miles of mainland shoreline and is sure to be a highlight of your Lake Superior Circle Tour. This fantastic national park offers a wide variety of activities that can keep visitors busy for days, including boating, camping, hiking, sightseeing, and so much more.
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Those who are more adventurous, or who are seeking the “real” Apostle Islands experience, can travel to the islands themselves via cruise or water taxi.
8. The Lighthouse at Wisconsin Point
Built-in 1913, the Wisconsin Point Lighthouse can be found between the two major ports of Superior and Duluth.
The Wisconsin Point and the Minnesota Point are separated by the world’s longest freshwater sand bar, which is 10 miles (16 km) long, and where the lighthouse is located. Although tours are not offered, the lighthouse remains a popular destination for tourists and photographers alike.
9. Lift Bridge Over Duluth Bay
The Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge, 386 feet long, is one of the city’s (and the Circle Tour’s) most iconic landmarks. Big, impressive ships are always a sight to see as they pass through the canal, and when the bridge lifts to allow them to pass under it at a height of 180 feet, it never gets old.
The 900-ton marvel is just one of the many attractions in Canal Park. While waiting for the bridge to open and close for boat traffic, spend the day sampling local cuisine, perusing local breweries, and perusing local galleries.
10. An Aquarium of the Great Lakes
The Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth, Minnesota, on the scenic lakefront, claims to encourage guests to learn more about the significance of Lake Superior in their lives, and it certainly does that!
This stop on the Lake Superior Circle Tour is a must because of the engaging exhibits, fun activities, and live animals on display.
The largest freshwater lake in the world is Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes. Its southern shore is shared by the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Wisconsin, and its western shore is the arrowhead of Minnesota. The rest of the lake is bounded by Ontario, Canada. The area around Lake Superior is rich in opportunities.