One of the absolute best characteristics about the Lake Superior Circle Tour is that it can be done in any season! Of course, we advise to please prepare for weather and road conditions appropriate the season you are travelling in but ultimately the lake is beautiful all year round.
There are certain attractions or stops that hours of operation or access may be better in specific seasons but most of the outdoor activities and scenic wonders can be enjoyed at any time. When visiting them the only thing that may change due to the season is your attire/equipment and the outdoor backdrop. For instance, imagine snowshoes on your feet, the warmth of the sun and crisp winter air, dazzling ice and a white blanket of fresh snow covering the lookout you’re on. You are standing above the gorgeous Lake Superior with a hot cup of hot chocolate in your hand and toque on your head. Maybe, it is the middle of autumn and you are experiencing a major adrenaline rush as you are reeling in a large Salmon in a river near the great lake. In some places around the lake you can escape the heat of the summer and browse through amazing historic artifacts within a museum in an epic community along the shores of the lake. There are so many wonderful experiences and when matching the right activity with the right season it can make the moment magical and unforgettable.
Nevertheless, we understand that when you are beginning to plan a trip it can feel a bit overwhelming even with an understanding of what you want to do. That’s why we’re here! We want to help and hopefully make your planning a bit easier. Make sure after reading this article to use our Trip Planner and check out all the resources we have online. We have complied some things that we think are the best to experience in certain seasons that can only make your trip even more epic!
For more information on how to be prepared for each specific season please continue to read below where we break down every season around the lake for you.
When planning to travel around the lake during the summer months there a few things you should know to fully prepare, some include our campground list, weather, hours of operation for attractions, and other miscellaneous tips. During the summer months all the campgrounds around the lake are operating and open and to view a full list you can download our campground list. You should not have to worry about museums or attractions not operating during the summer months as this is a high traffic tourism season. However, with that being said it is important to know that this is a busier time around the lake and you might need to make reservations for accommodations or activities quite a bit ahead of time in order to get something with availability. You are more likely to run into fellow travelers during the summer months and experience being amongst more people when visiting different points of interest around the lake.
It is a known fact that weather is warmer during the summer and we all look forward to that warm summer sun, however, being so close to the largest great lake means that storms, rain, and cool winds are also likely. Make sure when packing your travelling wardrobe, you have something prepared for rainy days that is water resistant. Not only will water resistant attire help on those stormy days but also when hiking or being near natural wonders where you can be in or near water. To warm up or enjoy a warm and cozy atmosphere make sure to check out our Java Journey with amazing coffee shops around the lake that you can get your caffeine fix, check up on your e-mails, or simply read a book next to the shores of Lake Superior.
When you do experience the warm summer heat one of the best ways to sit and cool off is enjoying a refreshing drink from our Ale Trail which features breweries and wineries throughout the journey. Not only can you grab a cool drink, but you could take a dip in the freshwater lake on the plethora of beaches that you have available to you. Our list of beaches is quite astounding but also the waterfalls around the lake. When wanting to chase waterfalls in the summer season make sure to do some research and ask locals or the closest tourist information center what condition the waterfall is in because sometimes smaller waterfalls can dry up in the summer heat. The falls that are constantly flowing are beautiful all year round and the perfect summer attraction.
During the summer months you can also travel the lake much easier on a boat than in other seasons. Many have sailed or used their boat as the mode of transportation to travel the lake and we suggest the perfect time to do so is in the summer. You are not limited to only summer months for travelling by boat it is merely a recommendation you could also do this during the spring or early fall.
Taking on the journey of the circle tour in the spring is a great idea and as we like to call it the season of happiness as you are now starting to shed your winter blues and look forward to warmer and sunnier days. With many travelers anxious to get out on the road as its the beginnings for campgrounds, nicer weather, and a lot of businesses and attractions around the lake. It’s not as busy as the summer, but it is the start of the tourism season so expect to see more people and experience more traffic than in the fall and winter.
A lot of campgrounds are open during the month of May and for more information on accommodations make sure to download our campground list. Ice starts to break, and snow begins to melt just like your worries start to melt as the excitement of travel begins to seep into your aura.
Like the saying goes with April showers brings May flowers so just in case you run into those April showers or they carry over into the month of May make sure to bring rain gear and clothes that are waterproof. If you are experiencing a cold dreary day around the lake you can stop in for a warm drink at any of the stops on the Lake Superior Java Journey. Or maybe you’ve experience a really warm spring day and need a refreshing brewery or winery so take a look at our Lake Superior Ale Trail.
One of the best aspects of Spring is that Spring is WATERFALL season and you can look forward to all the falls actively flowing after the winter freeze. The weather is warming up, the birds are chirping, the sun is out, and so are the streams from so many popular waterfalls around Lake Superior.
With falls flowing and things beginning so are the bugs and mosquitoes remember when camping or entering any thick wooded areas to bring bug spray and clothing to protect you from any deer or wood ticks.
When travelling around the lake in the fall it can be extremely beautiful. The scenic route is lit on absolute fire when the leaves and trees change color to those shades of bright orange and red. With winter approaching campgrounds and a lot of things begin to close. For the colder seasons most campgrounds around the lake close during the month of October so for more on these please download our Lake Superior Circle Tour Campground List. The traffic around the lake begins to slow as the snow approaches so in order to stay warm through your autumn trek ensure warm clothes and to check weather forecasts before starting your journey.
A fan favorite of travelling around the lake during this season is the lack of bugs and mosquitoes, things are cooling and so are the bug bites. The better days during this season can be sunny and perfect for just a sweater but others can be very cold and damp during a storm or rainy day. Make sure to be prepared for all weather conditions especially if planning to do a lot in the outdoors.
Do you want to build a snowman? Maybe embrace your inner character from Disney’s Frozen? Well being near Lake Superior when its covered in snow and Ice will make you feel like you are really in the middle of a Disney classic. It is a stunning view to drive around miss Superior with a white blanket covering all her landscapes and attractions. Somethings to know about travelling during the winter season is that campgrounds will be closed along with some major tourist attractions. You will also want to ensure you are aware of the operating hours for things you want to see and make sure to do your research and order our Lake Superior Circle Tour Adventure Guide. Within the guide you will find lists of things around the lake with contact information and resources to help you plan.
Winter is an extremely popular time for photography around the lake! There really is nothing like being amongst the ice caves or frozen water held in place when trying to cascade off a high cliff. One of the most popular things to take part in if you enjoy a good adrenaline rush is ice climbing.
Although more accommodations or attractions may be closed during this season the one thing that does not close for the season is mother nature and she sure does an amazing job of making this journey look absolutely stunning throughout the Winter months. We say grab your parka and camera and hit the road! If you need a break to warm up stop in to one our coffee shops on the Java Journey or if you just did a hike on a warm sunny winter day and need something refreshing check out a brewery on our Ale Trail.
The best part about the Lake Superior Circle Tour is that you decide your tour and make it your own. It is self-guided, a counterclockwise or clockwise journey around the lake? You choose! You want to visit every museum or historic monument? Great, you do just that! You want to take your boat around the lake and enjoy all the unique breweries and enjoy amazing cuisine? Perfect, have fun! The Lake Superior Circle Tour is yours to discover whenever, however, YOU want. To help you plan visit our Online Trip Planner and order the Lake Superior Circle Tour Guide!