The Lake Superior Circle Tour is a 1,300 mile self guided tour around the greatest of the North American Great Lakes. It takes you through two countries (Canada and the US), three US states (Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota) and one Canadian province (Ontario). The Circle Tour is so long in the province of Ontario that you end up visiting two tourism regions known as Ontario’s Superior Country and Ontario’s Algoma Country. These are the 5 Regions of the Lake Superior Circle Tour!
The 5 Regions of the Lake Superior Circle Tour
The first region of the Lake Superior Circle Tour is the state of Michigan. Rustic lodges, first class accommodations, friendly locals, scenic vistas, and snug harbors are just a little of what awaits as you enter Michigan. Starting in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, the oldest city in the State and the third oldest city in the US, you will experience the world-famous engineering marvel of the Soo locks, a vast amount of Great Lakes History, and much more! Packed with museums and historic sights this is a must stop for any fan of the great lakes! Do shipwrecks and lighthouses interest you? If so a visit to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is a must! Moving further west you will enter Marquette. Offering you a superior experience is their goal and they never fall short of just that! With breathtaking lodging, entertainment, and activities Marquette is a must experience along the Lake Superior Circle Tour. Spend an afternoon visiting multiple waterfalls that will offer you some of the best photos of your trip: Morgan Falls, Yellow Dog Falls, Pinnacle Falls, and Dead River Falls. These are just some of the beautiful waterfalls that the area offers.
Life’s so Good in Wisconsin. A statement that rings true, especially along the Wisconsin portion of the Lake Superior Circle Tour! A must stop for anyone is Ashland, the place to unwind, breathe, to explore, and experience the pulse of the outdoors! The beauty of Ashland and it’s surrounding area will grab hold of you and not let go. This gorgeous city is nestled along the south shore of Lake Superior’s Chequamegon Bay, and offers a unique mix of historic charm and modern convenience. The Lake Superior Waterfront Trail is a must see and offers a great view of Lake Superior starting at the Bayfront Park in the west to Masalowksi Beach in the east. Just north of Ashland lies the gateway to the Apostle Islands from the Lake Superior Circle Tour; Bayfield, Wisconsin. This enchanting destination offers a wide array of scenery and activities along its picturesque waterfronts. Looking to experience the water of Lake Superior? Look no further as many different charters are available to anyone visiting the area. There is no shortage of breathtaking scenery and experiences of the Lake Superior Circle Tour and Bayfield boasts a little bit of everything! Madeline Island, the largest of the Apostle Islands, can be accessed by ferry boats that run every 30 minutes in the summer months. The natural beauty of the island make it the perfect location to escape your everyday activities and get in touch with nature! With sandy beaches, gift shops, picnic areas, and lodging experiences, there are a million ways to experience all that Madeline Island offers. Back on the mainland, on your way out of Wisconsin, you will come to a community that takes its name from the lake itself – Superior, Wisconsin. Experience the western tip of Lake Superior and bring tranquility to your soul through the countless activities and attractions that Superior offers. The city’s waterfront is a playground made up of shops, play areas, lodging, and dining. Renting a bike and exploring the beautiful waterfront of Superior will be a highlight of your Lake Superior Circle Tour!
The next region of the Lake Superior Circle Tour is Minnesota, home to one of the most poplar cities along the shores of the Lake Superior… Duluth! A truly remarkable city that boasts experiences for everyone of all ages. With a vast offering of arts, entertainment, history, and adventure, the city of Duluth is another must experience community along anyone’s journey. Looking to get in touch with the Great Lakes? Look no further than the Great Lakes Aquarium. With interactive exhibits, you will be sure to witness the wonder and experience the fun. With touch tanks for your young travelers and an abundance of information for the well experienced the Great Lakes Aquarium will offer you a true experience that will get you in touch with Lake Superior. Heading North from Duluth on your Lake Superior Circle Tour be sure to make Split Rock Lighthouse apart of your itinerary. This beautiful historic monument offers world class views of the Lake and will shed light on some remarkable Lake Superior history. Continue North from Split Rock Lighthouse State Park and you will become surrounded in the beauty of Cook County hosting three spectacular locations: Tofte, Lusten, and Grand Marais. With a vast array of hiking and biking trails you will lose yourself in the nature of Lake Superior.
