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Michipicoten Island, Lake Superior: The Highlights In Photos

Michipicoten Island, Lake Superior: The Highlights in Photos

In the summer of 2011 our party of five including our guide, Ginny, from Naturally Superior Adventures, completed a kayaking trip around Michipicoten Island in Lake Superior. Mother Nature cooperated and supplied more sunshine than fog, little in the way of rain and enough wind to keep the majority of biting insects at bay – but not so much to keep us landlocked on shore.

Michipicoten Island kayaking trip in northern Ontario

The trip was a great success – no boats or human sightings for four days, wonderful northern scenery, woodland caribou sightings – including the rare albino caribou, enough paddling that you feel you earned your two hour afternoon nap, and delicious food and wine.

Here are some of the visual highlights of our kayaking trip around Michipicoten Island.

"East End Lighthouse and our start point"

East End Lighthouse and our start point

"Our first camp on a beach past Bonner Head"

Our first camp on a beach past Bonner Head

"Lovely blue campanula"

Lovely blue campanula

"One of the fantastic sunsets we enjoyed"

One of the fantastic sunsets we enjoyed

"A windy morning on the second day of kayaking"

A windy morning on the second day of kayaking

"Lake Superior rocks"

Lake Superior rocks

"Visually interesting altered rock"

Visually interesting altered rock

"Our kayaks - a double, singles, plastic and fiberglass"

Our kayaks – a double, singles, plastic and fiberglass

"Kayaking through Michipicoten Island's famous fog"

Kayaking through Michipicoten Island’s famous fog

"A rare sighting of an albino woodland caribou"

A rare sighting of an albino woodland caribou

"Kayaking into the skeletal frame of the Billy Blake"

Kayaking into the skeletal frame of the Billy Blake

"Abandoned building in Quebec Harbour"

Abandoned building in Quebec Harbour

"More abandoned buildings in Quebec Harbour"

More abandoned buildings in Quebec Harbour

"The rocks and lichen of Davieaux Island"

The rocks and lichen of Davieaux Island

"Our campsite by the lighthouse on Davieaux Island"

Our campsite by the lighthouse on Davieaux Island

"No bake cheesecake with fresh picked blueberries"

No bake cheesecake with fresh picked blueberries

"A view of Cozen's Cove"

A view of Cozen’s Cove

"The Caribbean looking waters of Cozen's Cove - though the water temperature was only about 58F"

The Caribbean looking waters of Cozen’s Cove – though the water temperature was only about 58F

"More great rocks to explore - plus an agate beach at Cozen's Cove"

More great rocks to explore – plus an agate beach at Cozen’s Cove

"Blueberry picking at Cozen's Cove"

Blueberry picking at Cozen’s Cove

"Our gang on the last day"

Our gang on the last day

All in all it was a great and mostly relaxing week. And I say mostly relaxing because there was the odd bit of fear felt on the water in the face of a few big waves.

Bring it on. I’m ready for more and already thinking of what other paddling trips I’d like to do on the big waters of Lake Superior.

And for more reading on the area try: An Introduction to Michipicoten Island – Lake Superior’s Wild Heart by David C. Whyte.

Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 21 Comments
  1. Leigh – great pics! It truly was a memorable trip for us – Lake Superior is such a hidden gem in Canada and Mich Island has such a magical feel to it. We would highly recommend Naturally Superior Adventures (NSA) for any Superior trips – totally professional, competent,and respectful of the powerful Lake and all that it can throw at paddlers. Ginny is one of the best guides we have ever had (and boy can she cook up a delicious meal!). She wasn’t afraid to laugh at Jo falling in and out of the kayak either.
    Cheers and we can’t wait for the next Superior adventure…
    jo and ted

  2. It looks like such a beautiful place. I loved all the pictures, especially the one of the albino woodland caribou.

  3. We hiked the Pukaskwa Trail to & fro. 120km’s +
    It was my first trip to Superior
    A beautiful & well kept secret in Ontario.
    I kayaked The Benjamin Is. in the North Channel prior to above.
    Finished the West Coast Trail In July.
    I am thankful & a complete newbie at these sojourns of R&R
    I wish to kayak Superior one day. Still looking to purchase one.
    Life is really good & sharing is better!

    jw from Burlington On.

    1. You’ve had lots of fantastic adventures this year. Kayaking the Benjamin Islands is also on our list.

      Lake Superior is difficult enough to get to and that keeps people away. Loved the solitude and the wildness of Lake Superior.

      Highly recommend kayaking Superior – in fact our guide did it all the way from the Ontario-Minnesota border to Parry Sound on the Georgian Bay – in about 60 days, and over half of it alone the summer before.

  4. When I was aged 8,9,and 10 I lived on Michipicoten Island east end my step Dad was the lightHouse Keeper Fred Francis, I aslo sailed on the Alexander henry ice breaker, also shipwreck island was called Gull island, we use to go there to see the baby guls. a cove across from it was called Agate cove down east form the light house was where an old copper mine was and we picked some unusal pieces of copper up. when we were there from the main dock which had th boat hoist and boat house going west left hand side light house, right hand side fog plant oil drums in frount of it across from them was the house in froynt we had a three tier rock garden up the hill was the Beacon I had a big doll house in the back of the house..I was there when they built the long dock, and were doing the assistant quarters I wish I could spend a week there ,but guess I cant..Before we got th eletric light we had to climb to the top of the light house wund the weights and replace the wick and light the light,,this had to be done in the middle of the night too….I also remember the CP edwards and abbitippi

    1. Norma,

      Loved all the insight you provided. Lighting the lighthouse light would have been quite the job. Looks like these photos took you on a trip down memory lane. What an unusual place to live for several years.

    2. Hi Norma
      I also remember those ships and places as I was a light keeper there also and grew up on lighthouses. Great life was also on Great Duck in lake Huron off Manitoulin Island and grew up on Lonely Island from 1964 and saw a lot of change and automation. Plan to go out and visit the islands this summer.
      Take care,

  5. This is a beautiful area. I could kayak all day on those waters. I’m especially impressed with the camping ready cheesecake.

  6. Love all of the photos, Leigh! Oh, how I miss picking fresh wild blueberries on the rocks in Northern Ontario! We have lots of funny family stories that revolve around our blueberry picking excursions. My parents would take the four of us kids with them for the day and we would have big ice cream buckets that we needed to fill with berries. My brother spent most of his time sitting and eating in the berry patch and would have a bucket mostly filled with leaves and sticks at the end of the day!

    1. @Lisa I spent part of my childhood in Halifax and fondly remember many a blueberry excursion. I was pretty task oriented and worked hard on filling my bucket – mainly because I knew what good desserts lay in wait. The week kayaking around Michipicoten was a treat!

  7. Hi great pictures! Brings back memories of the islands. I was lighthouse keeper on both Michipicoten and Davieaux islands for a period of time in 1984-86 with my wife and daughter. Great times and lots of adventure. Nice to see people enjoying the pristine solitude of the islands.

    1. @Alan We loved our night on Davieux. We’d paddled over in complete fog – without fear on running into ant boats. We landed right at the dock based on a compass reading! What a pretty area especially with wildflowers in the summer.

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