Natural Wonders of the Lake Superior Circle Tour
These Lake Superior Natural Wonders can all be seen while completing the Lake Superior Circle Tour! They are definitely must see stops along any Lake Superior road trip. Make sure to bring your camera to bring these wonders home with you!
The second largest waterfall in Ontario, and the most popular Lake Superior Natural Wonder, is Kakabeka Falls, just west of Thunder Bay, in Ontario’s Superior Country Region. Coined the “Niagara of the North” this Natural Wonder needs to be on every Lake Superior Circle Tour traveler’s itinerary. The falls is roadside within Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park. It is surrounded by a beautifully constructed boardwalk that allows for views from all sides of the waterfall.
The Sleeping Giant lies off the shores of Lake Superior near Thunder Bay in the Ontario’s Superior Country Region of the Lake Superior Circle Tour. The most common place to lookout toward the Giant is the Terry Fox Memorial and Visitor Information Centre on the Northeastern edge of the city. Another popular place to lookout toward the giant is Chippewa Park in Thunder Bay as well as Mount McKay lookout in the Fort William First Nation Reservation. The Sleeping Giant Provincial Park lies at the base of the giant and includes many hiking trails that will allow you to conquer the Giant! Another famous view of the giant, from the other side, is from the Parks Canada Red Chairs located at the Porphyry Island Lighthouse!
The Lake Superior Sea Lion sits on the shores of the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park on Lake Superior in the Ontario’s Superior Country Region of the Lake Superior Circle Tour. This Natural Wonder has been eroded by time and the power of the lake but is still a must see attraction. This Sea Lion is accessible through the trails network of the provincial park and is not too difficult. There is a walkway above which offers you a great view of the Sea Lion and Lake Superior. One of the best times to visit is in the fall months while the leaves change colors.
This violet hued quartz is the official gemstone of Ontario and the largest deposits of amethyst in Canada can be found in Ontario’s Superior Country. Visit an amethyst mine and dig for your very own or find hand crafted jewelry and décor at a gift shop to bring home a piece of this beautiful natural wonder.
The Township of Dorion in Ontario’s Superior Country Region is home to one of the most famous Lake Superior Natural Wonder; Ouimet Canyon. The Canyon is free to visit although a donation is truly appreciated. You can walk along the canyon and explore out onto a viewing platform that allows you to look up and down this natural formation. Just up the road is another Natural Wonder…
Close to Ouimet Canyon and the township of Dorion in Ontario’s Superior Country Region is Eagle Canyon. This canyon has been privatized and does come with a fee to visit. However, it is well worth the fee to walk across the Eagle Canyon Suspension Bridge and for those who are truly adventurous the Zip Line will be sure to impress!
The township of Red Rock’s name wasn’t just by coincidence. The town sits among one of Lake Superior’s Natural Wonders; The Red Rock at the top of Lake Superior. Taking a stroll along the Red Rock Marina will allow you to look up toward the mighty red cliffs that surround the town. We also recommend visiting the Red Rock Interpretive Centre to learn more about this Natural Wonder.
The Nipigon River
The Nipigon River sits at the most northern part of Lake Superior and is the largest water feed into the lake. It is also home to the World Record Brook Trout. The great power of the Nipigon River can be seen from atop the Nipigon Bridgeview Lookout Tower which also offers great views of Lake Superior, Lake Helen, and the Nipigon River Bridge. To learn of the history of the Nipigon River, how it was used by past generations, and about the World Record Brook Trout, a visit to the Nipigon Museum is a must!
Lake Superior Agates are highly sought after all along the Circle Tour. There lies a beach, that is almost entirely made up of Agates, on Agate Island, a small island just outside Lake Superior’s Nipigon Bay. It is truly a Lake Superior Natural Wonder and is difficult to get to. The island is only accessible by boat and it is not recommended for just anyone to set out to discover it. Utilizing a local guide is the only way to access the island. Unfortunately there is no guide in the area that offers specific tours to the island at this time. So while visiting Agate Island may not always be possible it’s difficult accessibility and lack of traffic is what has kept it a Natural Wonder all this time.
Bathtub Island is located in Lake Superior Provincial Park in Ontario’s Algoma Country Region. The island is like a natural basin that fills with water from the waves of Lake Superior. This creates a natural “bathtub” of Lake Superior water which is warmed by the sun.
One of the most popular, and memorable Lake Superior Natural Wonder is Agawa Canyon located in Ontario’s Algoma Country Region of the Lake Superior Circle Tour. The Canyon is accessible via the Agawa Canyon Train Tour which begins its journey from Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. The train ride itself is breathtaking and allows you to travel deep into the forests of Ontario. Your arrival at the Agawa Canyon will most certainly be a memorable highlight of your Lake Superior Circle Tour!
Apostle Island Sea Caves
A list of Lake Superior Natural Wonders wouldn’t be complete without the naturally sculpted Apostle Island Sea Caves in Wisconsin. The best opportunity to see them during the summer months is through local kayaking and boating guides. During the winter the sea caves are truly remarkable as they become ice caves and are accessible over the frozen waters of Lake Superior. Once again local guides are highly recommended and always be mindful of ice conditions!
Hollow Rock is definitely an appropriately named and one of the most photographed Lake Superior Natural Wonders. It is located in Grand Portage in Minnesota’s Cook County. Hollow Rock is a rock formation which can be seen just off of the shores of Lake Superior.
The Witch Tree
This Lake Superior Natural Wonder is considered sacred by the Ojibwe Indian Tribe and is difficult to gain access to. The only way to visit the Witch Tree is to be accompanied by a local First Nation member. This is yet another difficult to access Natural Wonder and because of this it still remains in it’s beautiful natural state. Although if you are invited to view the Witch Tree it is accessible through a well maintained trail and viewing platform.
Black Beach is located near Silver Bay in Minnesota’s Cook County. As it’s name suggests this beach is covered in a layer of black sand. The beach is on Lake Superior itself and black coloring comes from taconite tailings.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Appropriately named Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is said to be the very most photographed Lake Superior Natural Wonder. These awesome rock shores have been sculpted by generations of Lake Superior waves and can be explored through a variety of different activities.
And of course Lake Superior itself is the largest and greatest of all the Lake Superior Natural Wonders! It is the largest of the North American Great Lakes and is the world’s largest fresh water lake by surface area. The Lake Superior Circle Tour is 1,300 miles (2092 km) and is home to all the Lake Superior Natural Wonders listed above. Interested in planning your very own Circle Tour? Order the Lake Superior Circle Tour Adventure Guide and use our online Trip Planner. You can also download our Trip Planner Mobile App!