Lake Loop

Duluth, MN and Michigan’s UP

Duluth, MN and Michigan’s UP Road Trip Map

   Photo: Joyce Pendola

Lake Loop
Stretched out, Lake Superior's twisty coastline would extend from New York to Los Angeles. Lucky for you, the circumnavigational route we've picked is considerably shorter. Starting in Duluth, Minnesota, cruise east along Wisconsin's coastal wetlands and into Michigan's pine-covered Upper Peninsula. After hiking in the surprisingly rugged Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, spend a night in one of the park's rustic cabins ($60; midnrreservations.com). (Call ahead and request the private, waterside Buckshot Cabin.) On the Ontario side of the lake, Pukaskwa National Park is home to 75 miles of coastline—almost all of it deserted. Pitch a tent on the yellow-sand beaches at the mouth of the Willow River (backcountry camping permits, $10; pc.gc.ca). Back in Minnesota, be sure to stop at Palisade Head, a 300-foot cliff rising directly from the shores of Superior in Tettegouche State Park. Put your kayak in at Silver Bay, paddle beneath the cliff, observe the climbers dangling above, and hitchhike back. Before driving the last 50 miles to Duluth, fuel up at Our Place, in Finland (5195 Hefflefinger Rd.), where a bartender who calls himself the Moose Whisperer serves up the best pancakes in the world—or at least in northern Minnesota. Miles: 1,090 Days: 4 Theme Song: "In the Garden," Willie Nelson

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