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Lake Superior Circle Tour


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The group that I ride with are talking about doing the Lake Superior Circle Tour next spring. How many out there have done it and what are your thoughts and any advice would be great.

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can't say I've done the whole thing but i went to school in Ashland, Wisconsin and spent a great deal of time traveling the area... Beautiful country!


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How early in the spring? Anything before mid May and you could end up very cold and wet on the northern half of the loop. But... being from Minnesota, you already know that.


I would probably do the whole thing camping, but wait until closer to June (summer) for more ideal weather. Michigan has a great state park system.


My wife and I stayed in a B&B in Bayfield WI, just north of Ashland. It's now on our top 3 list of best places we've ever stayed/vistied. I think only a B&B in Colorado Springs topped it. I also got pulled over by a WI state trooper just outside of Ashland. Hwy 2 gets pretty flat and boring after a while... watch your speed as you approach town.


I also did the Pictured Rocks tour by boat as a child. It was pretty cool.

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I grew up there in Maple, WI. Very beautiful area....especially when the leaves are changing colors. If you're camping and need a spot to pitch a tent let me know. If my parents are in town, they live in Port Wing and have a HUGE yard you could stay in.


I'd stick to HWY 13 around Herbster, Cornucopia, and Bayfield. Much better views of the lake. If you have the time, I'd take a ferry out to Madeline Island. Well worth the extra time.



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Drove through there this summer on a casual trip to Bayfield to go sailing around the Apostle Islands with some friends. First time in that area for me but my wife got to sail the islands with her family as a kid, beautiful!!!! Oh, the trip, well we want to pound out the Circle Tour in late May or early June and camping will not be on the agenda. Thanks for the offer but this will be a brisk run around the lake with cameras mounted and the clock ticking.

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I've done the trip twice. 4 days the first time, 5 the second.

Trip 1. July - Minneapolis to Escanaba to Wawa to Thunder Bay to Minneapolis

Trip 2. September - Minneapolis to Copper Harbor to Sault Ste Marie to Rossport to Duluth to Minneapolis.


The second trip was more fun. Not so many miles each day(300-400). Copper Harbor has poor accomodations but it is a beautiful ride to and from. On the way out of Copper we took Hwy 26 along the shore which is a beautiful ride. We stayed downtown by the locks in Sault and it was an excellent stay. In Rossport we stayed at a B&B(The Willows, I think) it was very nice. She let us put the bikes in the garage. In Duluth we stayed at Fitger's which is always very nice. Most we paid for a room was $119. It is a very beautiful relaxing ride in 5 days.


Because you are near the lake plan on some rain. Had alot the first time, a little the second. Do some planning and you will have a great trip.



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Thanks for the reply, as you know it does require a bit of planning when the response you get is "Tell me when and where I need to be"

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Grand Marais, stay at the Mangy Moose. Eat across the street at the Angry Trout. Susan and I travel around the lake once every year. There are a lot of great places to see as your go around the lake, but this is one of our favorites. Plan on lots of stops to take pictures from the various turn outs as you go around. A really good trip off the coastal roads is HWY 11 where it heads north from 17. The first 20 miles or so up past Long Lac is something not to be missed. As you head north, you have a great set of cliffs rising on your right. Last time we came through early while the mist was just clearing, headed south. The time before that, I headed north just as the sun was setting and it was as beautiful. Enjoy your trip. Send me a PM when you get ready to go.

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Wellll..... Since I live in Grand Marais, MN, I've done the circle tour a lot.


Go clockwise. Along the north shore of the Lake, many water falls including Gooseberry Falls, Temperance River near Schroeder, Brule River after Grand Marais at Magney State Park, along with High Falls accessible free from the Canada side just after you cross the border - go to the Canada tourist information spot on the right and walk to the falls from there.


Things to see; Duluth Canal park and shipping museum. Lots of other stuff in Duluth. Split Rock Lighthouse after Two Harbors. High cliffs over the Lake - Palisade Head and Shovel Point wayside, both near Hy 1 and Hy 61. Grand Marais has lots to see, to eat, and shop - it's a tourist town but not too tacky yet. Naniboujou Lodge near Magney Park and the Brule River has a neat restaurant with an unusual native American moteaf. The fur trading fort at Grand Portage, and you can also walk the Grand Portage Trail, like the Voyageurs did. There's also Fort William on the Kam. River near Thunder Bay, another historic fur trading rendevous center. Kekabaka Falls near Thunder Bay is kool, a little to the west but impressive. Thunder Bay is a big town but typically Canadian welcoming - great bagel shop near Canadian Tire, called "Great Canadian Bagels". The old railroad depot at the harbour has a huge model railroad set up.


Wawa has the "Wawa Goose" plus a Hortons restaurant. Sault Ste. Marie has the bush plane museum. Copper Harbor and the UP have lots to see and enjoy too.


It does get cool on the Lake, so bring electrics or an extra vest to wear over your riding gear. Enjoy!

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  • 4 months later...

have been following this thread for tips as well. I gather this will be a push trip so Mackinac Island just south west of the Saulte, where you'd have to trade your bikes for ones with pedals (no motorized vehicles), wouldn't fit your time schedule.


Don't forget your passports.



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