Mississippi River Country’s two northernmost states touch Lake Superior, the world’s largest freshwater lake, so that means almost endless opportunities for exploration. Here’s a closer look at some of the best ways to get out on (or at least sit and watch) the lake.
Sure, Lake Superior might be a touch chilly for most swimmers, but it’s a wonderful place to spend a warm summer day. Seemingly endless stretches of shoreline in Wisconsin and Minnesota mean there are plenty of beaches—some sandy, some with wonderful agates for rockhunters. Here’s a look at a few of the notable ones.
Park Point Beach, Duluth, Minnesota: Park Point stretches for 7 miles (11km) along Lake Superior and is home to the world’s largest freshwater sandbar; this wonderful sandy beach is accessible via the lift bridge from Canal Park
Meyers Beach, Bayfield, Wisconsin: This beach leads to the area’s famous ice caves in winter, but on a summer day, it’s a great place to take in the rays
Kreher Park, Ashland, Wisconsin: Located in the center of Ashland by the marina, this park has a swimming beach, a playground, RV parking and access to the city’s Waterfront Trail
Black Beach, Silver Bay, Minnesota: Stop by this picturesque beach, also known as Onyx Beach, in northern Minnesota; the black sand was created from taconite tailings dumped in the lake by historical mining operations (don’t worry, it’s plenty safe!)
Sometimes the best way to see the most stunning scenery on Lake Superior is from the water. There are many public boat launches, marinas and beaches that offer easy access to the lake, and outfitters and guides in northern Wisconsin and along Minnesota’s North Shore will get you set up with gear and show you where to go.
- Apostle Islands National Lakeshore: This beautiful collection of islands off the Wisconsin shore near Bayfield is a popular kayaking destination thanks to its wonderful scenery and picturesque sea caves; the National Park site does not lead guided tours but there are many authorized outfitters that run half-day and full-day kayak trips
- Find kayak outfitters and paddling guides in Ashland and Bayfield in northern Wisconsin
- Minnesota’s Lake Superior State Water Trail extends for nearly 150 miles (241km) between St. Louis Bay in Duluth and the Pigeon River on the Canadian border
- Learn more about kayaking on Lake Superior in Cook County in northeastern Minnesota
Boating & fishing
The good part about sitting on the shores of the largest Great Lake? There are lots of local businesses that cater to folks who want to get out on Lake Superior to fish or explore.
- Apostle Islands Cruises: Apostle Islands Cruises in Bayfield offers tours of several lengths, from its Wrecks, Rocks & Lighthouses Tour to its three-hour Grand Tour
- Lake Superior Fishing Charters: Lake Superior Fishing Charters, based out of Duluth, takes anglers out on Lake Superior in search of lake trout, salmon and walleye