Known for its wide open spaces and picturesque places, Lake Superior's shoreline offers a world of fishing, hiking, and stargazing.
One of the biggest freshwater lakes in the world, Lake Superior offers some of the best camping in the United States. Clear, cold waters lap at rocky beaches backed by dense forests. Charming small towns welcome visitors. In the evening, the stars and aurora borealis light up the light pollution-free sky.
The best part? The coastline is remote and relatively unpopulated, so you can enjoy the lake in peace. It stretches from the Canada border and across northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, creating an endless selection of campsites.
If you’re starting in Minnesota, drive from Duluth and up the North Shore toward Canada. The snowmelt brings a series of waterfalls to life in April and May. At Split Rock State Park, you can camp near a historic lighthouse and bike the Gitchi-Gami State Trail. Near Grand Marais, watch surfers navigate enormous waves in the November gales.
If islands are your thing, Lake Superior has you covered. Glide over crystal-clear waters and under tree-covered cliffs in the Apostle Islands in Wisconsin. In the winter, you can walk across the frozen lake to sparkling ice caves. Or, hop a seaplane or boat to the remote Isle Royale National Park. Here, a stunning trail network takes you over rocky ridges to backcountry campsites.
For some serious small-town friendliness, head for Copper Harbor in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. From your Lake Superior campsite, you’re moments from a killer network of mountain biking and hiking trails. In the fall, the changing leaves rival the East Coast for grandeur (bonus: no crowds). Winter brings cross-country skiing and snowboarding—nearby Mount Bohemia has the highest vertical drop in the Midwest.
Summer is the best time for camping on Lake Superior. Take advantage of the sunny days to paddle Pictured Rocks or see the raging Tahquamenon Falls in Michigan. Fall and spring bring crisp temperatures and low crowd levels.
The intense Lake Superior winters aren’t for the faint of heart. If you have a warm sleeping bag or an RV, however, the cold is worthwhile. Spend your days cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and ice fishing. Then, pop into a local brewery to have a pint with the hardy locals.