Moving on to the next region of the Lake Superior Circle Tour you will be entering Ontario’s Superior Country. Superior Country boasts some of Canada’s best experiences from festivals and events to world class fishing and hunting, to the greatest of Canadian outdoor adventures. There is something for everyone in this slice of paradise. The Superior Country portion of the Lake Superior Circle Tour begins at the Pigeon River border crossing, assuming you travel around the lake clockwise, and continues an impressive 445 miles to White River, Ontario. The first major city center you will come across is the City of Thunder Bay, the largest city on the Lake Superior Circle Tour. You can lose yourself in the history, the attractions, and especially the events of this unique slice of Canadian paradise. There are many must see Lake Superior Circle Tour Natural Wonders, and Roadside Attractions within the City of Thunder Bay and its surrounding area including Kakabeka Falls and the Sleeping Giant. Just east of Thunder Bay, after stopping at the Terry Fox Monument & Tourist Information Centre for some excellent views and history, you will come to Ontario’s mining ground of its mineral emblem: Amethyst. Visit Amethyst Mine Panorama and pick your own piece of amethyst as a treasure of the Lake Superior Circle Tour. Continuing past the mines you will enter the Top of Lake Superior which is home to Dorion, Ontario’s Ouimet Canyon, which offers views of 100-metre-high cliffs and a gorge that spans 150 metres wide. Next up are the communities of Red Rock, Nipigon, and the Red Rock Indian Band. Each community offers great experiences that any traveler would be sure to enjoy, from the Red Rock Interpretive Centre, to the beautiful Paddle to the Sea Park in Nipigon, and the Red Rock Indian Band Pow Wow that will offer you an indigenous experience like no other. This area is also home to the Nipigon River Bridge, the first cable stayed bridge in Ontario and one of the most popular attractions on the Trans-Canada highway. As you leave the Top of Lake Superior you will soon come to the next communities on the Circle Tour; Schreiber, and Terrace Bay. The Schreiber Rail Array Museum offers a history on the community being the oldest railway community on the Northshore. The Terrace Bay Beach is a great opportunity to stretch your legs and enjoy the waters of the Lake Superior Circle Tour. Finish your visit with a trip up the Terrace Bay Lighthouse for a memorable view of the North Shore.
Starting with a quick visit to the hometown of Winnie the Pooh in White River, Ontario followed by a visit to one of the most photographed Landmarks in North America, the Wawa Goose, you will enter the Lake Superior Circle Tour region of Algoma Country. Boasting some of the most beautiful sceneries of Lake Superior Algoma Country is a must experience along your journey. One of the most visited attractions within the region is Old Woman’s Bay, located within Lake Superior Provincial Park, has a large sandy beach and offers a beautiful view of Lake Superior. If you look closely you can see the formation of the Old Woman. After stretching your legs, taking photos, and building great Lake Superior memories, you will move onto Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Sault Ste. Marie offers something for every Circle Tour traveler from young to well experienced. As one of the oldest settlements in North America Sault Ste Marie is currently the third largest city in Northern Ontario and includes a rich indigenous History, world-class attractions, and some of Algoma Country’s best shopping and culinary experiences. The Canadian Bushplane Museum along with the Agawa Canyon Tour Train, have become known as must see attractions on the Lake Superior Circle Tour for good reason. Both attractions will leave you in awe and wonderment of Algoma Country’s vast history. There is no better way to experience the fall colors of Canada than from the Agawa Canyon Tour Train. But don’t be deterred if you are visiting during the spring or summer months! This attraction boasts incredible landscapes and experiences no matter when you visit!
Plan your Trip
Want to learn more about the regions of the Lake Superior Circle Tour? Or more about the tour itself? You can virtually travel the Circle Tour on our online interactive map and trip planner. Have more questions about the tour? Visit our Lake Superior and Lake Superior Circle Tour FAQ pages. Not sure how to cross the border? We have you covered with our Border Crossing Information page. For more travel inspirations visit the Lake Superior Circle Tour Blog and consider joining our Facebook Group where you can talk to other travelers for tips and advice! The Lake Superior Circle Tour is North America’s Best Road Trip for many reasons. The uniqueness of each region that makes up the tour is one of those reasons! Happy travels!