Making Lake Superior Even More Superior

Sea kayaking in the Midwest? You bet!

kayaking lake superior

Beautiful Lake Superior is a fabulous destination for sea kayaking. It has 1,826 miles of shoreline to explore—not including the shoreline of its hundreds of islands—and clarity of up to 100 feet.

There are several protected areas in and along the Lake, all of which are ideal for sea kayaking. Those make Lake Superior even more superior!

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin

The Apostle Islands is a group of 21 islands in northwestern Wisconsin. The National Lakeshore includes the islands and a stretch of the mainland, popular for its sea caves. The only ways to see the sea caves are by boat and on foot, when the Lake freezes along the shoreline in winter.

Isle Royale National Park, Michigan

Isle Royale is the largest island in Lake Superior with a surface area of 207 square miles. The National Park includes the main island plus its surrounding 450+ smaller islands. Despite being less than 15 miles from Canada and Minnesota, Isle Royale is officially part of Michigan.

It’s very popular with kayakers and canoeists, not just on Lake Superior, but on its many inland lakes, too.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan

On the south shore of Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore comprises 40 miles of protected shoreline. When kayaking the Lakeshore you’ll see cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls and forests.

pictured rocks national lakeshore

There are also several inland lakes great for kayaking.

Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area, Ontario

The most recent and largest of the public protected areas is found in Canadian waters. The Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area is found along 85 miles of some of the wildest of the Lake’s vast shoreline.

Paddling the Big Lake Safely

Lake Superior isn’t just known for its beauty—but also for its frigid water temperatures and sudden squalls. When sea kayaking on this Lake, bring along a great amount of respect!

It can be as calm as glass, but 20-30 foot waves aren’t unheard of.

kayaking lake superior

Be sure you check the current local weather forecast before heading out to any of these locations.

The National Park Service has an excellent guide to paddling safety on Lake Superior—as well as a sobering photograph of a Coast Guard rescue!

Do you have paddling footage or photos from your trip to one of these great national treasures? We’d love to have you share them with us!

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(Photos courtesy of the National Park Service (top and middle) and Sharon Brodin (bottom).