It might not have the must-do cachet of California’s Highway 101, of South Africa’s Garden Route or of the Rockies.
Yet a voyage around the world’s largest freshwater lake, the big sea they once called Gichigami, reveals a sublime and in-your-face spectacular natural wonderland unrivalled anywhere.
The 2,000-kilometre “Circle Tour,” done over multiple visits or for the more adventurous in one go, is to be savoured like one of the fine Group of Seven paintings the area north of Lake Superior inspired.
“It’s like every piece of shoreline is different and unique in some way,” says Dan Bevilacqua, executive director of Superior Country. “It goes for the communities as well.” Colin Perkel/The Canadian PressA metal moose statue is seen at Pukaskwa National Park on Lake Superior.
There are the Ontario city splendours of Sault Ste. Marie or Blues Fest in Thunder Bay. At its most westerly point, travel Bob Dylan Way through a charming Duluth, Minn., perched above the lake at the start of Highway 61, near the place from where the famed poet-singer hails.
In between, find out where a bear cub named Winnie-the-Pooh began his long journey to literary fame, check out the motel where renowned pianist Glenn Gould would get away from it all, or take in the striking monument where a cancer-stricken Terry Fox gave up his one-legged trans-Canada run.
Stop and admire the revamped main street of Terrace Bay, or on the south shore — which the Americans call the north shore — meander through picturesque Marquette or breeze past Christmas on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Mostly, however, it’s about a lake that splits its sparkling waters between Canada and the United States. Colin Perkel/The Canadian PressA log-strewn beach is seen at sunset at Pukaskwa National Park on Lake Superior south of Marathon, Ont.
Indeed, as the largest of the Great Lakes, Superior offers seemingly boundless shoreline — log-strewn beaches, gentle river mouths, pristine sunbathing sands, rock cliffs and waterfall trails — all replete with oceanic vistas. In fact, it would be easy to confuse the greatest of the lakes for an ocean — were it not for its glass-clear water that on serene summer days makes for a bracing, salt-free swim.