Explore Lake Superior

Jul 22, 2010
Outside Magazine
Lake Superior

Lake Superior's choppy east coast

In my opinion, the farther west you go along the St. Lawrence Seaway, the greater the lakes get: Lake Huron's Georgian Bay is a sea kayaker's paradise, while Lake Michigan's coastline can be surprisingly rugged. And then there's Superior, the big daddy, without a doubt the greatest of them all. The Ojibwa call it Gichigami—"Big Water"—and the stats have since proven them right: By surface area, it's the world's largest freshwater lake. It's also remarkably deep, cold, and overlooked. Hiking and camping on Michigan's Isle Royale National Park will give you a feel for the scale and sheer wildness of this behemoth. Accessible only by floatplane or ferry, this rocky, 209-square-mile island has moose, wolves, and 165 miles of rugged trails. A more ambitious option is to head to Ontario to explore its craggy northeastern coast, either by foot along the 36-mile Coastal Hiking Trail or by kayak along pebble beaches and granite cliff walls. Naturally Superior Adventures can outfit and arrange either. Eight-day trips, $1,650; naturallysuperior.com